5 Myths About Alcohol
No matter which pour you pick, it’s smart to separate fact from fiction.
MYTH #1 “Beer before wine, and you’ll feel fine.”
MYTHBUSTER The order in which you drink different types of alcohol doesn’t influence whether you get a hangover, according to a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. “These sayings exist in many languages and can date back to medieval times, so I thought there must be some truth there,” says coauthor Kai Hensel, M.D., Ph.D. But researchers found no significant difference in how people felt the next day whether they drank beer or wine first or stuck to one type of alcohol. Individually, some people may feel worse after one type of alcohol, he says, and the only way to know how any kind affects you is to pay attention to symptoms the next morning.
MYTH #2 Drinking a little alcohol is better for your health than drinking none at all.
MYTHBUSTER You’ve probably seen red wine on some “superfood” lists, thanks to the heart-healthy resveratrol found in grape skin. But if you don’t drink already, don’t start for health reasons. A 2018 study found that people who had one or two drinks four or more times per week had a 20% higher risk of premature death. Other studies have shown that even one drink a day ups a woman’s breast cancer risk. The effects of routine drinking are still under debate, says Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe, M.D., a New York City–based physician. “Your doctor can help determine if alcohol intake may compromise your health,” she says.