February 7, 2006

Liquor Before Beer, NOT in the Clear?

Beer Before Liquor...We never put a lot of thought into the reasoning behind the old "liquor before beer..." saying, but apparently that doesn't matter because it isn't true anyway. What does that mean for our other sayings? Does a stitch in time not really save nine? Will or will not an apple a day keep the doctor away? Are a fool and his money soon parted? It's making our collective heads hurt enough that we need a drink to settle our nerves. The only question is whether we should start with liquor or beer?

Dear Yahoo!: Is the saying "Beer before liquor, never sicker, liquor before beer, never fear" physiologically accurate? Allyson Santa Barbara, California

Dear Allyson:

No. Portland's Willamette Week interviewed a nutrition expert and a pharmacologist; both nixed the theory. They astutely note that mixing different types of alcohol is generally a bad idea.

The reasoning behind the proverb is that it's easier on your body to absorb weaker alcoholic drinks, like beer, later in the evening. This probably holds some merit. It's also true that your body tends to process alcohol from carbonated drinks faster. But any piece of advice regarding alcohol consumption that contains the line "never fear" is obviously pretty suspect.

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Posted by Jake Jamieson at February 7, 2006 12:52 PM
Recent Comments

This isn't supposed to be scientific. For someone who is drunk, it is better to sip on beer than it is to sip on a potent acoholic liquid...plain and simple...no science need be involved.

Posted by: Richard at February 3, 2008 1:32 AM

Correct me if I am wrong, but I always thought it meant that if you got drunk on beer and then decided to start doing shots, you were screwed. But if you start with liqour and then switch to beer when you have no sense of volume control, you are much better off.

Posted by: Bango Bongo at February 7, 2006 9:42 PM
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