Feeling Hungover? Don’t Blame It on Mixing Beer, Liquor

Many of us may avoid downing hard alcohol, wine, and beer on the same night for fear of a raging hangover the next day. But at the BBC, a review of existing research on the topic suggests the drinks’ variety itself isn’t the problem. Instead, Claudia Hammond points to other possible factors. For instance, she notes, having several different types of drinks may simply mean drinking more total alcohol. (As for “beer before liquor, never been sicker”? It appears no research has been done to prove or disprove the idea that drink order makes a difference.)

“The existing evidence suggests that hangovers can’t be blamed on mixing drinks,” Hammond writes.

But the amount of alcohol may not be the only culprit: Congeners, the non-ethanol products of the fermentation process, also contribute to a hangover. Tannins, for instance, are responsible for the color in darker types of alcohol. There are 37 times more congeners in bourbon than in vodka, and one study found that bourbon drinkers reported worse hangovers than those who drank vodka. So, Hammond writes, people having various types of drinks in a single night may end up indulging in drinks with more tannins.

So go ahead and mix types of alcohol if you so desire, but you may want to avoid mixing alcohol with cigarettes: A study last month found that people who smoke and drink are at a higher risk of developing esophageal cancer, Science Daily reported. (If you do find yourself with a hangover, you may want to reach for a Sprite.)

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Photo credit: Flickr, cali4beach

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Janice Thompson
Janice Thompsonabout a year ago

Alcohol dehydrates everything. Drink it and it dehydrates you. You are dehydrated, drink water.

JL A.about a year ago

good to know

Colin Hope
Colin Hopeabout a year ago

Thanks for sharing!!

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H.1 years ago

One thing I read, when drinking alcohol and soda mixed is to drink the diet version of the soda because the sugar in the soda contributes to hangovers as well.

Marie W.
Marie W.1 years ago

Some alcohols do seem to make it worse- but all will give a hangover.

Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey1 years ago

Sorry for the premature post.

Your choices for any addiction alcohol/drugs are very limited. Hospital, jail, and or death. Any addiction destroys your body which works so very hard to repair itself to keep you alive

Wait there is one more. QUIT. You won't quit in increments. You will have to decide for yourself if you can admit an addiction then decide how to handle it.

Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey1 years ago

Don't drink to where you have a hangover. That is a sure bet to the road of addiction which is really what the hangover is. Withdraw from alcohol is painful to the body.

Addiction is real. A once in awhile turns to a habit, turns to an addiction.

Your choices at that point are extremely limited. You will wind up in jail

Barb Hansen
Barb Hansen1 years ago


Freya H.
Freya H.1 years ago

When I drink, I have plenty of water, at least one big glass of water per drink of booze. That not only prevents hangovers, it keeps me from getting too plastered. Dehydration, I read time and again, is the main contributor to hangovers.

Janis K.
Janis K.1 years ago

Thanks for sharing.