But this story from Time.com reveals a different side of Australian extremism, because the “no hangover” beer they’ve developed Down Under is extremely silly, for exactly 2.3 reasons.
That’s the ABV of the beer that researchers at Griffith University’s Health Institute in Queensland have concocted to provide “a third more hydration” than a typical 4.8 percent ABV Australian beer.
While 33 percent more hangover-preventing hydration per beer sounds nice, it begs two important questions:
a) Who the hell wants to bother with a 2.3% ABV beer?
b) Why not just drink a 12 ounce glass of water with every “typical” beer you throw back and get double the hydration?
The answers are as follows:
a) Not me.
b) because SCIENCE!
We all know that drinking alcohol makes you have to pee, but do you know the nerdy reason why? It turns out that having alcohol in your bloodstream blocks a chemical that helps the body absorb water, so our kidneys pass the fluids in our system right on to the bladder, which we then pass on to sewer pipes and septic tanks, where they do our bodies exactly zero good.
These lost fluids not only keep your body properly hydrated, they also contain electrolytes like sodium and potassium, which your cells need to function properly. Robbed of moisture, your body steals water from your brain to keep your organs hydrated, which, combined with the lack of cell-restoring electrolytes, can lead to increased intoxication and a morning full of headaches, fatigue and an undeniable craving for a Sausage McMuffin with Cheese.
While drinking extra water with your beer might help to keep you hydrated, it does little to replace the sodium and potassium your body needs. That’s where the Australian science comes in – they’ve added flavorless electrolytes to their brew, in essence creating a beer/Gatorade hybrid that keeps you from waking up and wishing you were dead.
Information on the web makes it unclear if it’s the beer’s low ABV or the addition of electrolytes that makes it a third more hydrating than a normal beer, but one could assume that lowering the alcohol-by-volume to 2.3 percent lowers the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream, thereby lessening the hydration-robbing effects of the beer. The added electrolytes are probably on board to replace what’s lost to the loo, not stem the flow of fluids.
While this beer might be based on good science, it seems to skirt common sense. I’d rather go slow, try and match every ounce of beer with an ounce of water, and keep my sodium and potassium levels up with a couple of handfuls of mixed nuts.
This way I can enjoy my coldies and wake up without feeling the need to chunder on my grundies. It’ll be a g’day indeed!