A combination of greasy food, coffee, and aspirin is one of the most tried-and-true ways to kill your hangover after a night of partying. And despite all of the fancy new hangover-free drinks (or even Pedialyte) that claim to prevent the feeling of nausea and headache you experience the next day, sometimes it’s the simple things that work best. Like pears. “Believe it or not, there are effects that pears may have on the amount of blood alcohol after an alcoholic drink,” Professor Manny Noakes, research director of Nutrition and Health at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
Researchers working on a study funded by Horticulture Innovation in Australia stumbled upon the interesting information while exploring the unknown health benefits of pears. In addition to the pear’s natural nutrition which includes plenty of potassium and fiber, as well as the ability to lower cholesterol it turns out that pears can battle the detrimental effects of booze. They contain anti-inflammatory features that might lower the damage of drinking heavily.
But here’s the catch: This so-called cure only works if you drink pear juice before boozing it up. It works its magic when it’s already in your system before you drink, the researchers note. “I should make the point that the effect was demonstrated if you take pear juice before alcohol consumption,” Noakes told ABC. “So there is no evidence that you can take pear after alcohol consumption. Once you have a hangover, there is no evidence that it will do you any good.”
In addition to pears, asparagus has proven to be a good food to break down alcohol in the body. In a 2009 study, researchers found that amino acids in asparagus boosted the speed of cells that worked to break down alcohol, preventing damage from its toxic byproducts. Bananas and pretzels, meanwhile, push a lot of salt and potassium into your system, both of which are helpful in fighting the ill effects of alcohol. It’s all about electrolytes and these fruits and snacks can replenish your tired, haggard, booze-bag body.
Research has also pinpointed a particular type of cactus known as a prickly pear, which has shown promising effects as a hangover cure as well. A prickly pear extract can counter the effects of alcohol inflammation in your liver, mitigating headaches and nausea. Noakes and the research team at CSIRO will be presenting their final paper in two months, providing new information about the nutritional value of pears — and what further things to research. Perhaps pears as a hangover cure is a good starting point.