You know when you’ve got a wine hangover. Not only because you can remember necking a full bottle (and the rest) the night before, but that familiar pounding of the head is a surefire sign you made the rookie error of going down the wine route.
While some people swear the heaviness of red wine gives them a worse hangover, others insist the acidity in white wine plays havoc with their stomach the next day – so which color wine really causes the worst hangover?
Luckily, someone scientific has looked into the issue for us, and has provided the answer to this burning question. According to ABC, Professor Steve Allsop from the National Drug Research Institute in Perth, Australia, the strength of your hangover is down to things called congeners.
These determine the color and flavor of alcoholic beverages, meaning the more congeners there are, the darker the alcohol is in color. Congeners are a “toxic byproduct of the fermenting process”, says ABC, which lurk in your body the next day and make you feel like ass. The more alcohol you’ve consumed, the more congeners you’ll have – so the worse you’ll feel.
Which leads us nicely back into the ‘which is worse, red or white?’ debate. Following this logic, red wine – being significantly darker in color than white – will make you feel more like you’ve been run over by a truck the next day than white wine will.
Having said that, congeners don’t dominate everything. Because I don’t know about you but I can think of plenty of hangovers I’ve had when all I drank was white spirits (gin, you devil, you). Obviously there are plenty of other factors, too, including how much you mixed, how quickly you drank, and how good your body is at metabolizing alcohol.
If we want to avoid hangovers altogether, maybe we should stop binge-drinking. But if you want to try and be a bit kinder to your body while enjoying a drink, try drinking lighter colored alcoholic drinks and interspersing them with lots of water.