Word of Mouth

Drinkwel: the hangover cure that works

At the risk of riling up those readers who like to tell me I drink too much, I plan on ringing in 2011 the same way I welcomed 2009 and 2010: with plenty of bubbly followed by a cocktail or five. And I'm sure there are at least a few people who are with me.

My typical M.O. is to then spend New Year's Day lying in a dark room until I finally drag myself out of bed to track down a burrito or a Bloody Mary, only to return to the couch and nap the afternoon away. I don't get totally wasted that often, but when I do, I pay dearly, with hangovers that last about 24 hours.

Not this year. Because a few months ago, I received a hangover cure that, as far as I can tell, actually works.

I was shipped a sample of Drinkwel, a little capsule developed by some biomedical science Ph.D. in California. The pills are chock-full of vitamins and minerals that supposedly combat the effects of drinking by replacing all the nutrients your body loses during consumption.

I didn't spend too much time reading the ingredients, and I was pretty sure the thing was a farce, like vitamin E making your hair silkier or vitamin B boosting your metabolism. Maybe that stuff's actually true, but I've never noticed a difference.

But this was science, obviously, so I set up an experiment to see how well it worked.

On the first night, I drank to excess, giving special credence to whiskey and red wine, since those things make me particularly miserable. Predictably, I spent the next day riding the hangover train of misery.

A week later, I was poised to start all over. Drinkwel instructs you to take three tablets with food and a full glass of water before imbibing. You take three more tablets with a full glass of water before you go to bed. Not drinking on an empty stomach (not that I ever have an empty stomach) and hydration already put me one step ahead of the game, but I decided to really give the stuff a good run for its money.

How? Three words: Mike's Hard Lemonade, a lethal combination of sugar and terrible liquor that punches me in the temples every time I suck one down. And I drank a six-pack on top of a fair few of my usual whiskey-ginger order at a local dive bar.

I stumbled home sometime around 2 a.m. and faithfully choked down the second round of tablets, feeling vaguely triumphant that I was about to prove this supplement didn't work.

Except that I woke up the next morning, head clear, stomach strong as steel, ready to embrace the day. I could do some work! I could go for a run! I could even build a financial model for no reason at all! All of the bad decisions and none of the terrible aftereffects! I was feeling great.

I realize that the whole water-and-food thing may have had more of an effect than the capsule itself, but, hey, this was science. And I will never drink heavily without the supplement again. Plus, I like the warning that comes with it:

Remember, this product does not prevent intoxication, alcohol poisoning, alcohol abuse, or utter stupidity.

Feeling like you might need the stuff for your Friday-night plans? Order Drinkwel on the product's website.

Happy New Year. It's going to be a great 2011.

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