“I don’t remember much and felt pretty awful the next day, if I’m honest,” says Will. “If it’s a particularly big night out you have to remember to take the pink capsule before bed, which I would find a bit of a chore. I think having something like this makes you more aware of what you’re consuming, and for that reason alone I think it’s a positive.”
“There are a lot of ingredients in these capsules to help protect your body from excess alcohol, including milk thistle, choline, and vitamin B6,” says Brines von Melle. “It’s a great formula, and my only hesitation as a purist is that I am not the biggest fan of anti-caking agents found in some health supplements.”
£12.99 ($15.75) for a pack.
What About the Other Rugby Players in Our Experiment?
Nathan Steele, who had absolutely nothing before bed, not even a sip of water, reported somewhat predictably that he felt “utterly awful” the next day. Meanwhile, Trevor “Smax,” who was allowed water before bed, told us that he “needed to drink a lot of water pre-bed, and again in the morning, to feel like he was suitably hydrated.”
Finally, Leo, who took a sachet of Dioralyte rehydration salts before bed, said that in the morning he felt he “needed a lot more than a glass of electrolytes to help tackle a hangover like this.”
There are, of course, a vast range of factors—such as age, body mass, ethnicity, biological sex, and even your DNA—that impacts the way people metabolize alcohol, and consequently experience a hangover—which in turn impacts the effectiveness of these pills and potions. With this in mind, WIRED freely admits we had a bit (OK, a great deal) of fun conducting our “anti-hangover” experiment, so we’ll hold our hands up and admit these results are very much subjective and can in no way be judged scientifically. We’d also like to underline that, unless you want to end up feeling as bad as Smax, Leo, and Will, you should always drink responsibly.
How to Hack Your Hangover!
Brines von Melle offers up some basic tools to hopefully help the body with alcohol consumption:
1. The gut takes as much a bashing as the liver, so on the day of having plenty of fiber in cruciferous vegetables and fermented foods. Eggs, in particular, are great for extra choline, as your liver will use choline stores to mitigate the damage of drinking alcohol.
2. Antioxidants and extra antioxidants are important to help mop up the free radicals released when drinking alcohol. This could be extra vitamin C (1,000 mg), glutathioneor even Chaga mushroom extract.
3. Take 300 to 400 mg of magnesium, as alcohol depletes magnesium. Magnesium is found in dark chocolate, lentils, peanuts, cashews, and more.
4. Take collagen and/or bone broth. Gycine is an amino acid found in bone broth and helps to reduce lipid peroxidation and antioxidant depletion in the liver. To help with recovery, both chlorella and milk thistle are also good.
5. To fight fatigue and help with stress on the body (and nervous system), use vitamin B12 or a whole vitamin B complex.
6. Remember that alcohol dehydrates the body, so try to drink one glass of water with each unit of alcohol. It’s useful to add a pinch of quality sea salt to your water to stay hydrated, which is an easy way to keep up your electrolytes.