What Are Congeners and How Do They Affect Hangovers?
Congeners are impurities produced during the fermentation process.
Congeners are byproducts created during fermentation when sugar is turned into alcohol using yeast. These impurities give alcohol its color, taste, and flavor.
But what exactly are these impurities? They are made up of small amounts of methanol, fusel alcohols, acetone, acetaldehyde, esters, tennis, and aldehydes.
Darker alcohols contain more congeners.
Darker alcohols such as brandy, bourbon, whiskey, wine, and dark beer contain more congeners than clear alcohol. For example brandy can have as much as 4,766 milligrams per liter of methanol, while vodka can have from 0 to 102 milligrams per liter. Refer to this helpful article.
Congeners are responsible for giving dark alcohols it’s color, taste, and even aroma. While they add to our drinks pleasantness, we are reminded they are impurities and make our hangovers worse.
Congeners help cause hangovers.
Congeners cause inflammation and are broken down by our bodies to toxins that cause and worsen hangovers. One congener, methanol, breaks down into formic acid and formaldehyde. Yikes! Luckily this is a very tiny amount, but still enough to cause a hangover.
One study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research showed that when one group of subjects was given bourbon and another group was given the same amount of vodka, 33% of the bourbon group reported hangover symptoms the next day compared to just 3% from the vodka group.
More distilled alcohols contain fewer congeners and cause fewer hangovers.
More pricey top-shelf alcohols are distilled longer to remove impurities. The result is cleaner alcohol and fewer hangovers. But we all know drinking too much of any alcohol, clear or dark, will cause a hangover.
Always drink in moderation, never drink and drive, and always have a Rallymate to mitigate the negative effects of drinking.
Try Rallymate today and mitigate the negative effects of drinking!