According to a recent study conducted in China, Sprite may help reduce the effects of a hangover and have you back to feeling 65% and good enough to go puke at work by noon. You know, I don't mind puking at work because most people will sympathize with you thinking you're actually sick-sick and not just a boozehound who went too hard the night before.
After drinking, the body goes through two stages of a metabolic process to break down ethanol. First the liver metabolizes it into acetaldehyde by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and then into acetate by aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). Unlike acetaldehyde, acetate is considered harmless and may even be responsible for some of the positive health benefits of alcohol consumption. But exposing the body to acetaldehyde actually causes the symptoms of a hangover, including nausea and a pounding headache.
To see what beverages could help the body better metabolize alcohol, researchers at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou analyzed 57 different drinks, including herbal infusions, teas, and carbonated beverages. The team measured their effects on ADH and ALDH, finding that each drink had a different effect.
Interestingly, some herbal teas actually slowed down the process, prolonging a hangover. But the best beverages were Xue bi, the Chinese version of Sprite, as well as soda water, which were found to speed the enzyme's process, shortening the body's exposure to ALDH.
That's very sciencey and all, but it sounds like these researchers failed to test the best hangover cure there is -- more booze. You just have to hair of the dog it, that's your answer. You know how many times I've had to take a cab to work in the morning because I took shots when I woke up to feel better? Most of them. But you know what? Screw it, it's Friday. "It's Thursday." I can't go on like this.
Thanks to Ryan, who agrees the best hangover cure is a handful of Advil, a big glass of water, and calling into work and talking like your nose is all stuffed up.