Christopher Talbot

Soon beer may actually quench your thirst.
Soon beer may actually quench your thirst. Photo: Arsineh Houspian

Quenching a hard earned thirst with a big cold beer just got better for you – thanks to the work of some clever Queensland scientists.

Researchers from Griffith University's health institute have discovered that it is possible to substantially improve the hydrating effects of the amber ale.

By adding electrolytes, an ingredient commonly found in sports drinks, and reducing the alcohol content researchers found that beer could become even more refreshing. And the best news for beer drinkers is that the taste of the modified brews didn't change.

As part of the study, the researchers modified two commercial beers, one regular strength and one light beer. They then gave them to volunteers who had worked up a sweat after exercise to test fluid recovery.

Associate Professor Ben Desbrow said the light beer which had been combined with electrolytes provided the best level of hydration.

"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," he said.

Professor Desbrow said it was more effective to tell people how to minimise dehydration than telling them not to drink.

"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 socialised activities," he said.

The new super beer paves the way for products to be developed that could reduce the likelihood of the dreaded hangover; so it's a triumphant day for beer drinkers everywhere.