Australian scientists have created a beer, which they claim can prevent dehydration and may even spell the end of the dreaded hangover.
While beer has long been known to contain positive nutrients resulting from its plant origins and fermentation process, the alcohol content means it goes out faster than water, which increases dehydration. Dehydration is one of the main causes of alcohol hangover.
Scientists at the Griffith Health Institute (GHI) created the brew by adding electrolytes - minerals that keep the body's fluid levels in balance and are commonly added in sports drinks. They also had to reduce alcohol content in the beer to improve hydration.
"We basically manipulated the electrolyte levels of two commercial beers - one regular strength and one light beer - and gave it to research subjects who'd just lost a significant amount of sweat by exercising. We then used several measures to monitor the participant's fluid recovery to the different beers," said associate professor Ben Desbrow from GHI's Centre for Health Practice Innovation.
"Of the four different beers the subjects consumed, our augmented light beer was by far the most well retained by the body, meaning it was the most effective at rehydrating the subjects.
"The "improved' light beer was actually a third more effective at hydrating a person than normal beer," Desbrow said.
However, researchers warned against drinking beer after strenuous exercise, newsmedical.net reported.
"This is definitely not a good idea, but what we've found is that many people who sweat a lot, especially tradesmen, knock off work and have a beer; it's pretty normal. But alcohol in a dehydrated body can have all sorts of repercussions, including decreased awareness of risk," Desbrow said.
The results were published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.