Hangover pills should ideally have fat-soluble, premium ingredients that the brain can then absorb to target these symptoms. If it has those things, you’re very likely to wake up the next morning feeling great and hangover free. But, historically, hangover pills haven’t always been designed that way.
The hangover pill section of Amazon has exploded in the last few years and for good reason. The common terms that consumers search for are “hangover pill” and “hangover cure”and many of these products have used those terms. When Hangover Heaven launched in 2012, Anderson Cooper used that the term “Hangover Cure” when describing our company during his segment on CNN. But, recent guidance from the FDA and Germany are prohibiting that term from being used on actual products. Even the term “Hangover Cure” will likely decrease in usage, as the FDA has declared hangovers to be actual medical conditions, which we applaud. The only known hangover cure that likely will be recognized by the FDA is an IV, as those are commonly used in hospitals to treat the after-effects of alcohol intoxication. The term to be used for this is now “Liver Support Pill.” This is due to the fact that the liver is where most of the inflammation and oxidative stress occur while drinking. This is then distributed to the stomach and brain. So, supporting your body’s natural metabolism while drinking with a liver support pill is something a consumer can do to support their body.
Liver Support pills have become a staple for party-goers around the country. As a physician, I want to educate the general public about what liver support pills are and why taking them beforehand is essential for avoiding a rough morning. In order to do that, it’s important to understand what a hangover actually is. It really is an actual medical condition, as anybody who has had a bad hangover can attest. Research articles are at the end of this blog post. You can read about the anatomy of a hangover on our blog, but the basic causes of a hangover are:
Inflammation of the brain which causes nausea and headaches
Glutamine rebound which causes some of the anxiety and loss of sleep associated with hangovers
Liver support pills should ideally have fat-soluble, premium ingredients that the brain can then absorb. If it has those things, you’re very likely to wake up the next morning on the right side of the bed. But, historically, liver support pills haven’t always been designed that way.
Hangover Pill History
To fully understand the topic of liver support pills, it’s important to go over the history of the industry. The first know “hangover pill” that sold well was called Chaser, which was basically activated charcoal with an antacid. The charcoal would neutralize the alcohol someone was drinking, which would result in them being less hungover. But, it wasn’t really an effective hangover cure because it was only neutralizing the alcohol, not addressing hangover symptoms. And if you are only neutralizing the alcohol you are drinking, why drink the alcohol in the first place?
After Chaser came a few other companies like Hangover Joe’s, Forgiven, and NoHo. These companies had better formulas, which mainly consisted of a combination of B vitamins, taurine, and a few other ingredients. They were somewhat effective, but they didn’t taste great so all of them ended up going out of business after a while.
We are now on the 3rd generation of hangover targeted products – Drinkade (formerly Never Too Hungover), Resqwater, Drinkwel, and Flyby. Drinkade and Resqwater are beverages and have better formulas, though they are water-soluble, which limits their penetration into the brain. Drinkwel and Flyby are somewhat better in that they do have substances that will get into the brain, but none of their products have premium ingredients.
Our liver support formula is taking the movement to the next level. It includes high-quality ingredients, a number of which are trademarked and premium. It includes curcumin that has inflammation support properties, along with a number of powerful antioxidants. Our product can be taken a number of different ways, but it’s recommended that it be taken the night before for best results.
How to Take Liver Support Pills
What’s the best way to take a liver support pill? Some people take these products the next morning, others take them preventatively. Both have seen positive effects. However, from a medical and scientific perspective, the best way to use liver support pills is the night before, just like a pre-workout supplement.
The best way to take them is to take them 20 minutes before you start drinking alcohol. If you forget, at least try to take them before you go to sleep, as much of the havoc occurs in your body while you sleep after a big night of drinking. If you are going to use them the next morning, take them as soon as you wake up, as problems evolve during the course of the day, especially in people over 40 years of age.
It’s also recommended that you take a somewhat equal amount of liver support pills as drinks. The recommended dose of NLP is 3 capsules, which has about 2 grams of active ingredients. Every person is put together a little differently, but I find that one dose of NLP supports your body’s natural metabolism for about 5 or 6 drinks. Drinkade and Resqwater recommend taking one dose of their product every 2 or 3 drinks. But, if you’re in Las Vegas, one dose of any liver support product is not going to deal with a heavy night of drinking. Definitely take another dose during the course of the night or before you go to bed.
I hope these tips help you out when you are looking for the right product to prevent an unpleasant day. As a physician, I feel it is much healthier support your body’s natural metabolism than to play “catch up” the next day. Have a great night out, and come by our office if you are ever in Las Vegas!
Dr. Jason Burke is the founder of Hangover Heaven and the world's foremost Hangover Doctor! Dr. Burke had the idea for Hangover Heaven after recognizing that certain IV treatments administered in the recovery room could also be used to treat hangovers. When he's not four wheeling in his Jeep or hiking with his kids, he's educating others about hangover cures. Read more about Dr. Jason Burke.