Coming soon to your bar? A beer with no hangover

A research team in Australia says it's added enough electrolytes into a brew to give it rehydrating properties and therefore alleviate hangovers. But will it get you drunk?

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read
I'll have an electro-light. WSJDigitalNetwork/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Many a Sunday morning has involved millions of people all over the world wishing they hadn't had quite so much.

Their heads throb like a teenage boy's Adam's Apple on seeing Selena Gomez. Their throats are drier than a sand-technology textbook.

Yet too much beer has always, always meant one big hangover.

Now, however, sensitive Australian scientists claim they might take away at least some of the pain. They say they've created rehydrating beer.

News-Medical reports that nutrition experts at the Griffith Health Institute insist they've taken out many of the pesky dehydrative properties of beer (which cause the hangover) and still made it taste, well, like beer.

The idea was quite simple: make it more like Gatorade. In essence, the scientists added electrolytes to the beer, in order to keep mind and body afloat.

The experiment consisted of making people who'd just finished exercising (and therefore sweating) drink one of four beers. There were two full-strength brews and two of the lighter variety, one of each with electrolytes added.

Participants were asked to drink 150 percent of the amount of lost body mass due to exercise. They had to complete their drinking session in one hour.

You might imagine that beer-drinking after exercise might not be the most healthy thing to do.

On the one hand, you might never have met an English Premier League soccer player.

On the other, Associate Professor Ben Desbrow told News-Medical that many manual workers (techies, for example) do just that. They lift, run around or type and then sweat. Then they go to the pub.

Perhaps it's not surprising that the best performer with respect to hydration was the electro-light beer.

The researchers declared it one-third more effective with respect to hydration than a normal beer.

The trade-off, of course, was that the light beer had less alcohol. In each case, though, the scientists claim that no one noticed any difference in taste with any of the beers.

Many vodka drinkers have claimed over the years that they can become decidedly tipsy and then wake up entirely refreshed.

Some beer drinkers choose, after a heavy night solving the world's major issues, to drink several large glasses of water before going to bed.

This might mitigate against a hangover, though it might also cause some waking in the night to go to the bathroom.

I wonder, though, should electro-light beer become commercially available, whether people would readily select it.

Some hardened beer drinkers believe the morning-after pain is part of the experience.

Light beer is a soft (and, some feel, relatively tasteless) option already. Would an electro-light beer seem like little more -- or even less -- than an alcopop?