New Hangover-Free Alcohol Will Change Your Life

Illustration by Assa Ariyoshi.
How many times have you woken up with a disgusting hangover after a heavy night and vowed never to drink again? Well, this common plight could one day be a thing of the past, thanks to a new type of synthetic alcohol that has been in development in the United Kingdom and which may completely replace regular alcohol by 2050, The Independent reports.

Alcosynth, the new drink, is non-toxic and designed to create the same positive effects of alcohol, but without the debilitating morning-after symptoms, such as headache, nausea, and overall ick-feeling.

The drink was created by Professor David Nutt, DM, from Imperial College London, a widely respected neuroscientist who used to advise the U.K. government on drug policy. He has patented around 90 alcosynth compounds, two of which are currently being "rigorously tested" tested for widespread use, he told The Independent.

Dr. Nutt even said he hopes alcosynth will completely replace alcohol by 2050 – within most of our lifetimes.

Alcosynth's effects last for the same length of time as those of normal alcohol, but Dr. Nutt explains that alcosynth would make it impossible to feel drunker than you would if you'd had about four or five alcoholic drinks.

"People want healthier drinks," Dr. Nutt said. “The drinks industry knows that by 2050, alcohol will be gone." He said the drinks industry has "been planning for this for at least 10 years. But they don't want to rush into it, because they're making so much money from conventional alcohol.”

As well as making you hangover-free, drinking synthetic alcohol also removes the risk of liver and heart damage. “It will be there alongside the scotch and the gin, they'll dispense the alcosynth into your cocktail, and then you'll have the pleasure without damaging your liver and your heart,” Dr. Nutt told The Independent.

“They go very nicely into mojitos. They even go into something as clear as a Tom Collins. One is pretty tasteless; the other has a bitter taste," he added.

The specific formulas of the new drinks remain secret. Dr. Nutt and his team created them by researching substances that have a similar impact on the brain as alcohol. “We know a lot about the brain science of alcohol; it's become very well understood in the last 30 years,” Dr. Nutt said.

“So we know where the good effects of alcohol are mediated in the brain, and can mimic them," he added. "And by not touching the bad areas, we don't have the bad effects.”

Unfortunately, it could be a while before we're able to order an alcosynth cocktail during happy hour, due to the cost of funding research into the drug, and potential concerns over regulations.

If or when alcosynth does become widely available, it could improve lives and transform public health. We can't wait.

More from Diet & Nutrition