October is pear season, the one month of the year when pear flavor is at its tastiest, and it’s something heavy drinkers should take note of: According to a government-funded study conducted in Australia, the Asian pear may be able to prevent feeling hung over after a night of drinking. The findings, published in the journal Horticulture Innovation Australia, add on to pears’ already long-list of benefits, which include lowering cholesterol, relieving constipation, and providing anti-inflammatory effects.
Researchers first announced the link between pears and hangovers in July 2015; they first discovered the benefits a 7.4-ounce drink of pear juice had on someone suffering from a hangover. The (admittedly) self-induced misery reduced by 16 to 21 percent when drinkers had pear juice before their first glass of wine or scotch. “Hangover severity, as measured by a 14 item hangover symptom scale, was significantly reduced in the Korean pear group compared to those having a placebo drink,” said the study’s lead author Manny Noakes, research director of nutrition and health at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, in a press release.
Now researchers are saying that both pear juice and eating a pair offer the same protective benefits. But don’t pick up a pear when you’re feeling the effects of a hangover the next morning. This hangover trick only works if a pear (in whichever form) consumed before the drinking even begins. Researchers said the reason why it’s so effective is because it works to combat the detrimental effects of alcohol in your system as you’re imbibing.
Alcohol stirs together a cocktail of unwanted symptoms inside the body. Alcohol triggers a domino effect of inflammatory responses in your immune system, producing physical symptoms like the inability to concentrate, memory problems, decreased appetite, or loss of interest in every day activities. Alcohol also makes the stomach produce more acid, which can lead to abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting. Blood sugar levels also drop as a result of drinking, causing drinkers to feel tired, weak, shaky, and moody.
Researchers are still learning how well pears work to prevent hangovers, but thankfully there are other scientifically proven ways to reduce the worst of it. For example, have a Bloody Mary: The vitamin C in tomato juice jumpstarts the recovery process. It also contains glutathione, the same substance your body produces to help counteract toxins released during a hangover.
A banana could also be beneficial to the body because the more you drink, the more dehydrated you become; the body loses water and potassium, which can also lead to cramps, nausea, and vomiting. And potassium-packed bananas may help curtail those symptoms. Apples, too, provide a similar effect, thanks to its antioxidants, fruit sugars, and magnesium that help speed up the body’s natural detoxification process.
Whether it’s a pear or Blood Mary, these fruits are capable of combating the slew of common symptoms that come with a hangover.
Source: Noakes M. Horticulture Innovation Australia. 2015.
Written By: Samantha Olson