What to do while carousing
Fear the dark…
Look, I’m a bourbon man, so I say this with a heavy heart: Whiskey and other “dark” liquors—brandy, tequila, rum—cause worse hangovers than other types of booze.
In a 2009 study, scientists got two groups of student volunteers drunk on either vodka or bourbon and monitored them carefully. Result: The next morning, the bourbon swiggers had measurably worse hangovers.
Why? Liquor contains congeners, tiny particles that come from fermentation and have “toxic effects,” according to the study, with bourbon having 37 times as many as vodka. (Other clear liquors like gin have fewer congeners as well.) Hence the hangover hazard.
…but don’t fear it too much
Those same congeners found in bourbon may, paradoxically, also have a host of beneficial qualities.
“Some whiskey congeners, particularly butanol, actually protect the stomach lining from damage, so potentially might protect you from feeling nauseous,” says Damaris Rohsenow, Ph.D., one of the study’s authors.
Frustrated by the ambiguity? Join the club. Contradictory findings like this are the reason there’s no one magic bullet to fight hangovers. The world of science is messy.
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