Are you struggling to recover after drinking (even a small amount)?
Even if you make sure to drink loads of water and get enough sleep, sometimes it’s just not enough. Especially once we hit our 30s…mornings after start to become a real struggle.
When the standard recovery tricks just stop working as well anymore, it may be time to consider adding a hangover pill to your game.
Although they are, by no means, a “cure” and will not completely prevent a hangover, they could be exactly what you need to help you feel a little better the next day. Packed with natural herbal ingredients, vitamins, and amino acids, hangover pills are designed to support liver health.
The best hangover pills contain high-quality ingredients to give you that extra push to stay productive and get on with your day.
As with any dietary supplement, consult your doctor before use.
7 Best Hangover Prevention Pills
There are a lot of hangover pill options on the market. But they are not all the same. There can be quite a lot of variation in ingredient quality and dosing which can impact effectiveness.
Although these products are often referred to as “hangover prevention pills”, it’s important to say again that they will not actually prevent a hangover. The only way to completely prevent a hangover is to not drink any alcohol. But their purpose is to support recovery as best they can.
Here’s our guide to the most effective hangover supplements around right now based on customer reviews, reputation, and overall quality.
AFTERDRINK (By OMRE)
AfterDrink is an all-natural, premium recovery supplement that includes a mix of vitamins, amino acids, and herbal extracts. It contains high quality ingredients at impactful doses.
They include prickly pear, ginseng, milk thistle, and DHM which are key hangover pill ingredients. On top of this, they don’t use additives such as magnesium stearate or silicon dioxide and opt for a natural rice flour alternative. AfterDrink is also made in the USA in a GMP (good manufacturing practice) facility. Overall, it’s a premium option that covers all angles.
You need to take 3 pills before and another 3 pills after drinking.
$35 for 48 pills – enough for 8 nights out
Price per night out = $4.34
- 23 antioxidant ingredients
- Made in the USA
- No magnesium stearate or silicon dioxide
- No ‘proprietary blend’, all ingredient doses listed
H Proof the anytime you drink supplement is the best chewable hangover pill which comes in three different flavors. It even comes in a handy 2-pill packet option which you can take out with you in your bag.
It contains a selection of B vitamins, vitamin C, and herbal extracts to support alcohol metabolism. You need to take 2 chewable tablets anytime you are drinking (hence the brand name!).
$59 for 20 chewable pills – Enough for 10 nights out
Price per night out = $5.90
- Chewable hangover pill
- Made in the USA
- Three flavors that are sugar free
Flyby hangover pills contain electrolytes (Sodium, Magnesium & Potassium) in addition to a range of herbal ingredients such as DHM, Chlorophyll, Vitamin B, Vitamin C. You take 3 pills before and after drinking for maximum benefit.
$35 for 9o pills – enough for 15 nights out
Price per night out = $2.33
- Contains electrolytes
- Proprietary formula
- Plant antioxidants
Cheers Restore is a brand you may recognize from the TV series Shark Tank. It contains the highest amount of DHM compared to other hangover pills. So it’s the best option if you’re looking for a high DHM dose supplement. They also sell a range of other liver health supplements to support drinking-related health from all angles.
The recommended dose is between 2 and 4 pills when you drink.
$35 for 48 pills – Enough for 10-15 nights out depending on the number of pills you take
Price per night out = Depends on the number of pills you take, average around $3
- Made in the USA
- No proprietary blend
- Sells other liver health supplements to support all-round health
Purple tree is one of the best value-for-money options on the market. Despite being one of the cheapest hangover prevention pills out there, they still contain a solid selection of ingredients including prickly pear, DHM, and milk thistle. They also avoid the use of magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide which some customers may prefer.
$28.95 for 60 pills – enough for 20 nights out (3 pill dose)
Price per night out = $1.45
- No magnesium stearate or silicon dioxide
- Best budget option
Party smart is one of the only single-pill hangover prevention supplements. Unlike the other brands on the market, you just have to take one pill when you drink.
Aside from this, it has a formula that’s very different from the other brands. Their ingredient list comprises Chicory, grape, date palm, and amla extract which none of the other brands seemingly utilize. Nevertheless, they have lots of great reviews which support the fact it works.
$21.49 for 1o pills – enough for 10 nights out
Price per night out = $2.15
- Different range of herbal ingredients
- Good value for money
- Years of experience
Drinkwel is packed with 30 different antioxidant ingredients. Aside from the usual ingredients you see in hangover prevention pills like milk thistle, B vitamins, and DHM, they also include reishi mushroom and goji berry extract for a bigger antioxidant impact.
$39.99 for 90 pills – enough for 15 nights out
Price per night out = $2.67
- 30 ingredients
- Can be used as a daily liver health supplement in a smaller dose
- Years of experience
Ranking criteria for the best hangover pills
Here are some of the main factors that make the hangover pills above stand out.
- Brand Reputation – Years of experience, good customer service
- Reviews – Top rated on Amazon
- Ingredients – Should contain natural ingredients only that are science-backed.
- Safety – Product safety based on the ingredients and 3rd-party testing.
- Price – Good value for the money of course!
What are hangover pills and do they work?
We’ve already explained that so-called hangover pills are not a cure. So if by the question ‘do hangover pills work’ you are asking: ‘will I wake up hangover-free?’ Then no, they do not.
Alcohol is a toxin and causes damage in so many ways:
- Sleep disruption
- Hormonal disturbance
Nothing will ever exist that counteracts the effect of alcohol. And to be frank, that’s a good thing because hangovers are a sign from your body that you’ve had too much alcohol for your liver to process.
Hangover pills are designed to support your liver in dealing with the inflammation caused by drinking as they are packed with antioxidants. They work best when paired with other sensible drinking habits such as eating before drinking alcohol and staying well hydrated.
Common ingredients in hangover pills
This list is not exhaustive but covers the most common ingredients you’ll come across in hangover pills:
The B vitamins are crucial for metabolism. They function as cofactors in various metabolic processes. You can think of them as the essential cogs that are required for the machinery of our cells to work.
It’s known that B vitamins (mainly B1, B2, B3, and B6) are heavily involved in the metabolism of alcohol. Although most of us don’t need any extra B vitamins, they are utilized in hangover pills to support levels where needed.
Ginseng has been used in traditional Asian medicine for centuries for immunity and gut health. It contains the active ingredient ‘Ginsenoside’ which is a natural anti-inflammatory. One study showed that it reduced hangover severity when given before drinking.
Prickly pear cactus can be found from New Mexico and Montana east to Florida and Massachusetts. Also known as the ‘devil’s-tongue’, this plant harbors bright-colored fruits that are packed with antioxidant-rich polyphenols. One study showed that test subjects woke up with less dry mouth and nausea when they took prickly pear before drinking.
The key ingredient in Vine tea is Dihydromyricetin (DHM). It’s been used as a traditional remedy for hangovers in Asia. More recently, some studies showed that it can potentially enhance alcohol metabolism in animals.
Everyone knows that ginger is ‘good for you’, but most can’t tell you why. Ginger contains the active ingredient ‘gingerol’ which is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It’s even been proven to reduce nausea in morning sickness and post-surgery. That’s why the best hangover pills will include ginger to utilize its natural powers.
Milk thistle is arguably the most popular health supplement in the liver health niche, and for good reason. Milk thistle contains Silymarin which has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s even been shown to reduce inflammation in certain liver conditions like fatty liver disease.
L-Theanine is a naturally-occurring chemical in tea that has been shown to increase brain alpha waves. These brain waves peak when we are at our calmest.
Do hangover pills have side effects?
Everything new that we eat or drink has the potential to have side effects. Generally, speaking, you only know if you’re intolerant or allergic to something once you’ve consumed it.
The reality is that most of the herbal ingredients in hangover pills you are unlikely to have consumed in the past. So the potential for side effects is always there.
That said, the overwhelming majority of people do not have any issues. Some people are particularly sensitive to the excipients in supplements. These are the other ingredients that most people may not know about that are added during manufacturing. The most common ones are magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide.
They are inactive ingredients meaning they do not have any nutritional benefit. But some people can have reactions to them. That’s why some manufacturers use plant-based alternatives like rice flour.
Where to buy hangover pills
The hangover pills mentioned in this review are all available online on Amazon and on their website. The top hangover pill brands are also available in stores across the US.
The best deals are usually available during Amazon prime day / black Fridays. Outside of these promotional periods, you can find good deals when you order multi-packs.
If you’re ordering from outside the US, the only option may be to purchase from the brand website as Amazon may not deliver to your location.
Types of Hangover supplements
There are various types of hangover supplements on the market. You just have to find which is the most suitable for you.
As we’ve covered above, these are your typical hangover pills which come in capsules. You usually need to take them before and after drinking.
- Easy to travel with – fits into a handbag/backpack.
- East to take if you don’t mind pills
- Can pack large ingredient doses
- Not ideal if you can’t swallow capsules. (Chewable pills are an alternative)
Hangover prevention drinks usually contain the same ingredients as hangover pills but in liquid form.
- Ideal for those who don’t like to take pills
- Can be used as a mixer with your last alcoholic drink
- Hydration benefit
- Some have a high sugar content
- You may not like the flavors
- Not easy to travel with as they are bulkier and heavier than pills.
You can even get hangover prevention patches that go on your skin (much like nicotine patches). They deliver nutrients much faster to the bloodstream but at a smaller dose.
- Ideal for those who don’t want to gulp down a drink or pills
- Rapid delivery of nutrients
- Easy to travel with
- Can’t deliver the same dose of ingredients found in hangover pills and drinks
- Can have skin reactions to the adhesives
- Potentially not as effective
How to use hangover pills for maximum benefit
If you want to get the most out of hangover pills, there are lots of other steps you can take to minimize the risk of waking up with a bad hangover.
You shouldn’t expect to take hangover pills and then drink however much you want and wake up feeling great. That’s not realistic.
Here are some of the best things you can do alongside taking your hangover pills which will give you the best chance of preventing a hangover:
Drink less and at a slower pace
Drinking less alcohol is the best way to prevent a hangover. That’s clear and obvious.
Aside from this, slowing down your alcohol intake can also have a huge impact. Drinking 5 glasses of wine in two hours is very different from drinking 5 glasses of wine in 5 hours.
You may end up waking up with a hangover in both cases. But you can bet your bottom dollar it’ll be much worse if you had all that alcohol in two hours. The reason is, alcohol is metabolized at a rate of approximately one standard drink per hour. This can vary greatly between individuals but it’s a good average benchmark to use for this example.
If you drink faster than one standard drink per hour, your liver is not able to metabolize the alcohol in your bloodstream. Therefore, a backlog develops. Alcohol continues to flow through your bloodstream for longer which means more damage and inflammation.
Never drink on an empty stomach
If you’ve ever had a drink on an empty stomach, you’ll know that it goes straight to your head. The reason is, without any food in your stomach, alcohol is unimpeded and absorbed within minutes from your stomach into your bloodstream.
The result is higher blood alcohol concentration at a faster speed. It’s why you’ll feel tipsy quickly if you’re drinking on an empty stomach.
It’s always best to make sure you only drink if you’ve had a recent meal (within 3 hours of drinking). There are lots of urban myths around certain foods like bread or milk being the best thing to ‘line your stomach’. In reality, any type of food is better than nothing.
Accelerate your hydration
One of the best ways to get the most out of your hangover pills is to add a hydration mix to your game. Hydration powders contain electrolytes and sugar which speed up how fast water is absorbed into your bloodstream. They also taste great as well.
The best thing to do is to take a hydration sachet at least once or twice on your night out to support your hydration needs. They are the ideal partner for your hangover pills.
Light colored drinks are better
Drinks that are dark colored like bourbon, whiskey, red wine, and port are all terrible for hangovers. That’s because they are high in congeners.
Congeners are organic compounds that are formed when these drinks are fermented and aged. They are responsible for the taste and smell so you can’t get rid of congeners. Otherwise, whiskey wouldn’t be whiskey.
The problem is that high congener drinks have been shown in studies to cause worse hangovers. Therefore, you may want to avoid darker colored drinks and switch to clear spirit mixers instead.
Avoid drinking too late
Drinking has a huge negative impact on your sleep. Alcohol blocks your brain from entering REM sleep. This is the stage where we dream and memories are formed. It’s also one of the key “restorative” stages of sleep and if you don’t get enough REM sleep, you won’t feel your best.
By blocking REM sleep, alcohol makes your sleep light and easily disrupted. Although you will fall asleep very easily if you’ve been drinking, you may also recall waking up several times in the night.
If you’ve not slept well, you’ll feel cranky, irritable, on edge, and moody at the very least. So when you add the headache, dehydration, and body aches from a hangover, it’s clear to see why you feel so bad.
One of the best ways to prevent a hangover (other than the tips above), is to stop drinking much earlier. Bring your dinners forward and have a hard stop time in mind for when you won’t have any more alcohol.
If you follow these tips alongside taking your hangover pills, you’ll have the best chance of waking up with minimal or no hangover!
Hangover Pill FAQs
Here are the most asked questions regarding the best hangover pills:
Are hangover pills safe?
The reason we’ve ranked the brands in this article as being the best hangover pills is that they all use natural ingredients. None of them contain any medicines or stimulants.
Some people may not be well suited to some of the herbal ingredients in hangover pills. But generally speaking, the ingredients are regarded as safe.
On top of this, hangover supplements are designed to be taken when drinking. For most people that would mean using it a few times a month at most. Hangover pills shouldn’t be taken daily because they contain high dose vitamins that are not suitable for daily use.
If you are finding that you are drinking most days of the week, it’s important to speak to your physician.
Are hangover pills worth it?
The top hangover pills are admittedly expensive, costing anywhere between $25-$60 for a bottle. Hangover pills are going to work differently for everyone. If you check the reviews, you’ll notice that some people will swear by hangover pills and won’t ever drink without them. So for this group of people, it’s worth every penny.
But everyone is different and some people won’t find hangover pills as effective. In which case it may be an expensive outlay.
A lot of the top hangover pills will offer a money-back guarantee for just this reason. So you’ll be covered and get your money back if you’re not happy with the results.
What’s the best time to take hangover pills?
All the hangover pills in this review recommend taking a dose either before, during, or after drinking. It’s really important to follow the directions for use because hangover pills do not work if you use them outside this window.
The whole purpose is that the nutrients get to work while alcohol is still in your system. By the time you have woken up with a hangover, it’s far too late for recovery. If you forget to take your pills the night before, you can still take them in the morning, but it’s unlikely to make much difference.
Do I need to take the full recommended dose?
Most hangover pill brands require you to take at least a few capsules every time you drink. Some even recommend taking up to 6 pills a night which is quite a large number to swallow.
It may feel like it’s too much, but the important thing to appreciate is that they contain lots of ingredients and it’s not possible to fit everything into a single small pill.
It’s best to follow the directions so that you see the full benefits. But you can always try a smaller dose and see how it works for you.
Do hangover pills protect the liver from alcohol?
Absolutely not. Drinking over the recommended limits has serious health implications and increases the risk of liver disease, certain types of cancer, and mental health problems.
Hangover supplements have zero effect on protecting your body from alcohol-related health problems.
If you’re looking for the best hangover pill, it’s important to first remember that there are no miracle supplements. You can’t just take a few pills and expect to wake up hangover-free if you’ve been drinking way over your limits and doing shots all night.
The key is to add hangover pills to your recovery regimen which should include proper hydration, avoiding high congener drinks, and eating before drinking alcohol.
We hope this article has given you some insight into the different hangover supplements available right now.