The next time you’re recovering from an insane night of drinking — you know, a typical Tuesday morning — you may want to reach for some Sprite. A study conducted by Chinese researchers at Sun Yat-Sen University shows that the lemon-lime soda may be the key to curing hangovers.
After a night of boozing, the body experiences two stages of metabolic process to break down the ethanol alcohol found in liquor. The first stage consists of the liver metabolizing ethanol into acetaldehyde through an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), and the second stage then breaks it down into acetate with the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). For the most part, acetate is pretty harmless and even responsible for more of the beneficial effects of drinking, acetaldehyde, however, is to blame for all those nasty symptoms that come with a hangover, including nausea, vomiting and headaches.
After analyzing 57 drinks, ranging from herbal teas to carbonated beverages, researchers found that Sprite actually sped up the enzymes ADH and ALDH’s work, subsequently shortening the body’s exposure to acetaldehyde. Or a simpler way to put it:
Hangover + Sprite = Less exposure to acetaldehyde = Shorter hangover!!!
Now before you start chugging half a dozen cans of Sprite, you may want to keep in mind that acetaldehyde is only partially responsible for hangovers. Things like alcohol-induced dehydration, changes in blood sugar and inflammatory response also play into the icky side-effects of boozing.
Researchers still have a few things to flush out within the study, but hey, we’re that much closer to the cure for lushes everywhere, so let’s drink to that!