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Five drinking myths busted

Whether it's for avoiding a hangover, curing a hangover or even minimising toilet visits at social gatherings, there's a certain set of rule-like myths that have been lingering in the boozemosphere for years. We investigate these drinking myths to help set you on a path of more positive and informed drinking experiences

 “Beer before wine, you’ll be fine. Wine before beer – oh dear.”

This old rhyme has been floating around the booze world for years. In Germany they say, “Bier auf Wein, das laß sein” and in the United States they go by, “beer before liquor, never been sicker” which turns the concept on it’s head entirely. But is there actually anything scientific out there to back these catchy rhymes up?

The short answer is no. There is no real evidence to suggest that drinking beer before wine or beer before liquor makes any difference to your drinking experience (or your next day experience!). 

“Break the seal” and you’ll be running to the bathroom frequently

This little theory has been slowing party-goers from scampering to toilets all over the globe under the belief that as soon as they empty their full bladders, they will need to urinate more frequently.

Yes, it is true that alcohol will naturally make us need to urinate more frequently. It's a diuretic, meaning that it causes more water to be squeezed out of the cells in our bodies when we drink. It then directs this water to the bladder – creating the need to "go". The more drinks consumed and the further the time goes on, the greater the need to urinate will be. But there is no such thing as a breaking of the seal changing anything – when you need to go, go! 

Drinking beer will give you a “beer belly”

This one's true, sadly. Drinking excessive amounts of beer can give you a beer belly. But consuming excessive amounts of anything can give you a belly – cake, fries, hot chocolate, you know the drill! 

“Hair of the dog” hangover cure

The idea of having some of the “hair of the dog that bit you” is an old classic in the world of alcohol myths and is widely debated. The myth suggests that the cure to what has harmed you is to have more of it. Therefore, if you’re nursing a hangover, it suggests that you should try and ease your discomfort with another drink.

There is no solid evidence to suggest that this method is an appropriate form of help for a hangover – the only potential advantage is that a small amount of alcohol will ease the beginning of a hangover when the body initially goes through a period of alcohol withdrawal. This may be helpful in the short term but will have potentially disastrous consequences later in the day when you wind up feeling twice as sorry for yourself! The only cure for hangovers is time and drinking water, so get hydrating! 

A coffee and a cold shower will sober anyone up 

This is well and truly incorrect. The liver can only process one standard drink per hour - so if you've gone beyond this, you'll need to pay for the consequences and wait it out. Sobering up takes time. This also means you need to be extremely conscientious with when you choose to drive after consuming alcohol – better to be safe than sorry! Drinking a glass of water between alcoholic drinks is a handy way of keeping track of your drinking and keeping sensible.