A Boozy Beer That Won’t Give You a Hangover

Just add electrolytes

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Thanks to a new beer, you may never feel like this again

The aching head. The queasy stomach. The inability to get out of bed. Anyone who imbibes knows what a hangover feels like, with 75% of alcohol consumers saying they have experienced at least one in their lifetime, and 15% admitting to symptoms at least once a month.

But thanks to Australian scientists, there might finally be a cure at hand. As reported by the Australian, Researchers at Griffith University’s Health Institute in Queensland say they have invented a more hydrating beer by adding electrolytes, compounds commonly used in sports drinks, to their brew.

The new creation provides a third more hydration than a normal beer, and this increased fluid retention should also help prevent hangovers the following day. The scientists did have to reduce some of the beer’s alcohol content to about 2.3% (versus 4.8% alcohol) for best results, but they report the additional ingredients do not affect its taste.

While less headaches in the morning  are an obvious benefit to the researcher’s invention, that’s not what associate professor Ben Desbrow set out to solve when he began work on the project. Rather, the Desbrow was concerned for the welfare of laborers who ended a hard day’s work with a cold one.

“What we’ve found is that many people who sweat a lot, especially tradesmen, knock off work and have a beer,” Desbrow told the Australian Associated Press. “But alcohol in a dehydrated body can have all sorts of repercussions, including decreased awareness of risk.”

That’s where the scientists’ electrolyte-infused beer comes in. The researchers, who had their results published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, added electrolyte compounds to two commercial beers, one regular and one light, and then served the drinks to test subjects following a heavy workout. As a control, Desbrow also served some testers an unaltered version of the commercial beer.

The results showed the scientists might be on to something: “Of the four different beers the subjects consumed, our augmented light beer was by far the most well retained by the body, meaning it was the most effective at rehydrating the subjects,” said Desbrow.

So why will this new brew also help us avoid hangovers?

It turns out many of the symptoms we associate with having too much to drink are caused by too much urination. When alcohol enters the bloodstream, it blocks the creation of a chemical that allows water to be re-absorbed back into our body. Instead, our kidneys send all water right to the bladder, eventually resulting in dehydration (and multiple bathroom trips).

Not only does this cause organs to steal water from the brain — contributing to morning-after headaches — but it also causes the body to lose nutrients like potassium and sodium that are responsible for healthy cell function. An absence of these electrolyte elements causes headaches, nausea, and fatigue. The researchers’ new beer should help alleviate these symptoms by replenishing those compounds.

(MORE: Introducing Avocado Ale — and Other Odd Beers)

Of course, most certain way to avoid alcohol related dehydration is to just not drink as much. But Desbrow knows that’s a tough sell to many beer fans, and hopes his creation will help where well-meaning advice could not.

“If you’re going to live in the real world, you can either spend your time telling people what they shouldn’t do, or you can work on ways of reducing the danger of some of these socialised activities,” says Desbrow.

MORE: Budweiser Drinkers Are Most Likely to End Up in the Emergency Room

29 comments
joukot
joukot

Both electrolytes and diluting beverages have been around for 50 years or more, and they get only so far. Hangover is a mild withdrawal syndrome, and cannot be prevented, because it is caused by adaptation of brain cells to alcohol. They crave for it, and although some symptoms can be alleviated, the problem remains.

Piacevole
Piacevole

How can I get just the electrolytes, without having to deal with Gatorade, which I can't stomach?  I don't have a hangover problem, but when I'm working in heat and humidity and sweating, I get leg cramps later, which I'd like to forestall.

MelodyBakerRamdon
MelodyBakerRamdon

Plus, with such a low alcohol content, you could drink a whole case and still be sober!

JeckieLyWelle
JeckieLyWelle

Vodka or Rum anyone? Won't lead you to hang overs

aedelaossa
aedelaossa

Eat salted peanuts with your beer: replaces electrolytes, slows alcohol absorption, problem solved!

DavidBrock
DavidBrock

I thought 4.8% was already watered down.

MatOllig
MatOllig

This reminds me of how NASA spents millions of dollars developing a pen that coul work in space... only to have the Russians use a pencil.
Sometime the simplest solution works the best: moderation, and hydration.
Just don't drink too much, and make sure to drink water and Gatorade before bed.
Problem solved.

remstardougie
remstardougie

Who the hell would drink 2.3% beer? Getting a hangover with that little alcohol is a cure on it's own.

RickyGibson
RickyGibson

Electrolyes in beer a new idea?

I had to chuckle over that one. Not for the obvious reasons, but for the lack of historical perspective that bedevils our news sources.

Try a search for "Hop N Gator", a bizarre combination of Gatorade and beer once brewed by Iron City Beer (Pittsburgh, PA, naturally). According to my memory, it got shut down by a lawsuit by the Gatorade folks for unlawful use of a trademark. 

cjh2nd
cjh2nd

"The scientists did have to reduce some of the beer’s alcohol content to about 2.3% (versus 4.8% alcohol)"

no s--t the hangover is diminished, there's no freaking alcohol in it.


sammy99999
sammy99999

So you'll have to consume twice as much to achieve the same buzz. Yet hydration is only a third more, not 50% more. So it seems like the net effect would be worse than just drinking the real stuff.

quarrelladevil
quarrelladevil

Electrolytes, huh?  Sounds like a beverage that would appeal to people who like Brawndo, too.

curquhart90
curquhart90

"beer’s alcohol content to about 2.3%" What is that a beer for ants?

fistcitywebdesign
fistcitywebdesign

My local homebrew shop does not carry Electrolytes.  I'd rather just brew a 4% session beer.

neckpiece
neckpiece

At 2.3% no wonder there's no hangover.... Wow who's the genius behind this one?

joeberman334
joeberman334

2.3% alcohol?  You might as well just have a bottle of water at that point.

Classic_Brad
Classic_Brad

I'll just chase my periodical binges with Gatorade and skip all this electrolytes in my brew nonsense. 

op_loc
op_loc

Reduce the alcohol and add water? This is groundbreaking? So you will need 2x the amount of beer to get drunk, and I'm sure at that point the hangover will be there the next day. WTH?

SteelOnTarget
SteelOnTarget

I stopped reading at this point.

"The scientists did have to reduce some of the beer’s alcohol content to about 2.3% (versus 4.8% alcohol)"

Yeah, you can't get a hangover if you don't actually drink alcohol.  Great invention geniuses.  Next comes the Noble for inventing obvious things.

alastes
alastes

I decided that I did not like alcohol not long after I tried it the first few times when I was 18 or 19. The stuff is poison, pure and simple. Instead I discovered something far better...marijuana.

US1776
US1776

Just put a couple ice cubes in your beer glass and it works wonders for reducing the hangover.


.

lagoo42
lagoo42

@Piacevole Go and purchase "pydialyte". It is a beverage for children that are sick with lack of hydration and nutrition. It is a bottle with pour electrolytes and replenishes the body very fast. Many of my friends drink it for cramps during sports, I drink it with alcohol to help my hangovers. It has 100X the electrolytes Gatorade has and you can get in flavorless.

GeraldZuckier
GeraldZuckier

If you are doing marijuana you will definitely need electrolytes.

cjh2nd
cjh2nd

@alastes 

sweet, great for you. now, would you care to add something relevant?