If you over-indulge tonight, don’t reach for the hair of the dog tomorrow. There’s a new way to cope with morning-after headache, nausea and general misery: A can of Sprite helps hangovers.
Certain chemicals in Sprite reduce the chance of a hangover headache the day after drinking too much alcohol, according to results from a small, preliminary study published in Food and Function earlier this year. Seltzer gives relief, too.
The researchers found that chemicals in a can of noncaffeinated Sprite helps hangovers by speeding up the metabolism of alcohol and changing acetaldehyde to acetate, which is not as toxic. Acetaldehyde causes hangover symptoms like nausea and headache. Eventually, acetaldehyde turns into another chemical called acetate, which does not cause hangover symptoms.
Chinese scientists recently tested 57 different beverages, including teas, herbal infusions and soft drinks. They found that Sprite (called Xue Bi in China) and seltzer broke down alcohol fastest, so a hangover headache could be relieved much sooner.
Besides headache, the misery can include some or all these symptoms:
- fatigue, weakness and thirst;
- muscle aches;
- nausea, vomiting and stomach pain;
- insufficient sleep or deep sleep and increased slow-wave sleep;
- dizziness and sensitivity to light and sound;
- lessened attention and concentration;
- depressed mood, anxiety and irritability; and
- tremor, sweating, rapid pulse and increased systolic blood pressure.
It’s not worth it. Your best bet is to prevent hangover entirely.