Australia’s ‘Hydrating’ Beer: Electrolyte-Packed Drink Tastes ‘Real,’ But Can It Really Prevent Hangovers?

By Philip Ross on August 16, 2013 2:43 PM EDT

beer toast
A "hydrating" beer could be the answer to your hangovers. (Photo: Reuters)

A "hydrating" beer sounds like something made in Willy Wonka's factory. Fortunately, this beverage, packed with electrolytes, is the real deal, and even tastes just like genuine suds. It's Australian creators even say the hydrating beer can spare you from that nefarious morning hangover.

So where did this miracle brew come from, and how does the hydrating beer work?

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News-Medical reports that researchers from Griffin University in Queensland, Australia, have been looking for ways to improve the healthful qualities of beer. Beer is dehydrating, and they wanted a way to make drinking less wearing on the body.  

"If you're going to live in the real world, you can either spend your time telling people what they shouldn't do, or you can work on ways of reducing the danger of some of these socialized activities," Ben Desbrow, associate professor from the university's enter for Health Practice, told The Sydney Morning Herald.

He and his team of nutrition researchers found a way to make beer less dehydrating. They packed two different kinds of commercial beer -- one regular, one light -- with electrolytes usually found in sports drinks, and reduced the alcohol content of each.

They then tested the electrolyte-infused bubbly on volunteers who had just complete a workout and were sweating, and recorded their fluid recovery.

So does Australia's hydrating beer really work?

First, let's look at how electrolytes work in the body. Electrolytes -- minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and sodium -- affect how much water is in your body. They also control other important processes, like the acidity of your blood and muscle function.

Each mineral serves to maintain water balance in a slightly different way. Chloride, for example, helps the body break down protein and minerals. Sodium activates the thirst response and enables normal muscle contraction. Potassium supports nerve impulse transmission.

When we sweat, we lose these electrolytes. So replenishing them after a workout is important in stabilizing body functions.

Additionally, drinking alcohol also depletes the body of essential liquids by causing the body to produce more urine. Urinating more leads to dehydration, and in turn leads to the infamous hangover. 

According to Desbrow, the hydrating beer actually did succeed in hydrating the volunteers in the study.

"Of the four different beers the subjects consumed, our augmented light beer was by far the most well retained by the body, meaning it was the most effective at re-hydrating the subjects," he said.

And according to the Sydney Morning Herald, the modified beer even tasted like the original.

Phew! A bad-tasting beer that hydrates you might as well be water.

Read more from iScience Times:

Beer Brain Study: Is Just A Taste Of Beer Enough To Increase Dopamine Levels In Brain?

Beer Heart: A Pint A Day Boosts Cardiovascular Health [STUDY]

Top Beer-Drinking States: July 4th Sales To Exceed $1 Billion, Where Does Your State Rank?

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