Asian Pear Juice has been making headlines this past week for its purported ability to prevent hangovers. Is Asian pear juice really a miracle cure? Let’s find out.
The Asian Pear Juice Hangover Study
A new study suggests that drinking Asian Pear Juice before consuming alcohol can mitigate the effects of a hangover.
The government-funded study was conducted in Australia (no surprise there) and suggested that drinking Asian pear juice or eating an Asian pear before drinking can prevent a hangover the next day.
The results of the study were published in Horticulture Innovation Australia. The research was conducted by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CISRO).
Hangover prevention is just one more in a long list of benefits of Asian pear juice.
Researchers first announced a link between pears and hangover prevention in July 2015, when they discovered that those who drank a 7.4 ounce container of pear juice had reduced hangover effects.
Specifically, those who drank a glass of pear juice before their first glass of wine or scotch experienced 16% to 21% reduced hangover symptoms.
Hangover severity was measured by a 14 item hangover symptom scale. Researchers tested a number of foods and treatments as part of this study but found that participants in the Korean pear group experienced significantly reduced symptoms compared to a placebo group.
The study indicated that the hangover prevention drink only works if you consume the pear (as either a whole pear or a drink) before you start drinking. Those who took the fruit during or after drinking did not experience the same hangover reduction effects.
There was also no evidence that you can take Asian pear to reduce hangover symptoms the next day. This is purely a preventative measure.
Why Does Asian Pear Work?
Asian pear is thought to prevent a hangover because it fights back against the detrimental effects that alcohol has on your system.
When you consume alcohol, it triggers a domino effect of inflammatory responses in your immune system. This makes it difficult to concentrate and can give you memory problems, among other cognitive issues.
Alcohol also makes the stomach produce too much acid, leading to abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
Most drinkers also experience a drop in blood sugar levels as a result of drinking, leading to feelings of shakiness, moodiness, weakness, and tiredness.
Asian pear juice proved particularly effective at improving drinkers’ concentration while consuming alcohol.
Scientists aren’t 100% sure why Asian pear works. However, the effects are thought to be related to the unique enzymes in the fruit.
These enzymes play an important role in speeding up alcohol metabolism and inhibiting alcohol absorption.
At the same time, the pears have been shown to reduce levels of the blood toxin acetaldehyde, which is thought to be one of the main chemicals responsible for your nasty hangovers.
What Is Asian Pear Juice?
Asian pear, also known as Korean or nashi pear, is a popular type of pear found throughout Asia. The pear’s species name is Pyrus pyrifolia. It’s native to regions throughout East Asia.
In addition to calling it the Asian or Korean pear, some people call it the Japanese pear, Chinese pear, or Taiwanese pear. Clearly, a lot of countries want to lay claim to this hangover cure.
Today, you can buy Asian pear juice at many grocery stores – especially Asian supermarkets, where it’s often sold in aluminum cans.
The fruit has a high water content and a crisp, grainy texture – making it sharply different from European pears we’re used to seeing in the western world.
The pears are commonly served raw and unpeeled. Some Asian dishes also use the pear as a sweetener instead of sugar, or to marinate meat.
The pear is relatively difficult to transport. Because of its juiciness and high water content, it can bruise quite easily. Nevertheless, it’s been known to last for several weeks when stored in a cool, dry place.
Nutritional Information for Asian Pear Juice (100 gram Serving)
The USDA database lists the following nutritional information for raw Asian pears:
Carbs: 10.65 grams
Fat: 0.23 grams
Protein: 0.5 grams
Vitamins: Vitamin B1 (1% Daily Value), Vitamin B2 (1% Daily Value), Vitamin B3 (1% Daily Value), Vitamin B5 (1% Daily Value), Vitamin B6 (2% Daily Value), Vitamin B9 (2% Daily Value), Choline (1% Daily Value), Vitamin C (5% Daily Value), Vitamin E (1% Daily Value), Vitamin K (4% Daily Value)
Minerals: Magnesium (2% Daily Value), Manganese (3% Daily Value), Phosphorus (2% Daily Value), Potassium (3% Daily Value).