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For a Lighter Hangover, Avoid Darker Drinks
Date:12/18/2009

Bourbon causes more pain than vodka, study finds

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- As the holidays approach, booze is a common indulgence -- and nasty hangovers a common consequence. But if those who tend to overdo it stick to lighter-colored beverages, they might feel a little better the next day.

New research reveals that darker liquors like bourbon contain more toxic properties that provoke more painful hangovers than lighter choices such as vodka.

This is probably because the materials used in the alcohol fermenting process -- grains and wood casks -- produce small amounts of toxic byproducts, the researchers say.

Known as "congeners," these complex organic molecules include acetone, fusel oil and tannins, and are present in much higher quantities among darker liquors than lighter ones. Bourbon has 37 times as many congeners as vodka, for example.

"The most important thing for people to realize is that if you're feeling hungover, you're probably impaired in terms of performing tasks that require vigilance and making quick decisions, " cautioned study author Damaris J. Rohsenow, associate director of the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University in Providence, R.I.

If they drink to inebriation, "people are going to feel sicker after drinking an alcohol -- such as bourbon -- which is among the darker liquors, and therefore has a lot more naturally toxic poisons in it," Rohsenow added. "Of course, they'll still get hungover just from vodka or white wine. But it will just be a little less painful than if they drink a darker liquor."

Rohsenow and her colleagues will publish their findings in the March issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

The authors did not specifically explore how red wine vs. white wine consumption might affect a hangover. However, Rohsenow noted that, as with other darker liquors, red wines contain more tro
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