The hangovers They do not influence when people take their next drink, according to a new study that challenges common beliefs.
Although many people claim that to drink another glass helps to cure the hangover, others believe that a hangover delays a later consumption of alcohol. In this study with nearly 400 habitual drinkers, the researchers found that the unpleasant effects of excess have little effect on when the next alcoholic beverage is consumed.
"In psychology it is well known that effects Immediate positive or negative behaviors are much more potent than delayed effects in affecting whether people perform that behavior once again, "explained Damaris Rohsenow, professor of behavioral and social sciences at the School of Public Health at Brown University.
"People who drink a lot usually experience pleasurable effects while they drink, and that drives the decision to to drink A lot again, "Rohsenow said." The pain of a hangover is temporary, and could be considered a nuisance rather than an important negative consequence. "
According to him US National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism , a hangover It can include fatigue, thirst, headache and muscle aches, nausea and vomiting.
In the study that appears in the magazine Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research , 196 men and 190 women who drank frequently participated. Participants carried electronic journals for 21 days to record their alcohol drinking episodes and other related experiences.
After examining the information collected in more than 2,000 episodes of consumption of alcohol , researchers found that 463 resulted in a hangover. Each day, the participants assessed what the odds were that they would consume alcohol that day. Those assessments did not differ in the mornings when people got up with a hangover and when not.
"Our main finding is that hangovers seem to have a very modest effect on later alcohol consumption," said the author, Thomas Piasecki, a professor in the department of psychological sciences at the University of Missouri.
"On average, the time between episodes of drink it lengthened in just a few hours after a hangover, "said Piasecki at the University of Missouri." We looked to see if there were particular subgroups of drinkers that could show distinctive patterns such as drinking earlier in hopes of feeling better, but we did not find evidence about it. "
Since experiencing a hangover did not influence the intentions of people to drink again on a given day, the researchers concluded that the habits of alcohol consumption are determined by other factors, such as the day of the week, having the opportunity to to drink and social plans.
What is the message for health care providers? "It's probably a waste of time to discuss hangovers when you try to motivate someone who has drinking problems to drink less or less frequently," Rohsenow said. "It seems that the drinkers the temporary discomfort of the hangover does not bother them much. "