Will Beer Before Liquor Actually Make You Sicker?

beer before liquor

Everyone wants to enjoy their alcoholic beverages without having to experience hangovers that come after a night of hard liquor and a little too much fun.

For those who are not heavy drinkers managing this intake is important so they can enjoy it without having to feel terrible the next day.

Some people swear by the phrase “beer before liquor, never been sicker; liquor before beer, you’re in the clear”.

They believe you can control your hangovers by drinking alcohol in a specific pattern, i.e. liquor first and then beer.

However, it seems that a hangover has more to do with how much you drink rather than the order of beer before liquor in your drinking pattern.

This belief may come from evening drinking patterns.

Why That “Beer Before Liquor” Phrase Is BS

People may start the night drinking beer or a drink with a lower alcohol content than other beverages.

As the night progresses, they may switch to other drinks that have higher alcohol content.

All the alcohol consumed throughout the night leads to people feeling sick in the morning.

They link this to the phrase beer before liquor never been sicker, despite the fact that both drinks may contain the same amount of alcohol; it is their blood alcohol levels that become saturated throughout the evening.

It is not drinking beer before other drinks like wine that makes them sicker in the morning; rather, the more alcohol they drink, the worse their hangover will be.

In fact, when the research was conducted into the belief in beer before liquor and hangover severity, they found it held no real strength.

Hangovers can not be mitigated by drinking liquor before beer or vice versa.

In fact, research showed that having the same drink throughout the night did little to stave off a hangover, countering the statement “grape or grain but never the twain”.

The Research

The research was conducted using people divided into three different groups.

One group was given beer before liquor to drink, and the other group was given liquor to drink before beer.

The final group was instructed to drink a single type of drink, whether it be beer or liquor.

The three groups were asked to return a week later and repeat the experiment but to drink the reverse of the first week; for the last group, they were asked to change their drink to the other drink, i.e. from liquor to beer or vice versa.

They found that drinking beer or liquor made no difference on the hangover.

The order of beer before liquor or liquor before beer had no significant effect on their hangover the following day.

Certain drinks such as cocktails, red wine, and white have a higher level of alcohol than beer.

This is why they may cause a sudden increase in your blood alcohol levels after drinking only beer throughout the evening.

Alternatively, people may drink beer after drinking only wine to slow the absorption of alcohol in their bloodstream, which can decrease the symptoms of a hangover.

There are multiple factors that can lead to a hangover which have less to do with the order of your alcohol and more with the alcohol content of your drinks.

When drinking, it can be easy to compare one full glass of cocktail to a glass of wine or beer.

However, there is a difference in alcohol content in these different beverages.

White wine contains higher levels of alcohol than beer, so one drink of beer is not the same as another drink.

The other factor that affects your hangover is the volume of drink you consume at one time.

A single beer contains more volume than a cocktail which also means that your body absorbs alcohol from beer slower than compared to a cocktail or wine because the alcohol consumption is slower.

It makes sense that people can drink liquor in larger amounts than beer because the volumes differ.

It also makes it more likely for them to face a hangover the following day.

Another factor that can lead to a hangover is alcohol absorption. Certain drinks are more likely to be absorbed faster than others.

What this means is that your drinks may contain identical amounts of alcohol, but one drink is taken up by your body faster than the other.

This means that your hangover may be worse or better depending on how much and how fast your body absorbs the alcohol you drink.

Genetics plays a huge role in hangovers and how alcohol affects an individual. How your body metabolizes alcohol is indicative of how likely you are to deal with a hangover.

We all know people who can consume alcohol like no tomorrow and wake up fine; around a quarter of people are like this, and it is all down to their genetic makeup.

Something else that has a great influence on whether or not you wake up in the morning with the worst hangover ever is whether or not you had an empty stomach when you began drinking.

Eating before you begin to drink tends to slow down the total amount of alcohol your body absorbs.

Most people have heard how easy it is to have a hangover worse than usual if you begin drinking without having food before.

Having an empty stomach makes it faster for the alcohol to move from your stomach to your intestines and then be absorbed into your blood.

People who drink frequently and heavily are more likely to have hangovers, which are more likely to be severe. In other words, the more you drink, the more likely you are to experience a hangover.

You may also have heard that those who smoke tend to increase their chances of facing hangovers after drinking.


While there may be a common misconception regarding the order of your drinks and the chances of hangovers occurring, the reality is different.

How you react to what you drink depends on the type of drink, its alcoholic content, and whether you ate, among other factors.

If you or a loved one struggles with alcohol addiction, seeking help from an alcohol rehab center in Ohio could be a life-changing decision.