Few drinks (save tea or coffee) divide the world so spectacularly as beer or wine. There’s no accounting for taste, of course – but there are subtle differences in the way they affect your body and determine your health. Is one more fattening than another? How do their heart benefits compare? And which gives the worse hangover?
少数饮品（茶或咖啡除外）能够像红酒或啤酒这样把这世界分隔地清清楚楚、泾渭分明。 当然，百人百味，这个不消多说，但是两种酒在对你身体与健康的影响方式上，还是存有微妙差异。 其中一个比另一个更容易让人发胖吗？ 相形之下，它们对心脏的有益影响又怎样？ 哪种酒喝醉了会让人有更不舒服的反应？
We have combed through the data to bust some of the myths surrounding two of the world’s favourite drinks.
Which gets you drunk more quickly?
A pint of lager and a medium glass of wine both contain around the same alcohol content – two or three British units (16-24g). However, your descent into inebriation relies on that alcohol passing into your blood stream – and the speed at which this happens can depend on the type of drink.
Mack Mitchell at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre recently asked a group of 15 men to imbibe different drinks on different days. He made sure that the alcohol content was precisely matched to their body weight – and ensured they drank the alcohol at precisely the same rate, over a 20 minute period. Unsurprisingly, spirits entered the blood stream quickest, leading to the highest peak in blood alcohol content – followed by wine (reaching a peak 54 minutes after drinking) and then beer (which peaked 62 minutes after the drink was finished). In other words, a glass of wine will go to your head more quickly than a pint of beer.
德克萨斯大学西南医学中心的迈克·米切尔 (Mack Mitchell) 最近安排了 15 名男性在不同日子里饮用不同的酒品。他确定酒精含量是与测试者的体重准确匹配的，并确保他们在 20 分钟内以同样的速度摄入酒品。烈酒毫无悬念地最快进入到了血液当中，导致其中的酒精含量出现最高峰值，接着便是红酒（饮酒54分钟后才在血液达到峰值），然后才是啤酒（饮酒62分钟后，才于血液中达到峰值）。 换句话说，一杯红酒要比一品脱啤酒更容易上头。
Verdict: Beer is less likely to lead to embarrassment
Which gives you the biggest paunch?
At face value, the myth of the beer belly should be true. Alcohol itself contains calories, not to mention all the sugars that make our favourite drinks so tasty. And at around 180 calories, a pint of beer has 50% more energy content than a small glass of wine – enough to cause you to pile on the pounds.
表面上来看，啤酒肚的神话应该是真的。 酒精本身就含有卡路里，更不用说那些让我们钟爱的佳酿变得美味非常的糖分了。 一品脱啤酒与一小杯红酒的热量均为约 180 卡路里，但啤酒却比红酒多 50% 的能量成分，这便足以让你长胖了。
For moderate drinkers, however, the differences seem to be minimal. A recent review of studies concluded that neither wine nor beer drinkers tend to put on weight over the short-term. The authors noted, however, that the longest study had lasted just 10 weeks. The studies could have missed minor weight gain – and even 1kg (2.2lbs) over that period would eventually add up to a beer belly weighing 25kg (55lbs) over five years. That’s the equivalent to carrying 10 full-term babies.
但对饮酒适量的人们来说，这种差异是微乎其微的。 最近的研究评估显示，无论饮用红酒还是啤酒，饮酒者在短期内是不会长胖的。 但作者发现，这些研究中时间最长的也只持续了 10 周。这些研究可能忽略了细微的体重增长，即便在此期间只长了 1 公斤（2.2 磅），但五年下来最终也会增重 25 公斤（55 磅），长出啤酒肚。 那就相当于在肚子里带了 10 个足月的宝宝。
(On the plus side, the commonly held view that beer may cause men to develop breasts is almost certainly an unfounded myth.)
Verdict: Slim differences, but wine may have the edge
Which gives the worst hangover?
Despite their best efforts, scientists have yet to conquer the drinker’s most formidable foe: the hangover. We don’t even fully understand what causes it. Dehydration is likely to be an important factor (alcohol makes us pee more liquid than we take in) but it may also be caused by some of the byproducts of fermentation. Called congeners, these organic molecules give each drink its unique flavour and aroma, but they may also be toxic to the body, resulting in the throbbing head and nausea that usually follows a night of excess.
纵然竭尽全力，科学家们还是无法战胜最强大的敌人：醉酒后的不良反应。 我们甚至都无法彻底弄清不良反应的原因。 脱水可能是其中的一项重要因素（酒精会致使我们排出的液体比喝进去的还多），但这种不良反应也可能是由一些发酵的副产品导致的。这些被称作衍生物的有机分子会让每一种酒产生独特的味道与芬芳，但它们也可能毒害身体，往往一夜畅饮之后，就会出现头部抽痛和恶心的症状。
In general, darker drinks are thought to contain more congeners. In fact, the evidence so far is ambiguous. Although certain dark spirits like bourbon do seem to produce a worse hangover than crystal clear vodka, different types of beer and wine so far seem to be equal. So provided you haven’t turned to the hard stuff, you can’t blame your choice of drink for your agony.
一般来说，人们认为深色饮料的衍生物含量更多。 事实上，这种说法的证据至今仍不明朗。 尽管波本等深色烈酒导致的不良反应比清透的伏特加要严重，但目前为止，不同啤酒与红酒的宿醉反应却差不多。 因此如果你还没开始喝烈性酒，就别因不良反应的痛苦而怪罪选择的酒品。
Verdict: Too ambiguous to call
Which is better (or worse) for my health?
We are often told that a glass of wine a day could help rejuvenate the body, reducing our risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. This life-giving sustenance is thought to come from “polyphenols” (found especially in red wine) that soothe inflammation and mop up damaging chemicals in the body.
Beer is conspicuously absent from these health bulletins, but it too contains a fair share of polyphenols, and seems to offer modest benefits, akin to white wine but less than red wine. Clearly, none of this gives you a free pass to binge drink, but if drank in moderation, a glass a day really may keep the doctor away.
Verdict: Red wine wins hands down, but beer may be better than no drink at all
Overall verdict: When it comes to health benefits, wine edges it as the best medicine. However, beer drinkers can at least respond that their drink has the more illustrious history. In fact, some anthropologists have suggested that our taste for beer might have planted the seeds of agriculture, and therefore civilisation itself. That’s something to contemplate the next time you’re waiting at the bar.
总体结论： 说到健康益处，红酒当得起最佳药品的赞誉。 然而，啤酒爱好者至少能够回应说自己饮品的历史很光辉。 事实上，一些人类学家还曾暗示，我们对啤酒的喜爱可能还衍生出农业所需的谷种，甚至因而衍生了文明。 下次你在酒吧等酒时，你不妨想想这个问题。