Which Beer Gives the Worst Hangovers
From colour and alcohol content, we’ll cover which beers give you the worst hangovers.
By The Beer Community on Sep. 13, 2022
When people talk about hangovers, they’re usually referring to a night full of cocktails and throwing back shots. Well, a night at the brewery can leave you just as sick next to the toilet with a splitting headache.
Anyone who has gone out drinking knows what a hangover is, but the type of alcohol you’re drinking can affect how severe your symptoms are. When it comes to beer, it’s important to look at color and alcohol content.
Next time you’re at the beer garden and have to work the next day, make sure you check out the menu for these certain factors. Not all beer is created equal in terms of the morning after, so choosing wisely when you’re out for a night of brews could make or break the intensity of a hangover.
NIAAA, 85% of light beers have just as much alcohol as regular beer. So, that label has nothing to do with the alcohol content.
Another thing to look out for is when you’re at a brewery. Craft beer is going to have a higher alcohol content than mass produced beer which results in a worse hangover. Craft beer usually has alcohol content of around 7-9%.
When it comes to alcohol content, every little bit counts! Bars will typically have the alcohol content listed next to each beer, so you can choose accordingly. It’s important to remember that when you’re drinking lower alcohol content beers, don’t slam 5 or 6! Stick to a low number because otherwise it defeats the purpose.
The Color of the Beer
Yes, the color of your beer will also affect your hangover. A good rule of thumb is, the darker the beer, the worse the hangover. So, if you like stouts and porters but get bad hangovers, it may be time to branch out to something different.
Many mass-produced beers are very light in color such as Coors and Budweiser. Lighter color beers won’t give as bad of a hangover, and there’s a scientific reason for that. Darker beers have a higher concentration of congeners.
Congeners are byproducts of the fermentation process that creates alcohol. During fermentation, sugars are converted into alcohol with yeast and become ethanol. This is the main ingredient in alcohol that gets you drunk. While ethanol is being made, congeners are also created. They are found in all types of alcohol, but some have more than others. Darker liquors like rum and whiskey have higher congeners, and the same applies to beer.
Let’s go back to craft beer for a moment. You’re going to find more robust colors in craft beer, and they, of course, taste amazing! But those intense colors are going to mean more congeners. Along with higher alcohol content, a night at a brewery could mean a terrible hangover the next day.
To try to avoid a hangover, stick with lighter beers. They will have less congeners, so you will likely have less symptoms the next morning.
Avoiding a Hangover
To sum it up, hangovers are the pits. The nausea, brain fog and headaches can screw up the next day. It’s important to remember that the only way to truly avoid a hangover is to not drink at all. What you can do is lower your alcohol intake by drinking less or drinking beer with lower alcohol content.
Before going out for a night of brews with your pals, make sure to keep hydrated. While you’re out, drink a glass of water between every drink, too. Since alcohol causes dehydration, it’s important to increase your water intake to decrease hangover symptoms.
If you’re trying to avoid a hangover, you can also set a drink limit. You know how much alcohol you can handle better than anyone, and there’s no set number. When you set a limit, be sure to stick to it! It’s totally fine to stop drinking even if you’re still out. Your future self will thank you in the morning.
When you find yourself dealing with a hangover, hangover supplements can also help. Utilizing supplements can ease symptoms and make your day curled up on the couch more bearable. As always, please drink responsibly and have fun!
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