Planning on having a few drinks over the festive season? Chances are, then, that like many other Aussies, you’ll be nursing a few wicked hangovers during the holidays.
Thankfully, scientists have come up with what they say is a proven hangover cure – and it sounds surprisingly palatable! In fact, a drink made of pear, sweet lime and coconut water could be the ultimate food-based hangover cure, new research suggests.
A study published in Current Research in Food Science found the combination of juices may help your body flush out alcohol more successfully. And drinking this combo while eating cheese, cucumber and tomatoes may ease a headache and nausea even quicker.
Three researchers from the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai, India, investigated how different foods impacted the activity of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), which are the two enzymes that break down alcohol in the body.
They found the combination of pear, lime and coconut water helped boost the enzymes, by 23 per cent and 70 per cent respectively, which effectively accelerated the hangover process.
The researchers also modestly noted that compared to commercial ‘hangover cure’ drinks on the market, their pear, lime and coconut water drink was cheap and also had “good sensory appeal” i.e. it didn’t taste horrible.
On the other hand, if a strong coffee has long been your go-to hangover cure, you should stop, because the research suggested coffee actually lowered the activity of the two enzymes, causing a hangover to drag on for longer.
The study also debunked recent claims that trendy foods rich in antioxidants could cure a hangover, saying they found no scientific evidence to back up those claims.
In a piece of entertaining academic understatement, the researchers explained that a hangover was “characterized by an unpleasant and uneasy feeling that includes, but is not limited to, headache, fatigue, drowsiness, nausea, and in some cases, vomiting” and that those characteristics were usually used by “the direct effects of alcohol”.
They acknowledged that a hangover posed “a considerable threat at the individual level” because the unpleasant feeling caused individuals to function poorly, but added that hangovers also impacted the economy due to the decrease in productive work.
That’s no doubt why humans have been looking for the elusive cure for a hangover probably since the morning after the day alcohol was invented.
There’s certainly no shortage of cures drinkers are willing to try. In Poland, pickle juice is the favourite post-alcohol pick-me-up. It’s believed that tossing back pickle juice right before bed can prevent a nasty hangover in the morning.
Plenty of people reckon tucking into a full English breakfast the day after a big night combats nausea, and there’s some scientific backing for that, based on the theory that grease helps ‘soak up’ alcohol.
Even if it doesn’t work, loading up on crispy bacon rashers and sausages sounds like a delicious way to bring in the holidays!
If your preferred breakfast is a traditional bit of Vegemite on toast, however, you’re still onto a good thing because our beloved spread is also fantastic hangover cure due to the salt and B vitamins it contains.
Alcohol is known to deplete a variety of nutrients in your body, including B vitamins, so having foods rich in these vitamins and minerals is a good strategy to help lessen the hangover.