Scientists Develop Beer That Doesn't Give You A Hangover

Adrian Pike, 'Beer,' via Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0.

Nausea, a very sore head, and possibly some feelings of regret and shame: it’s the dreaded hangover that none of us look forward to. One of the reasons that drinking too much alcohol causes you to feel so rough the next day is that it leads to an increase in urine production, which makes you dehydrated.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could chug away at your favorite beer without experiencing this unpleasant side effect? Well, it turns out that a group of Australian nutrition researchers have already been working on achieving just that, and managed to brew up a “hangover-free” beer last year. While it might make you feel a little less groggy the next day, it can’t unfortunately take away the beer goggles that inevitably accompany the sweet, amber nectar.

To make their wonder beer, scientists at Griffith University’s Health Institute added electrolytes—substances that affect the amount of water in your body—to two different commercial beers, one regular strength and one light. They then gave the beverages to volunteers that had just completed a rigorous work out.

Light beer laced with electrolytes was found to be three times more hydrating than normal beer, although the researchers caution that drinking alcohol after exercise is still not the wisest idea because it can have all sorts of nasty effects, such as decreased risk awareness. However, they accept that telling people what they should and shouldn’t do is often a fruitless endeavour, so working towards reducing danger is probably a better way to approach the situation.

“We know that beer is a very popular drink with people, particularly after sport or exertion,” scientist Ben Desbrow told ABC News. “From our perspective it’s about exploring harm minimization approaches that may still allow people to potentially drink beer as a beverage, but lower the risks associated with the alcohol consumption—and hopefully improve rehydration potential.”

Unfortunately, the beer was only found to be rehydrating when products with a low alcohol content were used. Apparently the participants couldn’t taste the difference, although I’m sure some beer connoisseurs are raising their eyebrows right now. We don’t mind offering our services as taste testers. Bottoms up!  

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