Sprite for hangovers instead of herbal teas or tomato juice was discovered by scientists to be the most effective remedy. While Sprite alleviates the symptoms of a hangover, herbal teas and other supplements can actually worsen alcohol-related hangover symptoms, revealed a research study described by Chemistry World on Oct. 7, 2013.
“Some of the adverse effects of alcohol are thought to be caused, not by the ethanol itself, but by ethanol’s first metabolite, acetaldehyde. Ethanol is metabolised into acetaldehyde by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and then into acetate by aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). Unlike acetaldehyde, acetate is innocuous and may even be responsible for some of the positive health benefits of alcohol consumption. Therefore the key to reducing alcohol-related damage lies in minimising the amount of time acetaldehyde is present in the body.”
The unexpected effect of Sprite for hangovers was discovered by a team of Chinese scientists who found in tests on 57 drinks that the carbonated lemon-lime drink Sprite performed the best in relieving the alcohol-related symptoms.
As an explanation for Sprite alleviating the symptoms of a hangover such as nausea or a headache, the scientists found that Sprite has the ability to breakdown acetaldehyde, which as described above, is a metabolite of ethanol.
The sooner someone grabs a Sprite when feeling a hangover, the sooner acetaldehyde can be broken down, thus relieving the symptoms of a hangover.
In contrast to Sprite, the Chinese study found that herbal drinks increased the activity of acetaldehyde, resulting in prolonged symptoms of a hangover. “Consuming these drinks [herbal teas] after drinking alcohol might therefore increase exposure to acetaldehyde and promote alcohol-related symptoms.”
In response to the Chinese study on the effects of Sprite on a hangover, Edzard Ernst, a leading expert in medicinal science from the University of Exeter in the UK, described the works “as interesting.”
“These results are a reminder that herbal and other supplements can have pharmacological activities that can both harm and benefit our health.”
However, Edzard Ernst is also cautious about the effects of Sprite on a hangover and stresses that independent replications are necessary “before we fully accept the results.”