There is a widespread belief that mixing (drink one, then the other) alcoholic beverage types results in faster intoxication and/or worse hangover. E.g. beer, wine, vodka etc. The claim is that sticking to one type is better. Even drinking different brands of e.g. beer is sometimes claimed to cause the same effect.

Is there any truth? Compared to simply computing volume * % alcohol = drunk amount. Assume time to drink that amount is constant e.g. 4 hours.


Thanks guys for the comments and especially @MikeyC's answer! Despite the poorly worded question.

This is a hot topic among youngsters (which I am unfortunately not anymore) but Skeptics.SE (as I flagged my question to possibly be moved to) would have been a poorer fit there as here are all the experts.


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    $\begingroup$ How can one objectively measure a hangover? Also, the title is confusing: when you say types of alcohol, I'd expect questions about how for instance methyl & isopropyl compare to ethyl alcohol. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Commented Jul 30, 2021 at 20:42
  • $\begingroup$ @jamesqf I know nothing of biology. I have flagged the question for moderation attention. But in the meanwhile - edit away, or even recommend me to delete it. By 'alcohol' I mean conventional ethanol. $\endgroup$
    – Vorac
    Commented Jul 30, 2021 at 20:47
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    $\begingroup$ I think that the belief arise because mixing alcohol types correlated to drinking a lot (and some of bad quality among them) and that correlates to worse hangover. I don't see any chemical base for the belief. $\endgroup$
    – heracho
    Commented Jul 30, 2021 at 21:05
  • $\begingroup$ Skeptics.SE requires a "notable claim"; basically, you have to reference something specific making the claim rather than a vague "widespread belief". That said, we don't typically migrate questions that have been answered. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Jul 30, 2021 at 22:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Vorac: But all varieties of alcoholic drinks have the same type of alcohol: ethanol. Other common alcohols are toxic, for instance the occasional batch of bad moonshine that containa methanol. The difference is the other components. I've seen claims that hangovers are mostly due to the other stuff, not the alcohol. I don't know if they're more than anecdotal, though, and have insufficient personal experience to judge. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Commented Jul 31, 2021 at 16:30

1 Answer 1


I did a quick literature search for clinical studies, not expecting to find much, but I actually found a published study partially investigating this question using a pretty robust study design. In short, mixing beer and wine didn't seem to impact hangover severity. Since it only covers beer and wine, you'll have to set up your own clinical trial to see how liquor plays with others.

They set out to test whether drinking beer before wine (or vice versa) contributed to greater hangover symptoms, with control groups drinking beer or wine alone. They found no difference in hangover severity between those who mixed beer and wine (regardless of the order in which they were consumed) and those who had only beer or wine. Perceived drunkenness and the occurrence of vomiting were the best predictors of hangover severity. Interestingly, the most objective measure of drunkenness used, peak breath alcohol concentration, was a poor predictor of hangover severity.

Hangover severity in relation to alcohol consumption.

Reference: Köchling J, Geis B, Wirth S, Hensel KO. Grape or grain but never the twain? A randomized controlled multiarm matched-triplet crossover trial of beer and wine. Am J Clin Nutr. 2019 Feb 1;109(2):345-352. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqy309. PMID: 30753321; PMCID: PMC6410559.

Full Text Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6410559/


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