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Counter Culture / July 6, 2022

Do hangover pills actually work?

Image: Unsplash
Counter Culture / July 6, 2022

Do hangover pills actually work?

Words: Ellen Kenny

Another so-called miracle pill has hit the markets, but are hangover pills simply too good to be true?

Imagine stopping your hangover before it’s even begun. Imagine the utopia we would live if you didn’t spend the day after a night out nursing Lucozade and paracetamol.

Swedish company Myrkl claims that this is possible. They’ve developed a new “game-changing product” that prevents hangovers. Launched yesterday, these alleged miracle workers are 35 euros, and can be shipped from the UK at a delivery fee of 5.85 euros.

Myrkl isn’t the first company to launch a “game-changing” hangover pill, and they definitely won’t be the last. So, how do these pills work, and can they be trusted?

How does Myrkl work?

Myrkl is said to break down 70 per cent of alcohol after one hour. So hypothetically, if you drank a single naggin (200 ml), which contains approximately 80 ml of pure alcohol, only 24 ml of alcohol would enter the bloodstream. This is equivalent to drinking 60 ml of a naggin. 

Two pills of Myrkl need to be taken, one at least one hour before drinking and another twelve hours before drinking. 

Like most hangover pills, Myrkl contains vitamin B and L-Cysteine. These nutrients allegedly activate in the gut before the alcohol reaches the liver, breaking the alcohol down into water and carbon dioxide. This then reduces the amount of alcohol in your blood system.

But does it really work?

At 35 euros, Myrkl is pricey, and most hangover pills rest within this price range. So make sure you know the science behind the pill before investing.

Hangovers are caused by the dehydrating effects of alcohol, which leads to headaches. If less alcohol is taken into the body through preemptive pills, the risks of being dehydrated are less.

However, alcohol also causes nausea and stomach pains, another classic hangover symptom. Myrkl, and most hangover pills, only work after alcohol has passed through the stomach to the intestine. So they will not stop alcohol’s effect on the stomach.

And if you have gut problems, probiotics that affect your gut can also upset the natural balance of healthy gut bacteria, causing infection.

So, you’d probably be better spending that 35 euro on a big bottle of water and post-night out carbs. 

What the experts say

Doctor Sally Adams from the University of Birmingham debunked the promise of hangover pills: “When we think about hangovers it’s easy to think they’re simply from being too dehydrated.”

“It’s dehydration; a headache; a balance or imbalance of electrolytes; stomach and small intestines irritation – these are very complex processes for one product to be able to deliver on.”

So there’s still no real cure to the fatal hangover. Personally, I would prefer a Fear prevention pill- it is far more painful and lasts a lot longer than a hangover. 

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