A new study kinda, sorta confirms something we secretly knew all along about the magical, healing qualities of beer. Published in the Journal of Pain, the research demonstrates how the alcoholic beverage is actually a more effective painkiller than paracetamol, a pain-relieving, fever-reducing medication found in over-the-counter pills like Tylenol and Panadol.
Researches at the University of Greenwich in London combed through 18 different studies on the subject to find that sipping on two pints of an ice-cold brew (or increasing the blood alcohol content by about 0.08 percent) increases pain resistance more effectively than paracetamol. This definitely explains why it doesn’t hurt that bad when you accidentally stub your toe while drinking versus when you’re sober.
Before you start raising glasses and chugging beers to alleviate headaches, it’s important to note that the researchers voiced some concerns about the study’s findings, particularly as it relates to alcohol abuse. As the authors noted, although alcohol offers “clinically-relevant reductions” in pain intensity, this “could explain alcohol misuse in those with persistent pain despite its potential consequences for long-term health.” We agree that too much alcohol isn’t good for the body, and it isn’t a substitute for addressing any underlying health issues causing you pain. But a little here and there clearly has its health benefits!