Can Sprite Cure Your Hangover?

A new study suggests the fizzy drink can save the day after a night of drinking.

Researchers in China have found that drinking Sprite may prevent a hangover. Photograph via Shutterstock.

This dreary weather is just asking for you to do some serious damage to that bottle of wine waiting at home. But if you’re worried about the aftermath, researchers have a new suggestion: Drink some Sprite.

Chinese researchers conducted a study that tested 57 different types of beverages and their effects on preventing a hangover. Xue bi, or Sprite, was the clear winner.

Of course, the study didn’t use hungover humans as the guinea pigs. Instead, the researchers focused on the chemical reaction that occurs in our bodies after having a beer. Our bodies metabolize alcohol, which then produces acetaldehyde, which is oxidized into acetate. The faster the acetaldehyde converts to acetate, the faster your hangover symptoms will dissipate.

The researchers wanted to determine what type of beverages could speed up this process. They tested 40 kinds of herbal infusions, 12 types of teas, and five carbonated beverages.

Although tea and herbal drinks are touted for their health benefits, from detoxifying properties to pain relief, researchers found that when it came to alcohol, they actually slowed down the metabolic process. Green tea, for example, “seriously prohibited” the metabolism of ethanol to acetaldehyde, researchers wrote, and “drunk symptoms of humans with excessive alcohol consumption would not be relieved.”

Soda, on the other hand, sped up the process of converting acetaldehyde to acetate. In fact, xue bi (“Sprite” in Chinese) was the most effective in preventing hangover symptoms. The key, researchers suspected, is the amino acid taurine, which is found in many soft drinks. Taurine has been shown to eliminate acetaldehyde.

The full study was published in the journal Food & Function