My first drinking experience consisted of a couple bottles of beer with some friends during my teenage years. How often have you heard THAT one?! What you hear less frequently is the likely follow-up to that statement: “Oh, man did I have a hangover!” Studies show that college undergraduates are especially likely to drink to excess and succumb to the effects of a hangover.
We are constantly bombarded with non-sense infomercials and ridiculous claims by these advertisers, and believing in an ad that informs us of a cure for hangovers seems equally dubious. So when I first saw a TV commercial advertising Chaser as what I thought was a miracle cure, I was skeptical. I contacted a pharmacist friend to get her professional opinion. To my surprise, she claimed that it is becoming known for having a positive effect.
Classic Hangover Cures
Classic hangover cures include both sensible and ridiculous options. A popular one is that you can get hangover relief by working out. This might work at least a little, providing you can get out of bed! The reasoning behind it is that as you flush out the bad, you re-hydrate with the good, so to speak. Another one involves taking a couple of over-the-counter pills (Tylenol, Aspirin, Ibuprofen/Advil) before going to bed after a night of partying. This is unlikely to do very much if you have been drinking to excess. Also, taken together, alcohol and aspirin can be damaging to your stomach (i.e. gastric mucosal hemorrhage).
“…the original anti-hangover pill was apparently developed by the Russian Academy of Sciences for the military and KGB personnel…”
One recommendation is to eat toast which will absorb the alcohol or at least give you something to throw up. Others suggest trying to sleep it off, with a shower between naps. I doubt a shower can provide relief for an extensive period of time.
Consuming a lot of water and Gatorade are among the best options since they dilute the alcohol in your system and re-hydrate you. They help to flush out the alcohol and replenish your system with minerals and vitamins. Apparently eating fruits can do this as well.
Still others advise you to avoid hangovers by grabbing another beer and staying drunk! You could always try preventative measures such as drinking with food in your stomach and not mixing the different types of alcoholic beverages. Either way, here is the story of anti-hangover pills.
Invented by the Russians
As ridiculous as this may sound, the original anti-hangover pill was apparently developed by the Russian Academy of Sciences for the military and KGB personnel in the former USSR. It was meant to allow agents to drink as much alcohol as they wanted, without getting drunk. It turns out that it did not prevent drunkenness but it did help them through the post-drinking period. The drug took about 25 years to develop and it recently became available as an over-the-counter product.
No Prescription Required
Anti-hangover pills are now widely available without a prescription. Popular anti-hangover pills include Chaser (their motto is ‘Freedom from Hangover’), RU-21 (Get it? Are You 21?), Buzz, Beer Neutralizer, and Drink Ease. Many of these are now available at variety stores, pharmacies, and specialized stores such as GNC and other vitamin, nutrition, health, or adult supplement stores.
Chaser’s ingredients are apparently all-natural and FDA-approved. It works by absorbing the toxic by-products that your body creates after you consume alcohol. The actual success of the pill varies based on your body’s chemistry, amount and type of alcohol consumed, and possibly age.
The companies who create these products say they have clinical data to support their claims. Umm, is “clinically-proven” the same as a statically significant difference within a valid and reliable research study? Probably not, so I decided to get my own anecdotal evidence!
Do the Pills Really Work?
Mark Robert Halper of the Citynet Magazine Photographer Network and one of Los Angeles’ premier celebrity photographers, uses the anti-hangover pill Chaser on a regular basis. A few years ago he discovered that he was allergic to alcohol which he believes developed over a period of years. He tried Chaser and now swears by its usefulness. “It is not something that mitigates the effects of alcohol just the after-effects of alcohol.” he says.
“I’m not one to endorse GNC products but this is a good product and for me it has made a huge difference. You can sometimes bargain with GNC stores, with each tablet costing around a dollar which is a worthwhile deal,” he continued.
Peter T. in New York claimed that ” it’s ok, but if you drink to excess you still have the upset stomach, but no headache or groggy feeling.”
In fact, all of the individuals I spoke with agreed that it was at least partially helpful in preventing hangovers.
Save Your Party Guests: Punch Bowls of Pills!
After you’ve read about how to burn a great party CD and how to throw a great party, you’ll want to consider enhancing your party with anti-hangover pills. People who have discovered how powerful these pills can be have started buying them in large quantities and placing them next to punch bowls at parties.
While the actual instructions vary by the specific product, they typically require you to take one or two pills before you start drinking and take more based on the number of alcoholic beverages you consume over a given period of time.
“It seemed to work for me, I did not feel shaky, I did not have a major headache, and I did not feel nauseous the next day. So, when I have cocktail parties, and they are frequent, I have RU-21 in a bowl, like I would candy. They are usually all gone by the time the party has died down,” reported Richard M. in New York City.
It is commonly known that hangovers from cheap alcohol are worse than those from quality drinks. Richard M. cautioned that RU-21 is effective for wine and good liquor but has not been as useful for preventing hangovers after drinking cheaper alcohol such as vodka in plastic bottles. I suppose there is just no escape from the effects of cheap alcohol!
Trying is Believing (or Disbelieving!)
To be honest, I am less skeptical about these anti-hangover pills than I was before investigating the products. However, until I try it myself, I won’t fully believe it. Bring on a party!