Low-calorie beer created a beer revolution long before craft brewing came into vogue. Now, researchers have their sights set on another possible beer breakthrough: a brew that will keep you from getting a hangover.
A team of researchers at Griffith University in Australia believe the key to creating a low-hangover beer might be as simple as adding electrolytes into the ingredients. “Beer itself is not what I would call a dehydrator, but it's a very poor rehydrator,” Ben Desbrow, the associate professor leading the research, told Stuff.co.nz. Electrolytes, the key component of drinks like Gatorade, have been proven to aid in hydration. One of the team’s studies showed that adding electrolytes to low-alcohol beer helped keep participants hydrated, even more so than reducing alcohol levels and keeping people hydrated could help reduce hangovers. Unfortunately, full-strength beer proved to be less effective in the group’s study.
However, adding electrolytes isn’t as easy as it may sound. The electrolyte used in the study was sodium, also known as salt. Salty beer probably isn’t going to be a hot new style anytime soon. Still, researchers believe with the right formula, electrolyte-enhanced beers could possibly be made palatable to your average drinker.
Researchers stressed that the resulting beer wouldn’t be a miracle product but could be safer than getting drunk the old-fashioned way. “We're on a bit of a harm-minimization strategy,” Desbrow was quoted as saying. “We're not saying this will ever be the ideal rehydration solution.” In plain terms, your beer will never replace your water…unfortunately.