August 15/Sydney, Australia/ABC -- Queensland researchers say putting electrolytes in beer could help ward off hangovers.

Griffith Health Institute researchers have found adding electrolytes can make beer up to three times more effective at hydrating. Associate professor Ben Desbrow says that is possible without impacting taste.

"This first investigation was really just having a look to see could we manipulate the electrolyte properties of beer and the alcohol content of beer to potentially influence its rehydration potential," he said. "We know that beer is a very popular drink with people, particularly after ... sport or exertion.

"From our perspective it's about exploring harm minimization approaches that may still allow people to potentially drink beer as a beverage but lower the risks associated with the alcohol consumption -- and hopefully improve rehydration potential."

Desbrow says while it is best to drink water after strenuous exercise, the modified beer could reduce the harmful effects of alcohol as well as limiting the effects of hangovers.

He says of the four beers tested, light beer was best retained by the body and was a third more effective at hydrating than normal beer.