Sprite - the ultimate hangover cure?

Yahoo Lifestyle

The answer to a boozy night and drinking a few alcoholic beverages too many could be another drink that's generally not considered very good for you.

Scientists have concluded that Sprite is the best cure for a hangover - beating competition from herbal teas, coffee and other fizzy drinks.

The reason we get hungover is because alcohol does some pretty horrible things to our body. It's dehydrating and so the body takes water from the brain in order for the other organs to function - which is why you're often groggy and a bit slow after a night on the sauce.

And that's also a key reason for that pounding headache you may recognise, as the brain decreases in size (it's usually made of 75 per cent water) and pulls on the membranes that connect it to the skull.

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As well as dehydrating you, alcohol also stops your body making a key hormone called vasopressin. Without this, the kidneys send water straight to the bladder, rather than reabsorbing some into the body - so you urinate more, making you even more thirsty and dehydrated as you lose electrolytes, sodium and potassium. Low levels of these cause nausea and pain.

So far so miserable. But where does Sprite come into this?

Alcohol contains ethanol, which is a poison and the body needs to break it down and expel it.

The liver breaks down ethanol into acetaldehyde using an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH). It then breaks that down into acetate using aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH).

The quicker the body manages to break down the acetaldehyde, the faster you'll feel better, as it's responsible for some typical hangover symptoms including feeling and being sick and a headache.

Researchers in China found that Sprite helped to speed up the work of the enzymes, in breaking down the acetaldehyde. And unexpectedly, they also discovered that some herbal teas actually prolonged it, thereby lengthening the amount of time you feel awful.

So while we wouldn't usually condone glugging down too much sugary pop, if you've had a heavy night, it might be the lesser liquid evil.

What's your go-to hangover cure? Share your secret with us on Twitter.