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Have you met someone for whom no matter how hard they swear they can never quite deliver on their promises? Well, that defines most of the OTC hangover prevention pills that you may come across in many online stores. They are super hyped but that’s all there is to it; meaning that your “morning after” is guaranteed to be hellish as ever.
So, is there a hangover prevention pill that can actually prevent that nasty hangover? Good news is that there actually is, and the better news is that if you learn what to be on the lookout for you will be able to spot an impostor from miles away.
If you are reading this it is highly unlikely that you do not know what a hangover is. What you may not know is perhaps how a hangover comes about. But just to confirm and draw boundaries, a hangover is the myriad of signs and symptoms that are associated with excessive alcohol use.
These symptoms will show up after a night of excessive alcohol use. What causes hangovers? The accumulation of alcohol and its metabolite called acetaldehyde which are both toxic to the human body. The symptoms can be physical or mental and they usually include:
- Excessive thirst and dry mouth
- Nausea and vomiting
- Poor sleep
- Muscle aches
- Poor concentration
- Muscle pain
- Frequent hangovers may also affect performance at work
These symptoms usually last for a few hours depending on how much you “over-indulge”. There are a couple of home remedies that one may use to prevent a hangover. However, using pills may be more convenient for a person who may not have the luxury of preparing and trying out these home remedies. This brings us to the question, what’s the truth about hangover prevention pills?
Hangover Prevention Pills: Myth or Reality?
As noted above, alcohol hangovers are usually triggered by the toxic effects of alcohol and acetaldehyde in the body. This means that once you over-indulge you are likely to experience a hangover.
From a scientific point of view, there isn’t much that can be done to actually prevent a hangover after one has consumed high amounts of alcohol. However, measures can be taken prior to mitigate hangovers. This means reducing the severity of symptoms such as headaches, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, sleeplessness, and others.
So is this a myth or reality? It is a reality because some measures can be taken to ensure that one is able to wake up feeling upbeat after a night of intoxication. Some pills are designed to produce this effect; we will look at what they are and how they act later in this article.
Difference Between Hangover Prevention And Hangover Cure
Preventing a hangover implies stopping the occurrence of a hangover while curing a hangover means treating the hangover completely once it occurs. A number of compounds have been mentioned as “hangover cures.” They include:
- Vitamin B complex supplements
- More alcohol
- Calcium carbonate
- Green tea
Some pills have also been cited as hangover cures. The best approach for dealing with a hangover is to stop it before it occurs. Once the symptoms of a hangover have set in, doing away with them might take time and also put a physical and mental strain on the affected person.
How Do Hangover Prevention Pills Work?
Because a hangover represents a myriad of symptoms, hangover prevention entails preventing these symptoms.
This means using different approaches to eliminate acetaldehyde and ethanol and consequently reduce diuresis. This also has a long-term positive effect of liver protection.
Hangover prevention pills work by preventing the following symptoms:
- Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance: Alcohol causes diuresis (increased urine output) and this, in turn, causes dehydration. Some pills target this mechanism to reduce symptoms of dehydration such as sweating, weakness, dryness of mouth, dizziness, and lightheadedness.
- Reduced blood sugar levels: Alcohol slows down the production of glucose by increasing insulin production. This will cause symptoms such as fatigue, sweating, weakness, and mood disturbances.
- Withdrawal symptoms: Alcohol depresses the central nervous system causing tremors, and increased heart rate.
In spite of the host of crappy hangover pills in the market currently, there are a fair number of tried and tested hangover prevention pills that actually work.
Types Of Hangover Prevention Pills That Work
1. Activated charcoal tablets
The main ingredient in these tablets is activated charcoal. Activated charcoal has good absorption capabilities. It is believed that activated charcoal can absorb alcohol toxins from the body and hence reduce hangover symptoms.
The evidence for this is inconclusive; some people swear by it while for others it is complete hogwash. But going by the argument that activated charcoal is used in the ER to absorb poisons from the body, this theory seems to have a scientific basis.
Word of caution: Should you throw up in drunken stupor don’t fret at the sight of black vomit. This could be a repercussion of taking activated charcoal tablets prior.
2. Bytox patch
This is not a pill, but rather a patch. One might wonder if patches have a superior advantage over pills. Well, if you are prone to throwing up after taking alcohol then a patch may work best for you.
Bytox contains vitamin B complex vitamins and so this is a way of replenishing the vitamins that are lost following diuresis. By replenishing these vitamins, one is likely to reduce the severity of a hangover.
3. Flyby Pills
Flyby has an interesting mechanism of action as compared to other hangover prevention pills. Flyby pills contain dihydromyricetin (DHM) which boosts liver enzymes that breakdown the toxic alcohol and acetaldehyde by-products. Flyby also contains milk-thistle; vitamin B complex and prickly pear extract all which work together to reduce alcohol hangover symptoms. Milk Thistle has liver-protective benefits; apart from reducing hangover symptoms Flyby also helps to preserve liver function.
4. Survivor Pills
Survivor pills contain dihydromyricetin which accelerates the breakdown of ethanol and acetaldehyde. These pills also replenish vitamins and other lost nutrients.
5. Drinkwel tablets
Drinkwel tablets are loaded with vitamins and electrolytes to replenish those lost through frequent urination during a drinking spree. Hence they help with dehydration symptoms such as fatigue and headaches.
6. Clear Head Capsules
Clear head has been approved by Health Canada for the treatment of hangovers. It contains milk thistle which has anti-inflammatory effects as well as liver-protective benefits.
7. DHM Detox
DHM Detox contains dihydromyricetin, N-Acetyl L-cysteine, milk thistle, prickly pear extract, and Vitamin B Complex. This presents a wonderful mix of compounds that addresses hangover symptoms from different angles. Most of the reviews on these pills are very positive. One reviewer on Amazon had this to say:
“I’ve used this now at least every weekend after a night of light/moderate drinks (4 cocktails) and take one pill with a full glass of water before bed. I sleep for a good 6-7 hours and wake up refreshed. I don’t experience any jittery or excited feeling upon sleeping or waking up. You just feel…normal.”
You can check more reviews by clicking here.
8. OverEZ pills
OverEZ pills are blue pellets that contain milk thistle, amino acids, minerals, L-cysteine, and vitamin B. These compounds work together to prevent most of the symptoms of a hangover. OverEZ also contain herbs that help to protect the liver from damage by toxins.
Which Is The Best Hangover Prevention Pill?
The best pills to prevent alcohol hangovers are those that address most of the hangover symptoms. This means that they must contain a mix of compounds that work in synergy to ensure that one wakes up the morning after feeling as fresh as ever.
From the list above, Flyby pills and DHM detox seem to be doing well since they cover a wider base. They each contain DHM, electrolytes, minerals, vitamin B complex, milk thistle and other beneficial compounds that can tackle most of the hangover symptoms.
However, it is important to mention that each individual will respond differently to these hangover prevention pills. The best thing to do is to try out different pills and see which one works best for your body. Hangover prevention pills work best when taken in tandem with or prior to the drinking spree.
Are Hangover Prevention Pills Legal In Canada?
Most hangover prevention pills are considered as supplements hence they may not need FDA approval. What is required for supplements is that they have to be manufactured in FDA approved and cGMP certified facilities. As long as all the ingredients used in the hangover prevention pills are FDA regulated and approved, they are legal to use throughout Canada. DHM, for example, is classified by the FDA as GRAS “generally regarded as safe.” At the end of the day, the safety of Canadians is at the heart of the matter.
Where To Find Hangover Prevention Pills
Hangover prevention pills can be bought from drug stores that sell supplements. However, they are more easily accessed through online platforms such as Amazon.
Where Can I buy Prevention Hangover Pills In Canada?
If you live in Canada, the best place to order hangover prevention pills from is Amazon. You can check out some by clicking here. The benefit of ordering online is that you can get to view reviews of the pills and you may also get cheaper prices.
Other than hangover prevention pills, one can also buy OTC pills that may address symptoms of hangovers. This includes drugs such as:
1. NSAIDS: aspirin and ibuprofen
2. Painkillers for headaches: paracetamol
3. Oral rehydration salts: Gatorade
4. Anti nausea drugs: ondansetron, pepcid, or zantac
Is There An Ultimate Hangover Prevention Formula?
Unfortunately, there is no ultimate hangover prevention formula. The only sure-fire way to prevent a hangover is to drink moderately, or not drink at all so that you avoid a hangover altogether. Also avoiding alcohol that has added congeners may also help to reduce hangover symptoms. Congeners increase the severity of hangovers.
A couple of home remedies may also help to alleviate symptoms of a hangover. However, these are curative measures as opposed to preventive.
Home remedies that you can try out for a hangover include:
1. Having a hearty breakfast that is full of vitamins and other nutrients will help to replenish lost nutrients. Bananas are good because they are rich in electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium. You should also include adequate carbohydrates to boost blood glucose levels. Depleted sugar levels causes fatigue and nausea.
2. Have adequate rest. Fatigue from lack of adequate sleep will exacerbate symptoms of a hangover.
3. Stay hydrated. Alcohol is a diuretic; this is why you pee a lot after consuming it. This makes you lose fluids as well as electrolytes. Staying hydrated may help to reduce hangover symptoms. You should try to take a glass of water after every drink.
4. Eat a well-balanced meal prior to drinking alcohol. Having food in your system may help in the metabolism of alcohol.
5. Take chamomile tea to reduce anxiety
Bonus: The Best Hangover Prevention Trick To Use In 2020
If you are really desperate to avoid a hangover the best way to go about it is to use an effective hangover prevention pill.
Hangover prevention pills that combine different therapeutic compounds to prevent hangover symptoms are the best prevention remedy. Compounds to be on the lookout for include:
- Milk thistle
- Vitamin B
- Prickly pear
- Anti-inflammatory agents
DHM capsules are among the best hangover prevention pills that contain a host of therapeutic compounds to obviate a hangover in 2020. On the other hand, hangover prevention pills that lack these compounds may just be complete hogwash.
- Government of Canada: Clear Head. Retrieved from https://health-products.canada.ca/lnhpd-bdpsnh/info.do?licence=80015611
- Mayo Clinic: Hangovers. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hangovers/symptoms-causes/syc-20373012
- Healthline: Why does alcohol make you pee. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/why-does-alcohol-make-you-pee#effect-on-urination
- Drinkware: Alcohol and sugar. Retrieved from https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/effects-on-the-body/alcohol-and-sugar/
- Wiley online library: Activated charcoal. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1600-0773.1946.tb02599.x
- NCBI *(1981): Effect of activated charcoal on ethanol blood levels in dogs. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7246560
- Wikipedia: Hangover. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangover
- Amazon: Hangover prevention. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=hangover+prevention&gclid=CjwKCAi