Objective: Individuals in society typically consume alcohol in "standard" units (e.g., bottles/cans of beer, glasses of wine, shots of distilled spirits) over a reasonable period of time whereas in many hangover studies, participants consume a single large dose of alcohol relative to their body weight in a short period of time. The purpose of this study was to examine how consuming low to moderate "standard" quantities of alcohol over an evening affected subjective hangover ratings, physical, physiological, and psychomotor functioning of adult females the next morning.
Method: Twelve females consumed zero, two, four, or six bottles of beer (341 ml; 5% weight by volume) in a within-subjects design. Blood alcohol concentration, resting heart rate, resting blood pressure, and grip strength were measured prior to consumption, 1 hour after consumption, and the following morning (9 hours after consumption). In the morning, participants rated the presence of eight hangover symptoms, completed a four-choice reaction time test, and performed tests of submaximal and maximal endurance on a treadmill; blood lactate, blood glucose, and perceived exertion were recorded during submaximal and maximal exercise.
Results: Heart rate, blood pressure, grip strength, blood lactate, blood glucose, and reaction time did not significantly change the next morning as a function of alcohol dose. Participants made more choice reaction errors after consuming six than zero bottles of beer.
Conclusion: These results suggest that consuming moderate quantities of beer affects decision making but not physical and physiological performance in adult females the next morning.