Looking for a hangover cure? Scientists say drink Sprite

If you have been out partying hard on Friday and Saturday and now have woken up with a shockingly bad hangover, science may have a cure for you - Sprite.

A group of Chinese researchers claim that they have identified the perfect hangover cure - and it's that drink that you can buy in any supermarket, "Sprite."

The researchers from Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou conducted a series of experiments on 57 beverages and found out that Sprite helps the body metabolise the by-products of alcohol more quickly, Huffington Post reported.

The authors of the research paper said that while drinking tons of alcohol could lead to a bad hangover, the culprit isn't just the booze itself, it's how it's broken down.

The team found that hangovers are caused "not by the ethanol itself, but by ethanol’s first metabolite, acetaldehyde," Chemistry World explained.

Researcher Hua-Bin Li and his colleagues determined that when the liver processes alcohol, also known as ethanol, it creates several harmful chemical by-products. One of these is acetaldehyde, which causes the feelings of a hangover.

Chemistry World explained: "Ethanol is metabolised into acetaldehyde by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and then into acetate by aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH).

"Unlike acetaldehyde, acetate is innocuous and may even be responsible for some of the positive health benefits of alcohol consumption. Therefore the key to reducing alcohol-related damage lies in minimizing the amount of time acetaldehyde is present in the body."

Simply put, acetaldehyde is eventually turned into acetate by the body, which does not cause hangover symptoms and instead may have some health benefits.

The scientists theorised that certain drinks can impact the body's metabolism of alcohol, and thus alleviate hangover symptoms. In the study, the team identified Sprite to be that super hangover cure.

The 57 beverages the team tested included various carbonated drinks, a hemp seed beverage and an assortment of teas.

They discovered that a herbal drink made with hemp seeds actually increased the length of the ADH process and inhibited the ALDH process, so a hangover would last for longer.

While herbal teas were observed to slow down this metabolic process, Sprite and soda water were observed to up the activity of the enzyme that turns acetaldehyde into acetate.

The study appears to open up interesting possibilities to a future hangover cure, but experts warn the public against going out to stock their fridges full of Sprite.

Edzard Ernst, a medicinal science expert from the University of Exeter, told Chemistry World that he found the study interesting, but feels that more research is needed on the subject.

This isn't the first scientific analysis of a hangover cure reported this year. Dr. Alyson E. Mitchell, a food chemist at the University of California at Davis, looked closely at the New Orleans-based hangover cure, Yak-a-mein soup. She found, for example, eggs in the soup help clear acetaldehyde from the body.

Click through the gallery below on other hangover cures commonly hyped upon: