As refreshing as it may seem to have a nice cold beer on a blistering hot summer day it's a decision that most people will end up regretting since alcohol actually dehydrates a person as they consume it. That dehydration is what leads to waking up in the middle of the night with a super dry mouth and, even worse, dehydration is the cause of hangovers.
Scientists in the beer-loving country of Australia decided that instead of urging people to give up drinking beer to avoid dehydration they should just invent a beer that doesn't dehydrate the drinker. That's exactly what researchers from Griffith University's health institute did by adding electrolytes to ale, according to the Huffington Post.
The scientists found that if they lowered the alcohol content of the brew slightly while adding electrolytes, sodium and potassium salts commonly found in sports drinks, that drinkers found the beer to be more refreshing while not being able to detect a taste difference, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
"Of the four different beers the subjects consumed, our augmented light beer was by far the most well retained by the body, meaning it was the most effective at re-hydrating the subjects," Associate Professor Ben Desbrow said in a statement.
Desbrow believes that telling people to just stop drinking would be a fruitless effort; it would be more beneficial to give people a way to still drink while minimizing the threat of dehydration.
"If you're going to live in the real world, you can either spend your time telling people what they shouldn't do, or you can work on ways of reducing the danger of some of these socialized activities," Desbrow said.
What Desbrow was most worried about was when people start drinking after strenuous physical activity when their body may already be dehydrated.
"This is definitely not a good idea, but what we've found is that many people who sweat a lot, especially tradesmen, knock off work and have a beer; it's pretty normal," Desbrow said in a statement. "But alcohol in a dehydrated body can have all sorts of repercussions, including decreased awareness of risk."
So far it appears as if there aren't any brewers who have decided to experiment with adding electrolytes quite yet so it might take a little while for hydrating beers like the ones created by Desbrow to hit your local watering hole. Until then make sure you drink plenty of glasses of water along with your beer to avoid the threat of dehydration.