Is Soda the Best Hangover Cure?

Hitting the bars too hard can cause a load of pain and regret, even in the healthiest people. People look to hangover cures, but so many of them seem like little more than worthless.

However, it turns out that there is one hangover cure that looks promising, and it probably isn’t much further than your refrigerator door. A group of scientists based out of China has recently announced the findings of new research that indicates the best means of curing a hangover might be a simple glass of soda.
Sounds crazy, huh?

After all, soda isn’t exactly known for being healthy. With its tasty and sweet mixture of sugar, preservatives, and a pound more of sugar, most of us would consider it anything but. Then again, neither is a fun night of binge drinking. It seems that when it comes to fixing a hangover, two wrongs do make a right.

How It Works

It may seem confusing, but the reasons are actually simple to understand. The effects of a headache that make us feel so awful like fatigue, shakiness, and sensitivity to light are precipitated by the tendency to get dehydrated while drinking. In addition, drinking also hinders the body’s ability to conduct the proper production of hormones.

According to the study that was mentioned earlier, the effects of alcohol on the body may be affected by what you drink after you’re done imbibing. Alcohol isn’t the real culprit when it comes to hangovers. It’s actually the result of acetaldehyde, which the liver produces as it processes alcohol in the body. The acetaldehyde is then broken down into acetate.

Although, also a byproduct of alcohol, unlike acetaldehyde, acetate is in the clear when it comes to causing hangover symptoms. In fact, acetate is more than likely one of the key factors to many of the positive benefits to drinking alcohol that are making the news these days. If that’s the case, wouldn’t it make sense to want to convert acetaldehyde into acetate with as few steps as possible?

In other words, how do you turn acetaldehyde into acetate quickly and efficiently? This is just the clever question the scientists asked in their research. What they discovered was surprising. Looking at soda and herbal tea, they found that the tea was actually worse for curing hangovers. Herbal teas are rich in antioxidants and these antioxidants raise levels of ADH in the body. ADH is an enzyme that inhibits acetaldehyde from converting into acetate, thereby making hangovers even worse than they would have been.

Sprite and soda water, on the other hand, effectively increase ALDH. ALDH is another enzyme, but it does just the opposite. It transforms acetaldehyde into acetate much more rapidly.

The Bottom Line

There’s no doubt about it, hangovers can be brutal, but swigging on some soda—homemade or commercial—might help lessen the worst aspects of it by raising a helpful enzyme, ALDH which can annihilate your hangover. However, there are some things you should keep in mind before you rush out to your local convenience store in search of soda.

Although much less fun and tasty to sip on to the average sugar addict, carbonated water has been shown to be just as effective. With nothing but fizz and water, it has fewer calories than other commercial sodas and no sweetener of any kind. It is, therefore, the healthier choice.

Of course, the healthiest choice is simply to not drink so much that you might end up with a hangover in the morning. But for those times when having a little too much fun is unavoidable, having some soda after doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.

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