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Hangover cure finally found: Sprite

By Rob Cypher, Oct 8, 2013 | | |
  1. Rob Cypher
    Like the philosopher's stone, the cure for a hangover seems to exist only in legend.

    The magical elixir has evaded even the most determined of scientists, at least until now.

    Chinese researchers applied themselves to the problem from another angle, looking into how a hangover could be handled before it even started.

    And they claim they have found an answer: Sprite.

    It is believed that some of the nastier symptoms of a hangover are not actually caused by the alcohol itself, but by the process of the body trying to break down the alcohol.

    This is why the 'hair of the dog' is sometimes thought to work in staving off a hangover, because it prevents the body from continuing to break down the alcohol.

    After drinking, the body goes through a two stage metabolic process to break down the ethanol.

    First the liver metabolises the ethanol into acetaldehyde through an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and then it breaks it down into acetate by aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH).

    However while acetate is generally considered harmless and even responsible for some of the more beneficial effects of drinking, exposure to the more pernicious acetaldehyde actually causes the symptoms of a hangover, including nausea, vomiting and a headache.

    Researchers at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou examined the way a number of drinks affected the way the body metabolised alcohol.

    Analysing 57 different drinks, including herbal infusions, teas, and carbonated beverages, they measured their effects on ADH and ALDH and discovered each brew had a different effect.

    While some herbal teas slowed down the process, thus prolonging a hangover, Xue bi, a carbonated drink known as Sprite in Britain, was found to actually speed the enzyme’s work up. This means that Sprite could ease a hangover because it shortens the body's exposure to acetaldehyde.

    The researchers plan to perform another independent study to ensure their test results can be considered conclusive. The results were published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Food and Function.

    Felicity Morse
    The Independent (UK)
    October 8, 2013



  1. Alien Sex Fiend
    sounds too good to be true. shortening hangover by speeding up the bodily processes is not a cure. still it is something. wonder how shorter will this make hangover last... if cuts 10% of hangover total, its worthless
  2. ED50
    A hangover is just dehydration, the more alcohol you drink the higher the blood plasma concentration is and the less water you have in your system. Just drink as much water as you drank alcohol and you'll be fine the morning after.
  3. Alien Sex Fiend
    A hangover is not just dehydration, hangover is a poisoning caused by breaking down alcohol by the liver. plus dehydration, sometimes. if you are really hang, drinking water won't fix it, nor will make it better cause nausea will start.
  4. ED50
    Eh maybe I spoke too early, still, that's the only way I know getting around one. Plus, afoaf told me that a wake'n'bake usually helps as well, anyone else agree with this?
  5. rawbeer
    I find that most of the time cannabis actually makes a hangover significantly worse. It can help with mild nausea from a very mild hangover. It can make it easier to get back to sleep with a hangover. But the dizziness, brain fog, dry mouth...it makes it way worse. However if you know you'll be couch-locked in pain all day it will make sitting on your ass doing nothing more enjoyable.

    This is interesting to me because I went through a phase of consuming vast amounts of lemon-lime soda (such as sprite) and rum mixed together and it never gave me much of a hangover. I feel like I should try that again and see if it helps.

    Water will definitely help a hangover if you consume it the night before. During a hangover the effect will be minimal and chugging water hungover will just make you puke. I know a lot of people deny that there's any truth to it but a good workout always makes me feel better. I really do think that heavy sweating relieves the symptoms. The sweat will smell distinctly of alcohol, which seems like a good sign to me. Sitting around doing nothing is not good for a hangover, doing something to get your metabolism moving is better.

    But how long has mankind searched for a hangover cure? Certainly as long as we've been drinking, so more than 6,000 years. If there was a hangover cure to be discovered I think we would have found it at least by the Medieval era, back when Europeans pretty much drank nothing whatsoever that wasn't alcoholic. I think back then they just woke up and started plowing fields. Hungover/drunk was probably just "how I feel all the time" to them. And we wonder why the world is so fucked, when this is how civilizations developed...

    I know of two things that will always make me feel better when hungover:

    1) More alcohol, which is obviously a nasty trade-off, but sometimes it just hurts so bad you can't stand it.
    2) Amphetamines.

    Combine the two and a hangover becomes a fun day. But what REALLY works overtime is not drinking to excess. Curing a problem created by a drug with a different drug is like fixing a broken leg by doing pull ups...
  6. Impure157
    The best hangover cure I know of is a combo of the modified amino acid Acetyl-cysteine and some thiamine (viamin B1). Taken within 20 minutes of drinking and it'll prevent at least the most severe if not nearly all of the symptoms of a hangover.
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