Ninety participants aged 19-40 y (mean age 23.9), 50% female, were included (study group 1 n = 31, study group 2 n = 31, controls n = 28).
However a new study has found it to be a complete myth.
"Beer before wine, you'll be fine; wine before beer, you'll feel queer". The first had around two-and-a-half pints of beer and then four large glasses of white wine. The participants within each groups were roughly matched with respect to age, body mass index and previous drinking habits.
The drinkers were split into three groups.
A week later, the first two groups of students switched the order of the drinks they consumed and the third group drank the beverage they hadn't consumed before.
How much alcohol does the NHS say we can drink?. A new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds that the order in which you have beer and wine doesn't affect how severe your handover is. The next day, participants were asked about their hangover symptoms; and they were given a score based on the number and severity of those symptoms, such as thirst, fatigue, headache, dizziness, nausea, stomach ache, increased heart rate and loss of appetite.
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In addition to the English "Grape or grain, but never the twain", Germans say "Wein auf Bier, das rat' ich Dir-Bier auf Wein, das lass' sein" (Wine after beer, I recommend it; beer after wine, let it be), and the French say "Bière sur vin est venin, vin sur bière est belle manière" (Beer after wine is poison, wine after beer is the attractive way).
Changing the order of drinks made no significant difference to hangover scores, which were measured using a questionnaire, the study found.
'The only reliable way of predicting how miserable you'll feel the next day is by how drunk you feel and whether you are sick. "We should all pay attention to these red flags when drinking", concluded lead author of the study, Jöran Köchling.
Dr Kai Hensel added: 'Unfortunately, we found that there was no way to avoid the inevitable hangover just by favouring one order over another'.
Women tended to have slightly worse hangovers than men.
However, as unpleasant as they are, hangovers do serve a objective - experts say they are nature's warning system to encourage us to drink less.
Dr. Hensel also comments on the findings, saying, "A$3 clear result in favor of one particular order could help to reduce hangovers and help many people have a better day after a long night out".
"In other words, they can help us learn from our mistakes".