While it’s true that many of us will reach for a cold brew to quench our thirst in the summer, most of us know that it’s not really the best way to get hydrated.
Fortunately, that could change in the future. Researchers from Griffith University’s health institute in Australia have recently discovered that it’s possible to make beer more hydrating.
“We basically manipulated the electrolyte levels of two commercial beers, one regular strength and one light beer, and gave it to research subjects who’d just lost a significant amount of sweat by exercising,” Ben Desbrow, one author of the study, said in a statement. “We then used several measures to monitor the participant’s fluid recovery to the different beers.”
Published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, their research found that subjects were able to replenish most of the fluid they lost with the manipulated beer.
But it doesn’t come without a catch: Though the scientists upped the beer’s hydrating effects by adding electrolytes (an ingredient found in sports drinks like Powerade and Gatorade), in doing so, they also reduced the amount of alcohol.
So what exactly are the benefits of research like this? Developments like this could supposedly help reduce the likelihood of hangovers after drinking beer. Of course, the best way to reduce hangovers is to minimize the amount of beer or other alcohol you consume, but that’s not a solution for everyone.
“If you’re going to live in the real world, you can spend your time telling people what they shouldn’t do, or you can work on ways of reducing the danger of some of these socialised activities,” Desbrow told The Sydney Morning Herald.
In the meantime, you can read our tips on how to cure a hangover.