Here are a few classic hangover cures you've probably tried at least once in your life:
1. Drinking water and taking Advil before bed.
2. Eating greasy foods to soak up the alcohol, either the night of (3 a.m. Jack in the Box run!) or the morning after (hangover brunch! Bring your sunglasses and your shame).
4. Alternately, not doing anything the entire day until the hangover cures itself.
5. Just start drinking again.
6. Drink less the night before. Never.
Scientists at the Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China, conducted a study, titled "Effects of Herbal Infusion, Tea and Carbonated Beverage on Alcohol Dehydrogenase and Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Activities," that tested 57 beverages and they have given their stamp of approval to one hangover remedy...
It has to do with how your body processes alcohol. Here's the science of it all:
"[Alcohol] is metabolised into acetaldehyde by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and then into acetate by aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). Unlike acetaldehyde, acetate is innocuous and may even be responsible for some of the positive health benefits of alcohol consumption. Therefore the key to reducing alcohol-related damage lies in minimizing the amount of time acetaldehyde is present in the body."
Basically, ALDH = good, ADH = hangover.
The study concluded that: (1) Certain beverages will actually increase ADH activity, making symptoms of hangovers worse and (2) Sprite leads to quicker acetate breakdown, effectively shortening your hangover.
(Soda water also worked. But that's less delicious.)
If you're still confused, here is frat boy science: Alcohol is good. Too much alcohol makes a hangover. Hangovers are bad. Sprite makes you feel better. Conclusion: Drink Sprite.