Science, in its infinite wisdom, has graced us with an exciting new study today for anyone who loves to drink beer: apparently beer is a better pain reliever than Tylenol and other over-the-counter pain meds, according to research out of London's University of Greenwich.
The head of the study, Dr. Trevor Thompson, told The Sun that the effect of downing three or four beers "can be compared to opioid drugs such as codeine and the effect is more powerful than paracetamol." Paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen, is the off-brand chemical name for Tylenol.
Thompson's meta-analysis was published in The Journal of Pain (best name for a science journal ever) and analyzed 18 studies with 404 total subjects. All of the studies focused on alcohol intake and pain responses. Thompson's team found “alcohol is an effective analgesic that delivers clinically-relevant reductions in ratings of pain intensity.” Drinking to the legal limit of .08%, they wrote, raises a person's pain threshold.
None of this necessarily mean you should crush 10 Budweisers every time your back gets achy, of course, but it follows a string of studies that make the case that drinking beer, yes, can be good for you, whether you're working out, trying to lose weight, or want to age gracefully. Not bad, given that the news comes the same week we learned that you can drink all the coffee you want.
So go ahead, enjoy that beer, and if you're nursing a hangover with a little hair of the dog, enjoy it in bed.