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Beer before liquor, never been sicker? Busting 5 alcohol myths

Beer before liquor, never been sicker. Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear.


The order that you consume your drinks does not play a part in how you will feel the next morning. “What matters is the more alcohol you drink, the more likely you will have a hangover,” says Dr. Bernard Le Foll, head of the Alcohol Research and Treatment Clinic at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. Drinking a lot of anything alcoholic will lead to dehydration – and a nasty hangover.

Sulfites in wine cause bad headaches


“Thirty per cent of the world population cannot drink wine – they get severe headaches – and its not the sulfites which cause this problem,” says microbiologist Hennie van Vuuren, director of the Wine Research Centre at the University of British Columbia. These headaches are actually caused by bioamines, such as histamine and tyramine. Reds and chardonnays are the main carriers of these potent allergens.

Light beer is a healthier option than regular beer


Drinking light beer may cut caloric intake. However, light beer may not encourage a healthy pattern of consumption. “There is a risk of people drinking more light beer than if they had just had the beer they like and drank one,” says registered dietitian Kate Comeau.

The older the wine, the better it will taste


“Some wines have the potential to age, and they age beautifully,” says van Vuuren. “But most wines these days are made to be drunk early.” If you want to keep wine in the cellar, start with a good one – a wine that has any faults, such as too many sulfur compounds, will get worse with time. “Usually, if I want to buy a wine to age, I will buy a bottle and taste it, and then decide whether I’m going to buy a case … to put away.”

Beer helps women who are trying to lactate


“The folkloristic rumour that mothers were told to drink alcohol to increase milk production is not new,” says Dr. Gideon Koren, director of the Motherisk Program at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. In fact, he adds, drinking alcohol actually has a negative impact on lactation. “Studies that looked at it have found that there is a temporary decrease in milk when women take alcohol,” Koren says. Plus, alcohol enters breast milk and can hurt the baby’s brain development: New mothers who have a drink should wait about two hours before breastfeeding.

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