Sprite is the best cure for a hangover, Chinese researchers claim
Sun Yat-Sen University researchers discover that Xue bi, or Sprite, can minimise the harmful effects of alcohol
Sprite is one of the best cures for a hangover, Chinese researchers have discovered. A team from Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou looked into ways of preventing a hangover, starting with the hypothesis that what someone drinks after the consumption of alcohol could alter the effect alcohol has on the body.
They analysed the metabolic processes that the body goes through when drinking alcohol, and found that when breaking down ethanol, the body goes through two stages.
Firstly, the liver uses an enzyme known as alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) to break down the ethanol into acetaldehyde, believed to be the cause of hangovers including symptoms such as a headache, nausea and vomiting. This metabolite is then broken down into acetate by another enzyme, aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). Acetate is considered harmless and even responsible for some of alcohol’s health benefits.
The scientists analysed 57 different non-alcoholic drinks, including herbal infusions, tea and carbonated beverages, and the impact they had on the body’s metabolism of alcohol. They hypothesised that drinks that altered the activities of the two enzymes would affect the body’s exposure to acetaldehyde and therefore the alcohol-related symptoms experienced.
Some herbal teas, including a herbal infusion with huo ma ren seeds, also known as hemp seeds, increased the activity of ADH while inhibiting ALDH, therefore slowing down the breakdown of acetaldehyde into acetate and prolonging the hangover.
However, some drinks increased the ALDH activity, causing acetaldehyde to break down at a faster pace and minimising the harmful effects of alcohol. Among these drinks was Xue bi, known as Sprite.
The researchers, whose findings have been published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Food and Function, plan to next conduct the tests in living organisms.