Everyone talks about how your twenties are a period of change physically, emotionally and financially; of self-discovery and exploration and excitement. But no one talks about the hangover.
Not the metaphorical kind; the head pounding, nauseating kind that greets you in your late twenties.
I long for the days when I was twenty-one, when I could easily make fresh bread, go on a hike and write a book the day after clubbing two nights in a row. OK, maybe I didn’t do those things, but I very well could have. Waking up fresh-faced (ish — my skincare regime was non-existent back then) and refreshed after a shower and a coffee, the idea of a hangover was an urban myth and something I’d blissfully had no experience of.
Fast-forward to my late twenties, one sip of wine and I can already pre-empt tomorrow’s downfall, which will feature me sitting in my ironic Powerpuff Girls pajamas wondering if a chamomile tea and a ginger shot can revive me. I’ve scoured the internet for hangover cures, asked everyone I know and envied my younger twenty-something friends who still haven’t experienced the curse of A Bad Hangover. The misery after an overindulgence of tequila is now my worst nightmare. And TikTok felt my woe.
Flickering through my “For You” feed, I began seeing miracle cures for hangovers popping up, one after the other. Some of the comments on these videos included things like, “I can finally drink without worrying about the fear the next day” which would definitely appeal to a millennial like myself suffering with both a hangover and the “Sunday scaries” after a night out. One Generation Z’er even described them as “healing her life.”
Could I buy a prepackaged solution to my Hangover Problem? I’m also inclined to “hangxiety” — an overwhelming sense of doom that hangs over my post-booze mornings. Could these influencer-marketed magic tablets be the birth-control pill of booze, all the sin, with none of the consequences? I needed to find out.
I decided to try the “Rebound” pills from Hangcure, as well as their additional recommended “Rehydrate” solution. (If the pill worked so well, surely this paid extra was redundant?) But regardless, I took two pills before embarking on a drunken girls’ night out with my housemate, chugging a few glasses of water along with it, as Hangcure recommended. We went down to our local bar and had our fair share of wine and cocktails. It was our local pub quiz night and we’d been attempting to go every week to in the hopes of winning the prize. So far, that hadn’t been successful, but tonight would be different! (we hoped). As the drinks kicked in and the questions went on, we got more confident in our (invariably wrong) answers, and took longer and longer deciding each one. We were buzzed; but at least I wouldn’t get a hangover! (I also hoped).
Along with taking the pills beforehand, my inebriated self had to remember to take the next two pills before I slept, as well as the Rehydrate solution. The pills were fine, but I could barely get the solution down. It tasted eerily similar to expired lemonade and ironically made me want to vomit more than alcohol has ever has.
The result would make it worth it though.
I woke up only a few hours later feeling like I had barely slept and with a pounding headache. I desperately tried to go back to sleep and finally managed to steal a few more hours, but I when I finally arose — shock horror — it didn’t feel like I’d reversed the effects of last night at all. I was hungover, feeling like I wanted to burrow my head in my duvet and not speak to anyone for three to five working days.
After a few hours, I took a shower and ordered some food, and as the day went on, I felt better than I usual would by this point. Placebo or miracle drug, by the evening, I felt more human.
I did feel slightly better, but I’m not too sure if this was because I was expecting it to work or because this ‘cocktail’ of vitamins had actually accomplished its goal. Alcohol diminishes magnesium levels, leading to that dreaded “hangxiety,” and magnesium does appear to be the main ingredient in these pills. Alternatively, the customer base for hangover pills may not have the most mature drinking habits, so the recommendation to drink a few glasses of water could be responsible for a lot of the positive reviews.
So maybe the pills aren’t the panacea to Jack Daniels’s revenge; the miracle cure TikTok sold me. In short, my life is not “healed.” But maybe they take the edge off. I should try them again tomorrow to be on the safe side, for journalism’s sake.
I do have some Merlot in my cupboard that I need to use up.