Queensland researchers search for the beer that soothes your hangover

Griffith University researchers want to survey the nation’s beer lovers. Griffith University researchers want to survey the nation’s beer lovers.
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Griffith University researchers want to survey the nation’s beer lovers.

Griffith University researchers want to survey the nation’s beer lovers.

Queensland researchers have embarked on the most noble of quests – to develop a beer that allows you to drink more while minimising your hangover. And they want to talk to Australia’s ale aficionados.

Previous research has established the importance of electrolytes in aiding hydration, but in the context of alcoholic beverages, scientific knowledge was less clear.

But Ben Desbrow, an associate professor at Griffith University who is leading the studies, said his researchers have shown that adding sodium (an electrolyte) to low- or mid-strength beer improves fluid retention, meaning the body stays better hydrated.

Improved hydration would potentially improve cognitive function after drinking, and could even reduce an imbiber’s suffering the next day, he said. Beer might be a liquid but that does not mean it keeps the body well-supplied with water.

“Beer itself is not what I would call a dehydrater, but it’s a very poor rehydrater,” Associate Professor Desbrow said.

“You lose the majority of the fluid that you bring in. It doesn’t cause you to lose further fluid, but you just don’t get any benefit from the drinks that you’re having.”

Maintaining hydration while imbibing is important, especially for those who may have exerted themselves before or during their night out, perhaps on the dancefloor.

The team’s earlier studies, in which sodium (an electrolyte) was added to participants’ alcoholic drinks, showed electrolytes assisted hydration in low-alcohol beer, but had no significant effect in full-strength beer.

But at low strengths, the effect of adding sodium was more pronounced than reducing alcohol concentration by a small amount, the study showed.

The 12 male participants were made to exercise before drinking various strengths of beer. The light beers contained two different doses of sodium – those with the higher dose had “significantly lower” urine output following the drinking session, and their “significantly higher” net body mass showed they had retained more liquid.

The study used a “repeated measures design”; each volunteer participated in four separate trials. The results were published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

Now, in order to get the balance right between function and taste, the researchers want to survey regular beer drinkers to better understand how and why people consume the amber ale.

“As a scientist I’ve got a very good idea of what to do in a lab, but I don’t understand consumer behaviour,” Associate Professor Desbrow said.

Any resulting product would not be a miracle-product, but might provide a safer alternative for drinkers.

“We’re on a bit of a harm-minimisation strategy,” he said. “We’re not saying this will ever be the ideal rehydration solution.”

The Griffith University survey is available here.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Bowlers brace for tough Hobart pitch in Sheffield Shield final

There are some fine fast bowlers, most notably James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, and Nathan Coulter-Nile, who will feature in the Sheffield Shield final. And they will need to be at their best to prosper, with the captains of Victoria and Western Australia both predicting tough conditions for them at Hobart’s Blundstone Arena for the match starting on Saturday.
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“I just had my first look at the wicket and I don’t think the bowlers from either team are going to be happy with what they see,” said WA captain Adam Voges. “It means it’s probably going to be a fight and a grind for five days. That isn’t a bad thing for us.

“I think we’ve shown throughout this season our fighting qualities at different times when things get tough, so hopefully we can get into a scrap with them over the next five days.”

Victoria captain Matthew Wade said the pitch, which was used during the recent stint of World Cup matches at the venue, was “drier than what we’re used to”.

The Bushrangers are confident veteran Chris Rogers, who is highly likely to retire from the shield after this season, would play despite the grade-one glute strain he suffered last Saturday while batting.

“He got put through his paces today. He’s pulled up really well. We’ll probably just sleep on it and wait and see how he goes overnight, but it’s all looking good for him,” Wade said.

The Bushrangers captain credited the role of his bowlers in the Bushrangers’ progressing from last to first this season. After collectively claiming 118 wickets at an average of 42.39 last season they have this season taken 160 at 28.32.

Wade also highlighted the impact of the three young players who have earned first-choice status this season: Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis and Scott Boland.

“I think our younger players have stood up. Stoinis, Handscomb and Boland have had terrific years. Petey Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis would have to be close to Australia A selection, if not pushing for Australian selection, after this World Cup,” he said.

“Going from last to first, those younger players have made a huge difference, and our experienced players have definitely played a lot better.”

In addition to the pitch conditions, Wade said the quality of WA’s batting line-up, led by shield player of the season Voges, would provide the Bushrangers’ bowlers with a stiff challenge.

“Three or four of their players are averaging above 60 so we’ve got to bowl well enough to dismiss them twice,” he said.

Wade said the imminent departure of coach Greg Shipperd, disclosed to the players earlier this month and then publicly on Friday, would motivate Victoria.

“‘Shippy’ has been with me since the start of my career … he’s going to be sorely missed, but I think he understands where the organisation are coming from,” he said.

“We’d just love to win a shield final for him and get him the respect he deserves.”

VICTORIA (from): Matthew Wade (c), Fawad Ahmed, Scott Boland, Daniel Christian, Peter Handscomb, John Hastings, Jon Holland, David Hussey, Rob Quiney, James Pattinson, Chris Rogers, Marcus Stoinis, Peter Siddle.WA (from): Adam Voges (c), Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Tom Beaton, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Marcus Harris, Michael Klinger, Simon Mackin, Shaun Marsh, David Moody, Nate Rimmington, Andrew Tye, Sam Whiteman.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

ARU ignites push to re-schedule in-bound Tests

The Australian Rugby Union has called for a rescheduling of the in-bound Test series in the non-World Cup years to allow Super Rugby to run without a break.
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The request has been canvassed by previous ARU regimes, but current ARU chief executive Bill Pulver tabled the request at a World Rugby meeting of national chief executives in Dublin two weeks ago.

Pulver said the ARU is “frustrated” that in non-World Cup years Super Rugby must stop for the in-bound Tests in June, only to resume in late June for the three last rounds and then the finals series that ends two weeks before the Rugby Championship kicks off in mid-August.

He said the ARU would like to see the Super Rugby played in full without a break and then followed with the international season made up of the in-bound Tests and Rugby Championship.

Pulver recognises, however, that  he faces a challenge convincing his northern hemisphere peers who would be wary of such a rescheduling impacting on their national interests, and those of clubs in the Aviva Premiership and Top 14 competitions.

Nevertheless, Pulver,  said he is determined to push ahead with his request, hoping that some proposed “options” he submitted at the Dublin meeting might prove convincing.

“From a southern hemisphere perspective, we are frustrated that the June in-bounds, force this big break in Super Rugby. We would love to change that,” Pulver said.

“In an ideal world you would have a Super Rugby season that starts in February and ends in the end of June, and then you would roll into your internationals …

“That is an item on the agenda. [But] change on the international match calendar is bloody hard.

“We have put a couple of options to them that we think could work – some that are quite exciting.

“I don’t want to talk about them just yet, but we have thrown a couple of options at them that we really think are worth looking at.”

Pulver said when Super Rugby is made to break, interest in the competition falls.

“There are two or three Super Rugby teams that are out of the ‘comp’ as soon as you get to that break, “Pulver said.

“Then you come back for two or three games after [the break and] their fans are gone.

“It’s a brutal impact on their season.”

Meanwhile, Pulver understands why the Australian Super Rugby teams would be reluctant to release any of their players who are keen to be selected for the Olympic Sevens team.

“The Super Rugby clubs are not going to have you in their team unless you play right through the finals [into early August],” Pulver said.

“And the Sevens coach won’t allow you to walk in two weeks before the event.”

Pulver says contractual negotiation between Super Rugby players who do want to be considered for selection in the Sevens squad and their clubs will be needed.

“I don’t think there will be many players involved,” Pulver said.

“[But] if Australian rugby was taking them to the Sevens event, I wouldn’t be expecting the Super rugby club to keep paying for them.”  

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Unique opportunity for piper to sound arrival of Gallipoli dawn

Corporal Adam Cameron-Taylor will play the pipes at Anzac Cove at the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing. Picture: Peter StoopWHEN the sun rises over Anzac Cove on the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, Corporal Adam Cameron-Taylor will think only of the job at hand.
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Corporal Cameron-Taylor is a member of the Australian Army Band Newcastle and the army’s only full-time piper. He will be the lone Australian pipe player sent to Gallipoli to play at the dawn service.

‘‘On the day I really focus on my job and filter everything else out,’’ he said.

‘‘You can’t afford to think, ‘this is Gallipoli’, or that it has been 100 years since the first Anzac Day.

‘‘You can’t afford to think, ‘there’s a camera six inches from my face with a feed going back to Australia’. If you think about anything other than what you’re doing, that’s it, you’re finished.’’

This year is the centenary of the fateful World War I military landing that has woven itself into the fabric of Australia’s identity.

It is also Corporal Cameron-Taylor’s third time playing at Anzac Cove, but that does not take away from the nerves he is feeling.

‘‘I get the nervous before every performance. The nature of being a musician is that you don’t know how things are going to go,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s a unique thing though. ‘‘It’s cold. You’re usually up all night before so by 4.30am you haven’t really slept. And it’s a big thing. It’s high profile. It will certainly be a highlight of my military career.’’

Playing the Gallipoli service previously has meant becoming familiar with the area, and the peculiar feeling of the place.

‘‘The commemoration site is on the edge of the cove. There’s a steep hill behind you, and you stare out to the sea,’’ he said. ‘‘You hear the sea before you see it. It’s dark when you begin, and then the sun rises and you slowly start to see the water and an island out off the coast.

‘‘It’s quite eerie [but] more than anything it’s sad. Very, very sad.’’

Business declares war on council ‘cash grab’

● Too much take, not enough give, saysunhappy owner
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NEWCASTLE council’s pursuit of a 46.9per cent increase in residential and business rates has hit a new battlefront as the region’s key business group takes aim at City Hall.

It has also sparked a war of words between two of the city’s most powerful and influential leaders.

The latest salvo was fired by Hunter Business Chamber chief Kristen Keegan, who accused the council of a ‘‘cash grab’’ that could force some businesses to the wall.

Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes fired back, saying the council was seeking the rises to not only balance the council’s books but meet the cost of city revitalisation projects which the community and business groups want.

The council surprised many in November when it voted to apply for a 46.9per cent increase to residential and business rates over the next five years. The move came after it was widely tipped to seek a 37.5per cent increase over the same period.

The council’s public consultation found more people favoured the 37.5per cent increase over other options.

If the application is approved by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal in May, the average residential rates bill will soar by $500 a year by 2020. The average business rates bill will rise by almost $3000 to $9422 a year in 2020.

Many of the city’s small business owners are livid, with some telling the Herald they will need to find another $5000 a year to pay rates on their home and business.

The chamber has emailed its 1800 members and urged them to lodge submissions with IPaRT opposing the council’s application.

Besides the added cost to business, the chamber was angry the council was ignoring its own feedback.

The chamber also took aim at the council’s application which said the community had indicated its support for the higher rise at the recent byelections.

‘‘Are they kidding?’’ Ms Keegan asked. ‘

‘There was no ‘clear feedback’ for the higher rate rise at all. Which one of them went to the election saying they were going to raise rates by nearly 50per cent? Council’s submission suggests that the engagement campaign demonstrated ‘strong community support for a higher rate increase’ but failed to mention that [the smaller increase] was supported by the vast majority in both the independent survey and the council survey.

Ms Keegan said the 37.5per cent option was reasonable as it was underpinned by an ‘‘agreed strategic plan to deliver on services in a financially responsible manner’’.

The average business rate this year is $6437. A 37.5per cent increase over five years will take the annual bill to $8841 by 2020, or $9422 if the council’s application for 46.9per cent is approved.

The difference between the two options, Cr Nelmes said, is only $116 a year, but that doesn’t include the cumulative increases.

She said the chamber’s attitude was ‘‘disappointing’’ given it had called for council to balance its books and invest in infrastructure.

‘‘Essentially the chamber is asking for support to stop council funding city revitalisation,’’ Cr Nelmes said, and that ‘‘will hinder many projects’’ including the restoration of City Hall, replacing bus stops, accelerating work on Hunter Street, as well as road, footpath and cycleway projects.

‘‘The chamber’s view is short-sighted and shows a complete lack of understanding of what Newcastle requires,’’ Cr Nelmes said.

‘‘We need the chamber to be working with us, not just be a mouthpiece for conservative politics. Our city has been divided for too long. Council has embarked on a road to financial recovery with a mandate to protect and improve services.’’

‘‘What mandate?’’ Ms Keegan replied. ‘‘Their own public consultation showed that a 46.9per cent rate rise is not what the majority of people want. And to suggest the chamber is not supportive of the city’s revitalisation is ludicrous.’’