If there’s one thing we can all largely agree on, it’s that hangovers are truly terrible.
From nausea to headaches to the dreaded hangover and general fatigue, battling a hangover is something we should all avoid.
However, if you’re not ready to give up alcohol and traditional hangover remedies don’t work for you, you might be interested in the booming market for hangover pills and potions.
Myrkl was the first to make headlines when it went on sale in the UK last summer.
However, dozens of hangover supplements have hit the market over the years, some with impressive claims.
As someone who has about two drinks and gets a hangover, I was eager to try these supplements—and a boozy summer was the perfect opportunity.
Some of the products are specifically designed for hangovers, others simply help breathe new life into when you’re feeling groggy and tired.
I followed the supplement’s guidelines – either before drinking, during, or the next day.
But of course the “study” wasn’t conclusive because I occasionally drank a variety of alcohol.
However, I know exactly how a hangover makes me feel and whether a supplement/drink/powder has made a difference.
So how did I cope?
£30 for 30 capsules, myrkl.co.uk
Myrkl’s hangover pills, which sold out in 24 hours when they first went on sale, are designed to give you a social life without having to compromise the next day.
They say you feel refreshed even after a long day.
The two capsules, taken two hours before drinking, contain a formula with powerful bacteria, L-cysteine and vitamin B12.
Myrkl says this formulation activates in the gut so we can wake up feeling refreshed the next day.
The results of a small study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolic Insights found that volunteers who took the pills had 70 percent less alcohol in their blood an hour after two vodkas than those who didn’t take the pills.
Verdict: The. Functions. I’ve used it twice now and it has absolutely helped me avoid some hangover symptoms.
I still knew I had been drinking (unfortunately nothing is that good), but I just wasn’t as lethargic as usual, and this was after a day of drinking wine, which is known to cause headaches.
2. Nutravita Electrolyte Complex 240 vegan tablets
These tablets are full of electrolytes, which are salts and minerals such as sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium and bicarbonate.
These magical ingredients do a number of things such as supporting nerve and muscle function, hydrating the body, and supporting blood pressure.
When we drink alcohol, our body may be depleted of these electrolytes, which can worsen hangover symptoms.
Verdict: I took two of these before drinking on a Saturday afternoon and then two the next morning, on Sunday.
I tend to consume electrolytes after long runs when I’ve been sweating a lot, but since alcohol also depletes these vital minerals, it made sense to replenish my body.
Although I didn’t notice any immediate effects, I didn’t feel as tired as usual on Sunday. I still had a bit of a headache, but my energy wasn’t as low as usual.
Is it because of these tablets? I don’t know, but either way it’s a great idea to support the body by giving it the minerals it needs.
From £23.99 for three bottles, www.loveyourliver.com
This product is designed to prevent the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which you are at increased risk of if you are overweight, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
However, among its main advantages is that this product mitigates the effects of alcohol.
In fact, the company claims that it can “help your liver process alcohol up to 15 times faster.”
Each bottle – you can drink a maximum of three a day – contains 17 natural ingredients, including antioxidants and phytonutrients that are designed to optimize liver function.
It is also said to help with sleep, improve mental clarity, support the immune system and promote skin health.
Verdict: One word: WOW. I drank three bottles over a wedding weekend, with my main fuel being rosé wine, Aperol, champagne and tequila. Yes, quite an invention!
This drink mix would normally have left me clinging to my stomach for 24 hours.
However, somehow I couldn’t stand a hangover. Although I was tired, I didn’t have a headache or nausea.
The drink tastes bad if I’m honest, but it’s a few seconds of pain and basically no more hangover.
4. Tenzing Natural Energy Drink
£5.75 for 4, Tesco
Energy drinks have a bad reputation, but Tenzing is made with seven natural, plant-based ingredients and, according to the brand, contains 60 percent less sugar than other major energy drinks.
In addition to natural caffeine to shake off the cobwebs the next morning, each can of Tenzing also contains electrolytes (which can be lost when drinking alcohol) and vitamin C.
Verdict: This definitely lifted my mood and gave me the energy I needed for a Thursday-after-Wednesday night drink.
Even if it doesn’t get rid of the hangover, it helps clear your head and feel a little human.
5. Vitamin recover well
12 bottles for £23.99, amazon.co.uk
Swedish-born company Vitamin Well has created a range of drinks, each containing a unique combination of vitamins and minerals, to combat fatigue, skin problems or, you guessed it, a hangover.
Although not specifically mentioned, the Recover drink contains all the ingredients (ten in total) to relieve hangover symptoms.
Vitamin B12, folic acid and magnesium help reduce tiredness and fatigue, says the brand.
Magnesium also contributes to electrolyte balance and our electrolytes can often be severely depleted when we drink alcohol.
Verdict: For a drink, these are a pretty impressive recovery tool. As the name of the drink suggests, they actually help the body “recover”.
The amount of sugar it contains is a bit unusual at 21g per 500ml bottle.
But they definitely provide a little lift amid the hangover daze. One morning after a night of tequila, I drank a bottle and felt pretty perky.
6. Dr. Teal’s Relax & Relief with Eucalyptus and Spearmint Epsom Salts
It’s usually used to relieve muscle pain, but I thought I’d give Epsom salt a try since you might end up hurting while dancing at night.
Epsom salt breaks down in water into magnesium and sulfate, which can be absorbed by the skin.
There is no clear evidence that Epsom salt is actually suitable for this purpose. However, they are very popular among gym goers.
According to the manufacturer, the two plant ingredients added to these salts – spearmint and eucalyptus – stimulate the senses and regenerate the body.
Verdict: I’m not sure if it was the bath or the Epsom salts that helped cure my Sunday hangover.
But before that salt bath I felt dizzy and after it I felt alive. This is certainly a useful tool to have in your hangover recovery box.
7. Better You Lights-out Nightly Oral Spray
Although it may not help your liver, it is designed to ensure deeper, more restful sleep.
This is all thanks to the 50 mg of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), a chemical that studies show helps the body sleep.
And we all know that a good night’s sleep can often help eliminate some of the well-known hangover symptoms.
5-Hydroxytryptophan can also be converted into serotonin (also known as the happy hormone) in the body.
Verdict: I can drink two glasses of wine and my sleep will be terrible.
This spray has really improved my sleep and helped me stay asleep instead of waking up in the middle of the night with a dry mouth and a sore head.
8th. Nourished Party Proofed Life Stack
From £28 for 28 servings, www.get-nourished.com
This vitamin-packed gummy claims to contain everything you need to get back on your feet after a night of revelry.
Nourished says the gummy contains nutrients including ginger to combat nausea, milk thistle for detoxification, vitamin C for energy and vitamin D for immunity and aiding recovery.
Verdict: Each gummy bear comes in white (plastic-free) packaging, making it easy to transport without mess, no matter where you are.
I took this the morning after a boozy wedding; I didn’t feel any different. However, it was great to know that I was giving my body the nutrients it needed after a day of drinking.
This tastes really good too. It’s like a big, delicious, sweet treat with lots of health benefits.