Gatorade, a strong cup of coffee, even hair of the dog ¡ª everyone has their own idea of the best liquid cure to fix that pounding head, disarming nausea, and unquenchable thirst that comes with a helluva hangover. The problem? A lot of the techniques we swear by aren’t actually backed by science. A research team from Australia, though, has found promising results in a sweet surprise: pear juice. (Although waking up like this too often is definitely one of 8 Signs You’re Drinking Too Much Alcohol.)
Scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have been sifting through existing research looking for hidden benefits of pears. While the literature review is still ongoing, their first pass has revealed that when people drink Korean pear juice¡ªalso known as Asian pear juice¡ªbefore heading out for the night, they experience less harsh hangovers the next day.
“In our initial reviews, we can see reductions in blood acetaldehyde levels¡ªthe toxic metabolic thought to be responsible for hangover symptoms,” explains Manny Noakes, Ph.D., research director of Nutrition and Health with the CSIRO. Certain components in pears affect key enzymes in your body, which helps to speed up the rate at which you metabolize and eliminate alcohol (which is typically at the rate of one drink per hour), she explains. (Learn about The Body-Altering Effects of Alcohol.)
Not only does this mean you process alcohol at a healthier rate throughout the night, but also that you will feel much better the next day. In fact, those who drank pear juice saw a significant reduction in their overall hangover severity compared to those who took a placebo, particularly improving their ability to concentrate the next day, Noakes adds.
However, there is a catch: the benefit was only seen when people downed the juice before hitting the bars. If you can remember to be responsible beforehand, though, drinking roughly seven ounces of Korean pear juice may save you from a headache of a day tomorrow.
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