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Study: Sprite Appears To Minimize Hangover Symptoms

(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Feeling like death the morning after too many cocktails? A recent study’s findings suggest you might want to reach for a Sprite.

A group of Chinese researchers from Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou looked into how to minimize hangovers and found that the carbonated lemon-lime soda had the greatest positive effect on those suffering from a hangover.

While everyone knows the symptoms of a hangover (headache, stomachache, shakiness), not many understand why they happen. According to Chemistry World, the unfortunate side-effects of too much drinking are thought to be caused not by the ethanol in alcohol, but by ethanol’s first metabolite, acetaldehyde. Scientists say ethanol is first metabolised into acetaldehyde by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), and then into acetate by aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). While acetaldehyde is harmful, acetate is not; therefore, it’s believed that in order to reduce hangover symptoms, drinkers need to reduce the time acetaldehyde is present in the body.

Based on this information, the Sun Yat-Sen researchers hypothesized that substances that change the enzymes alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) would alter the time acetaldehyde spends in the body and went on to test the effects a number of carbonated liquids and herbal teas had on ADH and ALDH activity. What they found is that some of the drinks “markedly increased” ALDH activity and could minimize hangover symptoms, particularly Sprite and soda water.

While the study’s lead scientists say more research is necessary, preliminary findings suggest you might want to stock up on Sprite the next time you plan to hit the town hard.

For more on the study, click here.

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