The Differences of Hangover Symptoms in Beer vs. Vodka Drinkers

Maura Daley Fawcett


Alcohol abuse and hangovers decrease next day productivity and well-being. According to the Hangover Symptoms Scale (HSS), hangover symptoms include nausea, headache, and extreme thirst/dehydration.1 These symptoms start to occur as blood alcohol levels decline, and peak as all the alcohol is removed from the system.1 Generally, it is believed that the greater the amount and duration of alcohol consumption, the more prevalent the hangover.2 Alcohol with a dark color, and higher congener content correlates to more numerous and severe hangover symptoms in young adults.3 Congeners are chemical compounds found in alcoholic beverages. The identity and concentration of congeners found in certain types of alcohol, may be responsible for hangover symptoms the next day.4 Using an objective measure of intoxication, the purpose of the study is to examine hangover symptoms and severity in college students who drank primarily beer versus those who drank primarily vodka. The survey was conducted at a public, midsized Midwestern University. The data was collected during throughout the 2013-2014 academic year, via an initial survey in the bar district and a breathalyzer test. Participants were later emailed an online survey, with additional questions. It is predicted that students who drank beer will experience more of the hangover symptoms outlined in the HSS, because beer had a higher congener content.4 Initial data shows no significant difference but data collection is still in progress. Implications will be discussed.


Alcohol, Hangover

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