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Forget the sunglasses and advil after a heavy night; a Chinese scientist team has suggested that what you drink following the consumption of alcoholic beverages could alter the effect of alcohol on your body.
A study entitled “Effects of Herbal Infusion, Tea and Carbonated Beverage on Alcohol Dehydrogenase and Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Activities” revealed that the carbonated drink Sprite, following tests on various drinks, emerged as the best potential reliever of hangovers and alcohol-related symptoms. The popular carbonated drink may be the answer to the age-old question: how to cure a hangover?
How Scientists Use Lemonade To Cure A Hangover
Most of the negative effects of alcohol are thought to be caused, not by the alcohol (ethanol) itself, but by ethanol’s first metabolite, acetaldehyde.
Ethanol is metabolized into acetaldehyde by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and then into acetate by aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). Acetate, Unlike acetaldehyde, is harmless and may even be responsible for some of the positive health benefits of alcohol consumption. The key, therefore, to reducing alcohol-related damage in the body lies in minimizing the amount of time acetaldehyde is present in the body.
The scientists theorized that substances which alter the activities of ADH and ALDH would consequently alter the duration of acetaldehyde exposure – heightening or lessening the effects of alcohol on the body, respectively. They team systematically tested the effects that a variety of common carbonated beverages (lemonade/sprite and 57 other beverages included) and herbal teas had on ADH and ALDH activity.
A herbal tea known as known as “Huo ma ren” was found to increase the activity of ADH, thus accelerating the metabolism of ethanol into toxic acetaldehyde, whilst also inhibiting ALDH, reducing acetaldehyde removal.
Consuming these drinks after drinking alcohol might therefore increase exposure to acetaldehyde and make your hangover worse.
In contrast, some of the drinks tested vastly increased ALDH activity, promoting the rapid break-down of acetaldehyde and minimising the harmful effects of drinking alcohol. Among these drinks were “Xue bi” and “Hui yi su da shui” (this study was performed in China, remember), carbonated drinks known in English as Sprite and soda water, respectively.
Before you rush out and start guzzling Sprite or soda water after a big night out, note that the study team said that more research is needed to further support the evidence. For now, consider giving Sobur Hangover Pills a go!