Scientists reveal the purpose of a hangover – leader comment

Beer before wine or wine before beer doesn't make a difference to the strength of your hangover, researchers found
Beer before wine or wine before beer doesn't make a difference to the strength of your hangover, researchers found
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A scientific study that involves getting people so drunk they vomit is perhaps something of a sad indictment on the state of modern British society.

Somehow, far too many people just can’t seem to get the hang of drinking alcohol in the continental style – ie without ending up staggering around a random city-centre street wearing one shoe or “talking on the big white telephone” as the evening’s consumption is regurgitated. The researchers sought to discover whether there was any truth in anti-hangover advice like “grape or grain, but never the twain” and “beer before wine and you’ll feel fine”. Turns out, there isn’t.

READ MORE: Billy Connolly reveals how he’s given up alcohol for cups of tea

The strength of a hangover depends on – surprise, surprise – the amount of alcohol you drink. One of the scientists, a “senior clinical fellow” at Cambridge University, no less, such issues commanding the attention of the nation’s finest minds, pointed out something we as a nation would do well to remember. Hangovers are a “protective warning sign” designed to help us learn from our mistakes. It’s supposed to make you say “never again” ... and actually mean it.

READ MORE: Scots consume ‘10 litres of pure alcohol a year’