I tried the viral anti-hangover pill - but did it work?
A new pill is on the market.
An anti-hangover pill. A pill that stops hangovers. A pill that ultimately has the capacity to make your life a whole lot better, if you're anyway inclined to have a drink.
Sometimes hangovers are fine - you're a bit sleepy, you're not as *on*, you couldn't quite stomach a drink right now but you'll probably be alright for later on.
Sometimes though, hangovers are bad. Like, really bad. Like, can't get out of bed or open your blinds or speak to anyone ever again bad. Like, won't eat for the day unless it's something deep fried, cold sweats, stomach churning to the point of pain bad.
We've all been there, and as we get older, we can never tell when that dreaded Bad Hangover is going to strike. That's why when an apparent anti-hangover pill became suddenly available to buy in Ireland, people were aghast, they were shocked, and they - of course - wanted to try it.
So, what is an 'anti-hangover pill'?
An anti-hangover pill is a pill that stops you from getting a hangover - or one that aims to stop you from getting a hangover.
Hangover remedies have dominated forums and beyond for years (Dioralyte, we're looking at you), as us alcohol-drinkers desperately seek a means of going out and enjoying ourselves without dealing with the consequences later.
In 2022, however, a so-called anti-hangover pill arrived onto the market. According to testimonials, Mrykl pills were "really efficient," "fantastic," and "really work!"
And more importantly, they were now available to buy in the UK and Ireland.
How do they work?
This anti-hangover pill is a supplement, and as with most supplements, they can vary from person to person due to the differing degrees of absorption in the body.
According to the brand, they can't actually say a whole lot about how the pill works "because it's not a medical product" - a statement which would generally incite some concern - however, Myrkl have confirmed that all ingredients are entirely legal according to UK food safety guidelines. According to the back of the box, those ingredients in question are mainly B12 and "high performing bacteria."
Two pills are taken up to an hour before you begin drinking, allowing the supplement to break down alcohol and encourage the body to function as normal.
In fact, researchers from Swedish pharmaceutical firm De Faire Medical and the Pfützner Science & Health Institute in Mainz reported that preemptively taking the tablets reduced alcohol concentration in the blood by half after only 30 minutes of having a drink. After an hour, this was apparently reduced to 70%.
But enough about the data provided from the brand itself - what about the results?
Did the anti-hangover pill work for me?
In the interests of investigative journalism, I tried the hangover pills over the course of three separate nights.
On all nights, as per the product's instructions, I consumed the pills before I had my first drink. Not all nights, however, played out the same. On night one, I ate after I was drinking. One the second, I ate before. On the third, I ate both before and after, and also consumed far more water (and alcohol) than I had one of the previous nights.
There were also differences in the type of alcohol consumed on each night, and more importantly, the amount of alcohol over all.
My alcohol breakdown went like this:
Night one: Three glasses of wine from about 6.30pm to 10pm following a hearty lunch. Food consisting of one veggie burger and approximately two sips of water upon returning home. Dehydrated, yet not willing to drink more water.
Night two: A filling dinner followed by one hard seltzer, one frozen rosé (a frozé, if you will), two pints, and a can of beer. Slightly more water consumed before returning home at a respectable 1.30am.
Night three: Seven (or eight?) drinks raging from cocktails to beer to spirits, coupled with a few meals, a long day, and a long-ish night. Arrival time home? Who can say?
The aftermath of both night one and night two were similar in that I still felt grievously dehydrated upon waking, but generally once I had some actual water inside of my body I felt a lot better.
Night one's morning after was particularly crucial as it was a Friday and I had to work. The previous week I had had a similar number of drinks, stayed out until 3am, and awoken with the familiar feeling of being completely incapacitated and unable for the day. This time, however, things were not so dire.
My hangover was not non-existent, but it was certainly less than I was expecting. I felt all the regular post-alcohol feelings such as tiredness and dehydration but my brain was working as it should have and I was able to get done considerably more work than the week before.
While I was sleepy and I didn't feel entirely hangover-free, I wasn't plagued with the incessant brain fog that tends to wipe me out after a night of a few beverages. I could do my work, I could function - whether that was because of the pills or not though, is hard to say.
Night two was more of the same, except the alcohol consumption was higher and I got to sleep longer into Saturday morning. I didn't awaken feeling fresh as a daisy, but I definitely got on with my day without the sluggish sting of regret that usually comes with a night of drinks and a late return to bed.
Night three was particularly heavy in that I don't recall exactly how many drinks I had but that they consisted of a myriad of alcohols peppered with food and generally being out and about. Upon getting home I skulled a bottle of water and slept for nine hours and woke up feeling... not as bad as I thought I would?
Similar to nights one and two, I found myself far from fresh, but potentially not as far away as I'd generally be. Where my body didn't feel incredible, my mind felt considerably clear. I wasn't bed bound for the morning or struggling to string a sentence together. I had my wits about me, and that's the least anyone could ask for after a night out.
Are they worth it?
Honestly, it's hard to say. Some customers say they work incredibly well. Others say they don't work at all. People like me say they might have worked a bit because I didn't feel like the inside of a bin the days after I took them, but maybe I simply wasn't destined to feel like that on those days? Maybe some other force of nature stopped me from ruining my life? It's difficult to say.
As it stands, not everybody gets hangovers, and a lot of people's hangovers are different. Everything from hydration levels to genetics to even gender could play a part in who gets hangovers and how bad they are - so it stands to reason that some people could benefit greatly from a little B12, and others... not so much.
There's also every chance that the simple act of taking a few pills before a night out acts as a basic placebo effect, allowing you to believe that you're going to feel different simply because you think that you should.
Would I recommend these pills to a friend? Sure, if they're desperate to avoid a hangover and willing to try them - go for it.
Will I take them again myself? I'll finish the box I have, anyway.
Where do I buy the anti-hangover pills?
These pills are available exclusively online, however, they do tend to go in and out of stock depending on the day, week, or however desperately people are seeking a hangover-less day.
But when they are in stock, you'll be able to get them here for £30 (€36) a box.
*Her was offered a sample of Myrkl in exchange for a fair and honest review.