The worst part of indulging in alcohol has to be the side effects, which often culminate in the dreaded hangover. Headache, sluggishness, malaise, and if you had a really good time the night before, potentially vomiting and an inability to move at all.
A group of scientists are coming to the rescue with their new beer, which they claim rehydrates you as you drink it, thereby alleviating most of the negative impact drinking has on your body.
Researchers at the Griffith University Menzies Health Institute in Queensland, Australia, are trying to create the beer while simultaneously maintaining the same normal beer taste.
Speaking to ABC Gold Coast, scientist Ben Desbrow, one of the researchers on the team, said: “We’ve really concentrated on fluid rehydration initially, so looking at a beer that doesn’t leave you as dehydrated. Certainly dehydration has been proposed as being one of the factors that increases hangover severity.
“We know from previous experiments in other fluids that sodium content in particular has a large influence over rehydration. But in the context of alcohol that research is less well-established.”
The Australian team is particularly focused on developing hangover-free beer because of the large quantities people are able to consume: “People stop drinking beer not because they get sick of the taste of it, but because they have to be mindful of the consequences, whether they’re trying to avoid a hangover or they have to drive a car or they run out of money,” Desbrow explained.
The researchers are crafting the beer by manipulating essential body salts, more commonly known as electrolytes. (It only works on beer with low alcohol content, and not yet on full-strength beer, Desbrow added.)
“We know from previous experiments in other fluids that sodium content in particular has a large influence over rehydration,” Associate Professor Desbrow said. “But in the context of alcohol that research is less well-established.”
Adding electrolytes to the beer in the form of sodium “improves fluid retention,” thereby compensating for alcohol’s dehydrating effects. It’s kind of like adding Gatorade or another sports drink to beer, except less disgusting. The team says they’re hoping to achieve the right balance “between function and taste,” noting that “Any resulting product would not be a miracle product, but might provide a safer alternative for drinkers.”
Indeed, this is not a catch-all. You have no one to blame but yourself if you get out of control and drink way too much. This beer may be able to help you reduce your hangover, but it’s certainly not going to prevent alcohol poisoning or intoxication. So stay smart.