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With so many hangover pills on the market right now, it can be hard to know which ones actually work the best.
Hangover pills are popular natural remedies that claim to support your body’s ability to deal with alcohol and support recovery. With that, they promise to reduce the intensity of hangovers so that you can get more done with your day.
But do hangover pills really work? and if so, which product is the right fit for you?
In this review, we’re going to take a closer look at some of the best-known hangover pills on the market right now.
How do hangover pills work?
Before we get into our list of best hangover pills, it’s important to understand how hangover pills are supposed to work.
The science of hangovers is complicated, to say the least. In fact, scientists are still not sure exactly why we get hangovers. But generally speaking, it’s agreed that a combination of factors including dehydration, inflammation, sleep disturbance, hormonal imbalance, and the direct toxin effect of alcohol are all involved.
That’s why drinking a few glasses of water doesn’t really help that much because hangovers aren’t just caused by dehydration.
Hangover pills are packed with ingredients like vitamins, electrolytes, and amino acids that support your body’s recovery after drinking alcohol. And although research into these products is limited, there is some science to back up their claims.
An important point to realize is that hangover pills do not cure hangovers and do not prevent the damaging effects of drinking too much alcohol. They should be seen as an additional aid to your hangover recovery routine.
With that said, let’s get straight into our top picks.
The 5 best hangover pills of 2022
AfterDrink has been in the hangover prevention game for years and is well established as one of the best products on the market. It’s a premium hangover pill with all-natural, high-quality ingredients.
100% natural ingredients and vegan friendly
High doses of key ingredients (DHM, Milk thistle, Prickly pear, B vitamins, and more)
Manufactured in the US, in an FDA-approved facility.
30-day money-back guarantee
You have to take 3 capsules with a meal before drinking alcohol and 3 more after you finish drinking
Cost per hangover:
$4.38 if you buy a single $35 bottle. Discounts are available with multi-pack offers.
Click here to buy AfterDrink from the official website.
2. DHM Detox by NoDaysWasted
As the name suggests, NoDaysWasted is a hangover pill that promises to reduce hangover severity and retain some productivity instead of being in bed all day.
It comes in a convenient recyclable packet that you can carry with you on your night out. It’s especially useful if you’re planning on staying over at a friend’s and not keen on taking a whole bottle out with you.
Only 2 capsules per night out
Good value for money
Good selection of ingredients
Take 2 capsules before, during, or after your night out
Cost per hangover:
One box contains 10 packets. That means each night out will cost you $2.99
Click here to buy DHM Detox from the official website.
Arguably one of the most well-known hangover pills on the market, Cheers takes the lead in terms of its brand and reputation. They used to be called Thrive+ but recently re-branded.
They have solid ingredients and a well-rounded product. On top of this, they also offer a range of other liver support supplements and rehydration mixes which you can purchase in bundles.
One of the most popular hangover pills
Thousands of reviews
Offer a money-back guarantee if you don’t feel at least 50% less hungover
Discounts available with bundles
Take 2 to 4 capsules after your last drink or before bed.
Cost per hangover:
One standard size tub costs $34.99 and contains 36 capsules. That means if you take the higher dose, each hangover will cost you $3.89.
Click here to buy Cheers from the official website.
Flyby is another popular hangover pill that has helped thousands of people recover from their hangovers. The founder got the idea after a trip to South Korea where he tested a few hangover remedies on himself. After being shocked by how well they worked, he decided to make his own hangover pill for the US market.
Flyby has since expanded its product range into hangover prevention drinks, rehydration electrolytes, and liver health supplements.
Good value for money
Sell lots of other complementary products
Take 3 capsules before drinking, and another 3 straight after your last drink (similar to AfterDrink)
Cost per hangover:
A single large bottle contains 90 capsules at $34.99. Each hangover will cost $2.33.
Click here to buy Flyby from the official website.
5. Purple Tree
Purple tree is a relative newcomer in the hangover pill category. What sets it apart is how much it costs because it’s one of the cheapest on the market. With that, it doesn’t have as much of a comprehensive ingredients list as the other hangover pills on the market. Nevertheless, it’s a great entry point product if you’re on a tight budget.
Cheapest hangover pill
Contains most anti-hangover ingredients
Available in different sizes
Take 2-3 pills during or straight after drinking alcohol.
Cost per hangover:
A single large bottle contains 60 pills at $19.95. Each hangover will only cost $1.
Click here to buy Purple Tree from the official website.
We all know that hangovers get worse with age. For most of us, hangovers become particularly bad in our 30’s. If you’re nodding along while reading this, you know exactly what I mean.
If the time has come in your life when hangovers start to become more trouble than it’s worth, it may be time to consider adding a hangover pill to your supplement cupboard.
But that’s not to say hangover pills will completely prevent you from getting a hangover. As we’ve mentioned before, they are not “hangover cures”.
With that said, they could make a tangible difference to your recovery, if you adhere to all the must-do hangover prevention steps. These include keeping well hydrated, eating before drinking alcohol, and most importantly, drinking within your limits.
How much do hangover pills actually help?
The thing everyone wants to know above all else is; do hangover pills actually work? and if so, by how much will they make a difference?
If you check out the reviews of the hangover pills mentioned in this article, you’ll notice that there are thousands of people who feel better after taking them. Amongst them, there are also many people who don’t see much benefit at all.
As with all supplements (and even medicines), they affect us all differently. The only thing that’s certain is that hangover pills do not cure hangovers or protect your body from the damaging effects of drinking too much alcohol.
But if you’re someone who wants to try anything in order to feel better after drinking, hangover pills are a small investment that may drastically reduce the severity of your hangovers.
Things to consider before buying a hangover pill
The ingredients are, by far, the most important factor when it comes to choosing which hangover pill to buy. Does it contain science-backed ingredients, and if so, is the dosage sufficient?
You may come across hangover pills that contain loads of ingredients and find that the doses are very small. And If the doses are tiny, the supplement might be ineffective.
Price is an important consideration for all of us. Going for the most expensive product doesn’t mean it’ll give you the best results. As always, going back and comparing the ingredients formula of different products is key to seeing whether you are getting the most value for your money.
Knowing where your choice of supplement is made can be reassuring. Is it manufactured in a country with high regulatory standards like the US or UK? Does the manufacturing facility adhere to good manufacturing practice guidelines (GMP)?
On that note, we’re going to take a closer look at some of the best hangover pill ingredients next.
Some ingredients to look out for
If you take a closer look at the ingredients in hangover pills, you’ll notice that most of them are made up of several different herbal extracts, amino acids, vitamins, and electrolytes.
Hangover pills utilize natural ingredients to support your liver’s detoxifying capacity, as well as boost antioxidant levels.
We mentioned before that there isn’t much research into natural hangover remedies, so the benefits reported are mostly anecdotal.
Prickly pear is packed with antioxidant-rich polyphenols. These are powerful antioxidants with several reported health benefits. It’s one of the only natural remedies that has actually been studied in hangovers. And the results from a 64-person study showed that prickly pear improved symptoms of a hangover. More research needs to be done in larger trials to prove it helps, but it’s a promising start.
The active ingredient in Milk thistle is called silymarin and it’s been used traditionally for centuries to support liver health. Studies have shown that milk thistle can reduce inflammation associated with fatty liver disease. With that said, it’s not been studied for hangovers per se, but many people swear by its benefits for reducing the severity of symptoms.
Ampelopsis Grorseedentata (Dihydromyricetin)
The active ingredient in this plant is called Dihydromyricetin (Also known as “DHM”). It’s a popular hangover pill ingredient that features in all of the products mentioned in this review.
The reason why it’s gained popularity is that a few studies have shown it may increase alcohol metabolism in rats. However, other studies have said DHM makes no difference. So it’s unclear whether it has any real benefit for hangovers. With that said, it still functions as an antioxidant which helps neutralize harmful by-products of metabolism.
Ginger is one of the best-known natural anti-nausea remedies around. In fact, doctors still recommend it as a first-line remedy for mild morning sickness during early pregnancy. Aside from this, ginger’s main active ingredient “gingerol” is a powerful antioxidant.
Ginseng is one of the only other herbal extracts (along with prickly pear) that’s been tested by scientists as a remedy for hangovers. A small study in 25 men showed that taking ginseng before drinking reduced the symptoms of a hangover. It’s only a very small study, but hopefully, it’ll spark more future research.
Cysteine is a semi-essential amino acid and the precursor to glutathione which is a potent antioxidant. Glutathione is often referred to as the body’s “master antioxidant” because it’s the most powerful known. The problem is that you can’t absorb glutathione directly from the gut. Hence why Cysteine (one of the precursors to glutathione) is used instead.
Alpha-lipoic acid is a co-factor that is made naturally in the body and is also found in lots of different foods. You’ll often see it in hangover pills because of its antioxidant properties.
Pretty much every hangover pill contains at least a few B vitamins. Most commonly, vitamins B1, B3, and B6 because they are heavily involved in the metabolism of the things we eat and drink, including alcohol.
Vitamin C and E
We all know that having normal levels of vitamin C is important for our immune system. But did you know it’s also a powerful antioxidant?
Vitamin E works alongside Vitamin C as natural antioxidants that clear up harmful by-products.
Ingredients to avoid
It’s a stimulant that may rumble your stomach if already feeling nauseous. Caffeine is also a diuretic which means it can exacerbate dehydration. Furthermore, caffeine is a stimulant that will leave you jittery and distrust your sleep.
Reaching for a cup of coffee in the morning when hungover is the norm for lots of people. But because of the reasons above, it’s probably not the best option. The products mentioned in this article do not contain caffeine.
Pretty self-explanatory point. The best hangover pills don’t cut corners and only pack what’s necessary in the capsules. We’ll take a look at this point in more detail next.
How to tell which hangover pills are the best quality
Most of the hangover pills on the market contain similar ingredients, but the quality of these products can vary greatly. And it can be quite difficult to tell unless you know what to look for. Here are some of the things that differentiate premium products:
– Fillers and anti-caking agents: These are used to pack out the empty space in capsules to make them look more full. Others are used as “flow agents” during the manufacturing process. You can check the labels for ingredients such as magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide, and titanium dioxide which are the most commonly used. The best hangover pills don’t use these ingredients and opt for natural alternatives such as rice flour.
– Artificial colors and flavoring: Some brands use artificial colors and flavors to enhance the look and taste of their product. Ultimately, we believe the only things we should be putting in our supplements should be beneficial, active ingredients. You may also prefer to avoid additives.
– Standardized herbal extracts: The herbal extracts in hangover pills such as Milk thistle, DHM, and Ginseng are grown all over the world. Depending on the region it’s grown in, the extract will contain a different amount of active ingredients. To get around this variation, top brands use standardized extracts which are guaranteed to contain a minimum amount of active ingredients.
– Proprietary blends: If you take a closer look at some hangover pill ingredients tables, you may notice that several ingredients are hidden behind a “proprietary blend”. This means you won’t be able to tell the actual doses of the ingredients in the blend. Proprietary blends are cheaper to manufacture and that’s why top hangover pills usually list out every ingredient so you know exactly what you are consuming.
How do you take hangover pills?
The products mentioned in this review require you to take anywhere between two to six capsules each time you drink and you may be wondering: why so many?
Well, it’s because capsules only have a limited amount of space you can fill with ingredients. Therefore, multiple capsules are required to get a large enough dose that actually works. Simply put, fitting enough nutrients at a high enough dose, in a single capsule, is just not possible.
That’s why it’s really important to follow the directions, otherwise, you’ll be taking doses that may be too small to have any real effect.
Are they safe?
We’ve only included hangover pills that are made from natural ingredients and have good reputations in this review. Therefore, they are usually well-tolerated with low side effect profiles.
But they all contain a combination of herbal extracts that you may have not been exposed to before. That means there is always a chance that one or more ingredients may not sit well with you.
Naturally, there is a greater risk of side effects if you are already taking other medications that may interact. That’s why you should always speak to your physician before trying a new supplement.
If you do experience side effects, don’t take them anymore and speak to your doctor.
Places to buy hangover pills
Most of the supplements featured on this list are available to buy from the official product manufacturer websites, and some are also available at other online retailers such as GNC, CVS, and Walgreens. Amazon is also another good option as their prime delivery service is unrivaled.
One of the advantages of buying a supplement from an official website is that you can be sure that you’ll be getting a genuine and authentic product. On top of this, you’re more likely to get the best bundle deals.
Hangover pills vs drinks, patches, and IV drips
You’ve probably seen all different types of so-called “hangover cures” around. From health centers that’ll hook you up to a fluorescent IV drip to vitamin patches, and drinks.
All options have various positives and negatives, but for us, hangover pills are the most convenient, deliver the highest doses, are the most cost-effective, and ultimately work the best.
At the end of the day, it mainly comes down to personal choice and you may want to try a few different products to see what works best for you.
Whether you chose to go for a supplement pill, drink, or patch, it’s always important to look at the ingredients formula to check if it contains ingredients that work.
How to get the most benefit from hangover pills
We’ve said throughout that hangover pills are not miracle cures. To get the most out of them, you still need to drink within your limits and do everything else you can to prevent waking up with a hangover. These include:
1) Drink enough water
Everyone knows dehydration is one of the causes of a hangover. That’s because alcohol is a diuretic which means it makes your kidneys push out more water. Alcohol does this by blocking the release of a hormone from your pituitary gland called vasopressin.
Therefore, taking regular water breaks is essential if you want to prevent getting a bad hangover. Try drinking a glass of water between each alcoholic drink. Better still, you could consider investing in electrolyte mixes. These usually come in handy sachets which you mix with water that enhance absorption.
2) Avoid drinking darker-colored spirits
Red wine and whiskey hangovers are notoriously bad. And there’s a good reason for it. They contain higher amounts of congeners which have been shown in studies to make hangovers worse. Congeners are formed when alcohol is aged in barrels and also during fermentation which is why they taste as they do. But unfortunately, they are bad news for hangovers so consider switching to lighter colored drinks.
3) Eat before drinking alcohol
We all have that one friend who comes out without having had dinner and is the first to leave the party. Alcohol is absorbed much faster from your gut if it’s empty which will make you drunk much faster. As they say, slow and steady wins the race and eating before drinking is key to this.
4) Stay away from caffeinated mixers
Caffeine is a diuretic like alcohol. That’s why caffeinated mixers like Coca-cola and Red Bull can be doubly bad for dehydration. Furthermore, the stimulant effect of caffeine lasts for hours after. This means it will massively reduce your sleep quality by keeping it light and easily disturbed. In summary, mixing alcohol and caffeine is usually a bad combination if you’re trying to prevent waking up with a hangover.
In summary, if you follow these tips in combination with taking a hangover pill, you’ll have the best chance of waking up feeling OK.
Hangover Pill FAQs
What is the best time to take hangover pills?
It depends on the brand you choose to go for. However, the best products on the market recommend taking the pills before, during or after your last drink. But these instructions are relatively vague, right?
If the dosing recommends taking the pills before drinking, it’s best to take them within 2 hours of your first drink and ideally with a meal. This is enough time for the ingredients in the capsules to be absorbed by your cells and get to work.
If the dosing recommends also taking pills after your last drink, then any time before you go to sleep is fine if you are drinking in the evening. Otherwise, within 1 hour of your last drink if you’re drinking during the day and not planning on sleeping anytime soon.
In summary, the more nutrients are available while alcohol is in your system, the better. That’s because the harmful by-products of alcohol metabolism are produced as soon as you start drinking.
What if I take fewer pills than the recommended dose?
Lots of people decide to take fewer pills than the recommended dose. Especially as some of the products featured on this best hangover pill review require you to take 6 capsules!
And smaller doses may be enough for some people so it’s worth a try. However, the recommended dose is there for the reason of delivering a large dose of nutrients to support recovery. So don’t be surprised if you take fewer pills than the recommended dose and don’t feel the benefits.
Can I take hangover pills if I’m already hungover?
You certainly can. But whether it will actually help reduce your symptoms is less likely. By the time you’ve woken up with a hangover, the damage caused by alcohol has already taken place. The hangover you’ve woken up with is a sign from your body that it’s struggling.
So even though there’s no harm in taking hangover pills when already hungover, they aren’t really designed to be a remedy for this. You may be better off with some OJ and painkillers!
Do hangover pills speed up alcohol metabolism?
Definitely NO. If you’re planning on taking hangover pills to sober up faster, it’s not going to happen.
It’s useful to know that your liver breaks down alcohol at a rate of approximately 1-2 hours for every “standard drink” or “unit of alcohol”. So if you’ve had a few drinks in the evening, it can take several hours for your blood alcohol levels to drop to zero. Also, the rate at which people metabolize alcohol varies greatly. It depends on factors such as your age, gender, height, weight, and genetics. So it’s really not a good idea to try and time it.
Wrapping things up
That concludes our review of the best hangover pills on the market right now. We’ve walked you through all the most important features to look out for and how they work.
Always remember that hangover pills are not a substitute for sensible drinking habits. That means, making sure you don’t mix your drinks, avoiding doing shots and drinking on an empty stomach as well as keeping well hydrated.
If hangovers are becoming unbearable and you’re looking for a natural remedy to give you that extra helping hand, hangover pills could be the answer.
With that said, you can’t go wrong with any of the products we’ve selected in this best hangover pill review.