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June 1, 2007

What You Don't Know About Your Hangover

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MYTH #5
WINE IS BETTER FOR YOU THAN BEER
Wine gets all of the health props, but studies consistently show that people who drink beer in moderation also receive health benefits--including a lower risk of heart disease, Alzheimer's, and osteoporosis. And when it comes to how you feel the next day, beer is the gentler choice. "Specific compounds in red wine, like tannins, can trigger headaches in susceptible people," says Swift, "and that just adds to the hangover."

MYTH #6
DRINKING THROUGH A STRAW GETS YOU TRASHED FASTER
Only if you suck faster than you chug. It isn't how you get the booze from glass to mouth that affects your buzz; it's the type of glass you're drinking from. A Cornell University study found that people--even experienced bartenders--consistently pour 20 to 30 percent more alcohol into short, stout tumblers than into tall, skinny highball glasses. "They focus on the height of what they are pouring at the expense of width," says study author Brian Wansink, Ph.D., author of Mindless Eating.

MYTH #7
IF YOU WEIGH THE SAME AS YOUR BROTHER, YOU CAN MATCH HIM DRINK FOR DRINK
"Women will always get more intoxicated on a smaller dose than men"--even if you've diligently built up your tolerance, says Swift. "Men have a higher percentage of water in their bodies, so if you dump alcohol in there, it's going to be more diluted." Plus, men have higher levels of the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase, which allows guys to metabolize alcohol better.

MYTH #8
IF THE DRINKS ARE FREE, THE CALORIES DON'T COUNT
Ok, we know you don't really believe this, but something does happen when someone else is paying that can make good judgment disappear. Take a look at the true cost of an open bar: Four Mike's Hard Lemonades sabotage your diet with 880 extra calories--the equivalent of five Krispy Kreme glazed donuts!) And that's not counting whatever you tear into during the 3 a.m. munchies.) Four beers fill you with the equivalent of two McDonald's cheeseburgers.

MYTH #9
BEER BEFORE LIQUOR, NEVER SICKER
There's nothing about the chemistry of these drinks interacting with each other that makes you sick the next day. With any alcohol, your inhibition to drink more diminishes as you drink, so you start drinking faster. If you stick with beer, you don't get drunk as fast because its alcohol content is lower than that of liquor. If you switch to the hard stuff, you end up on the express train to hangover city.


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