People have been looking for successful hangover cures for about as long as we've been drinking — in ancient Mesopotamia, for instance, a soup of licorice, beans, and toxic plants was in vogue. These days, popular remedies include activated charcoal, an IV, room temperature Pepsi, and cheeseburgers. (The worst suggestion I’ve ever received is to go back in time.)
Personally, I’m committed to a combination of water, exercise, and diner food. But a targeted Instagram ad has brought a new remedy to my attention: Cheers Health, an after-alcohol aid.
Cheers, featured on Shark Tank, comes in three versions: hydrate, protect, and restore, which promises to “neutralize alcohol’s negative effects.”
Simply put, the supplement (a mix of unpronounceable chemicals and herbs) speeds up how fast we process alcohol. To metabolize alcohol, the body converts it into acetaldehyde — 20 times as toxic as alcohol — aka the hangover culprit. Quickening this process reduces the amount of time your body is exposed to acetaldehyde, thus reducing the symptoms that follow a night of heavy drinking.
I think Cheers is an ambitious ask for a drunk person. On an average night, I barely remember to drink water and eat dinner. There is little chance I would remember to take a supplement. And even if I did remember, popping capsules and waking up without a hangover seemed too good to be true. So, I decided to see if Cheers lived up to its promises.
To set myself up for a really good hangover, I drank my way through an eclectic mix of spirits, beer, and moonshine. After about five or six drinks and a stressful 10 minutes when I lost the bottle of pills, I put myself to bed with Cheers. (The pills are meant to be consumed after your last drink or before bed. Note: if, like me, you are bad at swallowing pills, I’d recommend trying out a different remedy. The capsules are huge.)
The results were unremarkable, save for how soundly I slept. (I even made it to my 5:30 a.m. gym class.) But other than my full seven hours of sleep, I still woke up with a headache, nausea, and felt off-balance all morning. Any lessening of my hangover symptoms was not noticeable.
Cheers might call themselves “the best thing to happen to alcohol, since alcohol,” but in truth, the pills didn’t do much for me (though to be fair, this was a small sample size). But I still ended up sitting at my desk hungover, left to endure the pain of last night’s decisions and search for the nearest lukewarm Pepsi.