Will Mixing Different Types of Alcohol Give You a Hangover?

Beer earlier than liquor, by no means been sicker; liquor earlier than beer, you’re within the clear. 

Guess you’ve heard this sing-songy adage earlier than. If not, there’s a good probability you’ve been informed—and even totally consider—that mixing various kinds of alcohol in any sequence is a surefire method to really feel lower than stellar (learn: like full rubbish) the following day. However is there *actually* any reality to this?

To seek out out, with certainty, if mixing various kinds of alcohol is that a lot worse than sticking to the identical form (and equal serving measurement), we requested Brooklyn–primarily based dietitian Maddie Pasquariello, MS, RD, to interrupt issues down for us.

How did the damaging connotation of blending various kinds of alcohol start?

In line with Pasquariello, many claims about consuming booze will be linked to cultural and societal norms… and never all of them are primarily based in dietary science.

“Many assumed info about alcohol consumption are handed down primarily by our social teams and media messaging, as we develop up and work out {our relationships} with alcohol,” Pasquariello says. “They’re normally primarily based round anecdotal, communal constructs that serve a social function.” But when they’re not fully truthful, why have they got longevity?

“Regardless of not being backed by scientific analysis, the rationale these claims would possibly stick round is partly because of our quest to stop or reduce the results of a hangover the following day,” Pasquariello continues. Is smart; in spite of everything, most of us don’t wish to take a look at the boundaries if nausea, throbbing complications, dehydration, and the like could also be extra prone to wreak havoc after imbibing. (That’s, when we’ve got extra strong and sound judgment earlier than alcohol’s results begin to kick in and we throw warning to the wind.)

As well as, the social facet of consuming also can permit sure habits and rituals to proliferate. “As an illustration, the ideas of ‘beginning the evening with a shot’ and ‘ending the evening with a beer’ have grown more and more frequent,” Pasquariello says.

Is mixing various kinds of alcohol as dangerous as we’re led to consider?

In a single phrase: no. “What’s going to most have an effect on your hangover is the overall quantity of alcohol consumed,” Pasquariello says. With that mentioned, there are a number of nuances the dietitian takes care to level out.

Whole quantity of alcohol consumed

Once more, the quantity of alcohol you drink would be the largest figuring out issue dictating how respectable (or disastrous) you’ll really feel. On this level, Pasquariello shares a number of FYIs about alcohol serving sizes, which range in keeping with your drink(s) of alternative. First, she reminds us that normal serving sizes of the commonest alcoholic drinks are as follows:

  • Beer: 12 ounces
  • Wine: 5 ounces
  • Distilled spirits: 1.5 ounces

“After we speak about whole quantity or whole amount of alcohol, it is vital to remember the place the idea of a ‘normal drink’ got here from, since that is normally how we measure consumption or report our consuming habits to a well being skilled,” says Pasquariello. She explains that these measures had been really decided by the beverage business for standardization and regulatory functions. “Finally, this methodology of measuring alcohol consumption was co-opted by well being organizations to higher quantify alcohol consumption and perceive well being developments from a medical perspective.”

This little bit of context apart, Pasquariello reiterates that “the overall amount of alcohol you drink is the primary issue that may affect how strongly you are feeling the results of alcohol, [including] how hungover you’re, but additionally how alcohol impacts you in the course of the evening of consuming, the way it impacts your sleep, and so forth.” However there’s extra that components into the equation.

Timing of consumption

Let’s now circle again to the idea of serving sizes. “If we examine one standard-size drink of some various kinds of alcohol, the overall quantity of alcohol they comprise is about the identical because of the general proportion of alcohol discovered within the liquid,” Pasquariello says. “However what differs is the time it takes you to devour them.” That is one other key issue that may affect how potent the results of alcohol will be—each as you imbibe and on the following day.

“As quickly because the alcohol hits your system, it begins to be absorbed into the bloodstream,” Pasquariello continues. “As such, you will really feel intoxicated extra shortly for those who devour a shot in a few seconds in comparison with consuming a beer over the course of half-hour.” Basically, downing a number of photographs inside a couple of minutes also can yield extra intense results than consuming one shot earlier than mixing issues up with a beer or two over the course of some hours.


Subsequent, Pasquariello mentions that carbonated alcoholic drinks might also lead to faster negative effects. “Extra carbonation tends to imply quicker absorption from the GI system into the bloodstream,” she says. In different phrases, you could possibly begin to really feel the results of beer, onerous seltzer, and glowing wine extra quickly in comparison with different alcoholic bevs. Furthermore, different sources declare that carbonated drinks have the potential to annoy the abdomen lining, which might additionally rev up the speed of alcohol absorption.

Nevertheless, Pasquariello isn’t totally on board with this declare, stating that the proof on carbonation’s results on intestine irritation is combined. “It’s typically understood that for most individuals, consuming a number of carbonated drinks per week is not sufficient to annoy the liner of the intestine to any critical diploma,” she says. The truth is, she notes that carbonated bevs may very well assist to enhance signs of gastric misery in some individuals—although it’ll finally range throughout completely different GI points and from one particular person to the following.

The underside line

To not be an entire buzzkill, however now’s nearly as good a time as any to notice that alcohol—regardless of which means you swing it—continues to be a toxin to the physique. “Lengthy-term alcohol consumption can also be a powerful threat issue for a variety of power ailments,” Pasquariello says.

Whether or not you stick to 1 drink for the entire evening or desire to combine up your drinks from one order to the following, maintaining your general alcoholic consumption in thoughts may help you bypass a number of the hardest ramifications of imbibing. “Relating to mixing or combining sure varieties of alcohol, there actually is not any analysis to counsel that you will see an enormous distinction if the general amount of alcohol consumed continues to be the identical,” Pasquariello says.

With that mentioned, mixing varieties of alcohol does have the built-in potential to result in larger consumption general. “Should you’re mixing varieties, you are naturally consuming a couple of drink, which ends up in these hangover signs the following day,” Pasquariello calls out.

One other key level to be conscious of is mixing various kinds of alcohol in a single bev—i.e., a cocktail that mixes onerous liquor with wine or beer, and even contains a number of varieties of onerous alcohol. As Pasquariello provides, “These drinks can bump up the general alcohol content material of the drink,” in addition to any antagonistic negative effects, so be sure you sip with warning.

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