Is your go-to hangover cure Lucozade, or another energy/sports drink?
The amount of people that swear by these isotonic drinks to cure their hangover woes is evident if you just look around a university lecture room on a Thursday morning, Tesco Value Powerade everywhere! So I wondered, is there any actual scientific reasoning behind why sports drinks provide a good hangover cure?
– They hydrate you more than other drinks
A lot of research has gone on that shows sports drinks like Powerade or Lucozade actually hydrate you better than water. This works because sports drinks contain electrolytes – specifically sodium – which helps you to retain the water you take in (rather than pee or sweat it all out at once). This water retention can make you feel much better as many of the hangover symptoms are thought to be from the dehydrating effects of alcohol.
– They release energy slowly
Another reason why these drinks may help is that they contain carbohydrates, which release energy slowly. This means you won’t get a sudden rush of energy then a big crash, but you will feel a bit better, with more energy for a longer period of time – perfect for when you have a long day ahead after a night out. The carbohydrates also increase uptake of water in the gut, so you can increase your level of hydration even more.
– Lucozade VS Sprite
A friend of mine insists that sprite is better for relieving morning after symptoms. But research actually suggests that after the sugar rush and immediately feeling better, you will get a big sugar crash and end up feeling as crap as you did earlier. Sprite is also carbonated and it is thought that these bubbles make the remaining alcohol go to your head, making the hangover cling on for longer.
– Beer with electrolytes in – could this mean hangover free beer??
A research team in Australia have invented and tested a beer with electrolytes in, they found it was a significantly more effective at keeping subjects hydrated than normal commercial beers. The subjects who drank the electrolyte beer were able to retain more water, and also had reduced hangover symptoms. They also said it tasted the same, however the alcohol percentage was much lower than regular beers. I reckon that if these beers could be made with a slightly higher alcohol content, they could be the future for those who want to drink and not suffer the next day (i.e basically everyone…). I wonder if they could add electrolytes to cocktails and wine? Now there is some research worth funding!
So, next time you have that morning after feeling, a sports drink is actually a pretty smart idea!
Till next time,