FOR years people have argued over what they believe is the essential remedy after a heavy night - from a strong coffee to a hair of the dog.
But now it has been revealed that revellers who go for the healthy option and console themselves with a herbal tea could actually be making their hangover worse, whilst a can of fizzy pop - in particular Sprite - could speed up recovery.
Edzard Ernst, Professor of complementary medicine at the University of Exeter, told Chemistry World: “These results are a reminder that herbal and other supplements can have pharmacological activities that can both harm and benefit our health.”
A team of Chinese scientists found in tests on 57 drinks that Sprite performed the best in relieving the alcohol-related symptoms.
Some symptoms, such as nausea and a headache, are thought to be caused by the process of the body breaking down the alcohol.
Our livers release an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), which breaks down the ethanol in alcohol into a chemical called acetaldehyde. This is then broken down into a chemical called acetate - which is linked to some health benefits of alcohol - by an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH).
The key to aleviating the damaging effects of alcohol is reducing the time that acetaldehyde is in the body, they concluded.
Some drinks, including a herbal tea made from hemp seeds, increased the length of the ADH process, and inhibited the ALDH process, tests showed, whereas Sprite was amongst the drinks which sped up the first process, therefore reducing the damaging effects of the alcohol.
Professor Ernst stressed that more research was needed to confirm the findings.