October 5, 2013 by 250 Beers
Science is a subject that I didn’t care for much at school. I was that kid in class who deliberately mixed all the wrong chemicals in a conical flask to create plumes of pungent, green smoke (with a mediocre blast if my luck was in). I often ended up with the type of charred face that you’d be accustomed to seeing on the bewildered face of Wile E. Coyote after a failed attempt at capturing the elusive Roadrunner using TNT. Beep-beep!
I was that kid who liked to gaze out of the window during class and day-dream about becoming a fireman like my Dad or I’d be staring out onto the school field wishing it was me out there running, scoring goals or smashing the bowler for six. During the latter years of my schooling I could be found at the back of the classroom concentrating, head down, planning the night ahead at The Pheasant, our local pub.
My dislike of a number of subjects was aided by the fact that I was amongst a generation that willingly trudged through an education schooled by the last of the real ‘old-school’ teachers. These guys were generally approaching retirement age and some were nearing an age that made them almost as rusty as the 200-year old clock tower atop the main school building. The old buggers themselves had been through a tough, British education predominantly during the 1940’s, 50’s a 60’s. It was probably awful. I wouldn’t have survived in those days. My antics would have earned me a daily dose of corporal punishment. My arse would have been caned red-raw!
These days teachers, tutors and professors are generally pretty cool guys and gals. They’re from my generation that’s why! Admittedly, they probably swotted a bit harder at school than I did to get where they are today but, hey, I did alright.
One such cool chap is Ben Desbrow. His current role as Associate Professor at Griffith University here in Brisbane along with some recent research has brought the media limelight to his laboratory.
You see, Prof D (to make him sound even cooler) has published findings that claim the dreaded hangover can be avoided by simply adding electrolytes to beer.
Clever stuff really but it’s also quite obvious. It’s commonly known that one of the main causes of a hangover is dehydration. Adding electrolytes (found in most sports energy drinks) to beer really should make a difference.
Prof D carried out extensive tests and trials on two popular (un-named) beers. As part of the study some volunteers undertook some semi-strenuous exercise to work up a sweat. They were then given four different beers to quench their thirst. Two were modified beers and the other two were simply straight from the bottle/can.
The modified beers performed (quite possibly as predicted) much better in re-hydrating the sweaty subjects.
Because I’m an inquisitive soul (some would say nosey bastard) I decided to get in touch with Prof D.
I cheekily asked him what beers were used in the tests. No doubt the worldwide media attention has brought a flurry of constant attention to this man’s daily life yet, to my surprise, he responded…and with confirmation of the beer used in the tests.
It was XXXX. Because “…it was a Queensland study after all”.
And probably got donated free of charge.
Now, hang on. The first thing that springs to mind is who in their right mind ever gets drunk enough on XXXX to worry about a hangover?! What is the world coming to if people are getting wasted and hungover on XXXX?
I told Prof D that I was a bigger fan of craft beer as opposed to mass-produced cack and asked him whether he thought his electrolytes would perform even better in beer that contained zero preservatives and all natural ingredients. He told me that the findings would no doubt be similar although there would be subtle, noticeable differences “depending on certain constituents that could affect re-hydration”. One would presume he is referring to alcohol content. Let’s face it, a few electrolytes aren’t going to help you recover after one too many fourteen percent Bacchus Cunning Ninja’s Shoguns.
If novelty electrolyte beer ever gets off the ground it’s bound to retail for a ridiculous cost. I’m no professor – just a day-dreamer remember? – but can I possibly suggest that you save your cash and opt for drinking some good old-fashioned water between beers if you’re out drinking?