If you’re getting ready to tie one on tonight, there may finally be a way to say "goodbye" to the next morning’s regret once and for all. According to a study performed in Australia, pears will help you prevent a hangover. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CISRO) researched the benefits of consuming the humble fruit and published their findings last summer in the journal Horticulture Innovation Australia. In their preliminary study, they found that drinking 7.4 ounces or 220 mL (which is a little less than a cup) of pear juice before a night out would minimize the next morning’s hangover. Could this be the ultimate hangover secret that we’ve been waiting for? Could something as simple as pear juice fix the throbbing head, upset stomach, and dizziness? On behalf of martini-lovers everywhere, please tell me it’s true!
However, before you rush to your local supermarket to stock up on fruit before Friday night — not just any old pear will do. The study was performed solely with Asian pears. These tasty fruits were originally cultivated in Japan, China, and Korea, and were first brought to America in the 1800s. Their rounded shape and a crisp texture are similar to an apple, but they also stand apart with a sweet, grainy flesh and melon-like flavor. They are delicious eaten raw, though drinking the pear juice also has the same hangover prevention benefits.
Pears have been found to have many health benefits including lowering cholesterol and inflammation, as well as relieving constipation. But according to the study's lead researcher, Professor Manny Noakes, Asian pears also have enzymes that can quicken alcohol metabolism and fight alcohol absorption. Blood acetaldehyde levels were reduced as well by consuming these pears prior to drinking. This is a very good thing, since blood acetaldehyde is a potentially toxic metabolite, supposedly accountable for the unpleasant hangover symptoms.
It was reported that hangover severity was reduced by 16 percent to 21 percent in the pear juice group when compared to the placebo drink group. The hangover was measured on a 14 item symptom scale, Professor Noakes said in an interview for the CSIRO blog. She does not specify the symptoms, but according to Medical Daily, after imbibing, alcohol prompts your body’s inflammatory response which makes you feel sluggish, hazy, and affects your concentration. Drinking also produces excess stomach acid leading to nausea, and your blood sugar levels plummet leaving you feeling shaky. Noakes explains that there were many differences between the two groups, "With the most pronounced effect seen on the specific symptom of ‘trouble concentrating’."
While research is still in the early stages, there seems to be no harm in upping your intake of Asian pears. This special fruit is a good source of fiber and potassium, as well as vitamin B2, C, and E. So this weekend, when you have a big night of drinking ahead, see if the fruit theory works for you.
Shots of pear juice all around!