It has long been known that the best way to prevent a hangover is to drink alcohol in moderation or do not drink at all. But nevertheless, millions of young people and not so young people, regularly experiencing the consequences of «yesterday’s parties», paved the way for a new segment of functional products, which has become the subject of our review this time. A lot of interesting things are awaiting for you. Cheers!
Spoiler, warning and confession
“People have been drinking for centuries. In the Bronze Age, the Iron Age and the Jazz Age; empires collapsed, wars raged, entire civilizations were enslaved — all because of a hangover,” begins an excursion into the history of the search for a “cure for overdrinking” Shaughnessy Bishop-Stoll in his book «Hungover. The Morning After, and One Man’s Quest for a Cure»
According to the researcher of the “consequences of unreasonable alcohol intake”, at the beginning of the 20th century there was no such thing as a hangover. About the one who was drunk yesterday, they said that he was «moping», «moving away» or just feeling terrible.
The word hangover is one of the youngest words in the English language. One gets the impression that there was no hangover until a fateful etymologically new concept appeared for its designation.
Less than a hundred years after its birth, it has become indispensable for describing a state far older than language itself. Today we are witnessing a real boom among manufacturers producing specialized products against this “booze phenomenon”.
«The better in the evening, the worse in the morning»
Hangover symptoms are quite unpleasant and painful. They can include headache, nausea and vomiting, weakness, and a host of other uncomfortable signals that can linger for up to hours or even days. The consequences of a hangover include an increased risk of heart disease, dizziness, hypertension, and other serious health problems. The state of a hangover can be quite unpleasant for anyone who “did not calculate” the other day.
The search for effective ways to avoid a hangover has been going on for centuries. Mankind continues to drink, and is looking for reliable means to alleviate their unreasonable state.
In Bishop-Stoll’s book, there are hundreds of recipes for «magic balms, softening and tonic remedies for getting sober» and dozens of different hangover remedies, including «thousands of prayers for hangovers» from different countries, claiming to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with this unpleasant condition. But we will turn to more advanced means.
In the modern world, one of the most popular ways to deal with a hangover is specialized functional drinks. They contain additional vitamins, minerals and herbal extracts to help reduce alcohol intoxication and speed up recovery from excessive drinking.
The most common ingredients in these products are:
- vitamin C — reduces inflammation and improves immune function
- B vitamins promote energy production and help support the nervous system
- plant extracts
- amino acids
But not only. Modern science knows several dozen other botanicals and chemicals that effectively reduce inflammation, improve metabolism and restore the potassium-magnesium balance caused by dehydration in the composition of functional foods. In addition, some functional hangover drinks also contain ingredients that improve physical and mental performance.
In our review, we will look at the global market for functional hangover drinks. It is filled with innovations, and quite claims to be a promising solution to the age-old problem, forming one of the fastest growing markets in recent years.
Functional hangover drink market
According to a report by Grand View Research, the global market for hangover remedies was estimated at $1.56 billion in 2020. It has been growing at an average CAGR of 14.7% in recent years, and has grown convincingly to $1.83 billion by 2021. It is expected that in In the future, it will also continue to grow positively at an average of 7.2% annually until 2028. By this time, it should reach the size of the global hangover cure market of $4.67 billion.
The report notes that the demand for functional hangover drinks is on the rise due to increasing awareness of the health benefits associated with these products. The growing prevalence of hangovers among young people and the wide availability of a variety of remedies for this social malaise are also cited as factors stimulating the recovery in the market.
According to a survey conducted by the American Addictions Center, 75% of young adults (ages 18-34) reported experiencing a hangover at least once in the last year. This demographic is the most likely to purchase hangover cures due to their active social lives and disposable incomes.
Another factor driving the growth of the hangover cure market is the variety and availability of hangover cure products. While functional drinks are relatively new, other types of products exist, such as tablets, powders, and patches. However, it is functional hangover drinks that are gaining popularity due to their convenience and proven effectiveness.
Portrait of the consumer «with a degree»
The consumer of functional anti-hangover drinks is most often a young person aged 18-34 years. He leads an active lifestyle, as a rule, maintains a wide network of social contacts, likes to communicate and generally does not mind any situations involving fun.
Most of the time, such consumers care about their health and strive to lead a healthy lifestyle. They try to exercise regularly and generally eat a balanced diet.
Alcohol abuse occurs from time to time, and they experience different phases of a hangover due to their active social life. In this case, it is a consequence of attending parties, concerts and other social events where alcohol is readily available.
It is this scenario that stimulates the demand for specialized post-hangover functional foods, and not the problems that usually accompany such a social phenomenon as household alcoholism.
Such a consumer appreciates convenience. It is often on the go, making functional hangover drinks an attractive option due to their portability and ease of use. Their main incentive is to be able to continue to enjoy their social life.
And because the entertainment industry is actively targeting this class in a variety of ways, this paradigm encourages them to constantly look for effective modern solutions to relieve hangover symptoms, instead of relying on traditional remedies such as painkillers or fatty foods that were popular with their grandfathers.
In addition, these consumers have a corresponding income. Hangover cures tend to be quite expensive. But this category is willing to pay premium prizes for high-quality products, which, in turn, stimulates innovation among manufacturers.
Often, these buyers are tech-savvy and wary of “questionable ingredients” in such products, preferring those containing natural ingredients. They are primarily interested in products that do not contain artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and GMOs.
They can meticulously research similar products on the Internet before making a purchase. In addition, they are susceptible to the influence of celebrities who endorse functional hangover products of certain brands.
Types of functional hangover drinks
There are several types of functional hangover drinks on the market. The most popular types include:
- Drinks with electrolytes
Designed to rehydrate the body and replenish lost electrolytes — minerals necessary for the proper functioning of the body, actively excreted from the body when drinking alcohol. These foods typically contain sodium, potassium, and magnesium, as well as other electrolytes.
- Detox drinks
Formulated to support liver function and eliminate toxins from the body. They usually include ingredients such as milk thistle, dandelion root, artichoke extract, and other herbal ingredients with hepatoprotective properties.
- Vitamin drinks
This group of drinks is designed to replenish the body with vitamins and nutrients that are actively lost when the «green snake» is abused. They usually contain high levels of vitamins B and C, which are important for energy production and the proper functioning of the immune system.
A product from any group alleviates any unpleasant symptom. Brands are actively seeking to expand the range of uses for their drinks through a more expanded composition, but it must be understood that the price of such options will be very high for ordinary fans to break away on Fridays.
We have included examples of the most popular functional anti-hangover drinks in the review, trying to provide a picture of the development of the segment over the past years.
Sobriety drinks «with a name»
Flyby Recovery itself has already become a brand in the segment. Launched in 2019, Hangover Comprehensive Drink contains a blend of electrolytes, vitamins and liver-supporting ingredients. It contains chlorophyll, N-acetylcysteine — an amino acid that helps maintain liver function, silymarin, dihydromyricetin, prickly pear extract, milk thistle, ginseng and lotus leaf extract.
In addition, Flyby Recovery contains minerals such as calcium D-pantothenate, zinc gluconate and magnesium oxide, amino acids L-theanine, taurine, thiamine HCl, riboflavin, pyridoxine HCl, folic acid, methyl cobalamin, as well as high levels of vitamins B and WITH.
The brand’s line includes effervescent tablets and bottled liquid formulas. The unique formula of Flyby Recovery helps to cope with headaches, nausea, fatigue and other unpleasant symptoms of a hangover.
Starting the review with it, it does not hurt to make a reservation that this is a typical representative of the category. In addition, one of the most popular functional hangover drinks. Flyby Recovery consistently receives a lot of positive feedback from consumers, many of whom highly appreciate its effectiveness in restoring the body after a wild party.
Pedialyte is another adult hit. A popular electrolyte drink was introduced to the market by Abbott Laboratories in 1966. It was originally developed for children with diarrhea and vomiting to help them stay hydrated. Then it became widely used as a sports drink to restore electrolyte balance. However, it gained crazy popularity among adults suffering from dehydration with a hangover.
Pedialyte contains a balanced mixture of electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium and chloride, essential for the normal functioning of the body, and zinc, a versatile mineral involved in many bodily functions, primarily responsible for the proper functioning of enzymes and immunity. Sucrose and glucose in the composition improve the perception of taste and stimulate an increase in energy in the body, experiencing severe alcohol stress.
Available in several formats:
- 237 ml bottles
- powder for dissolving in water, in packs of 4 and 8 sachets
- lozenges containing electrolytes and sucrose
Has a wide range. In addition to supermarkets and online stores, it can be bought at pharmacies. The recommended price of a bottle is from $3-5 for a pack of 4 and 6 bottles, respectively. Drink powder typically costs $8 to $12 for a pack of 4 to 8 sachets.
Drinkade is another of the patriarchs of the segment. Created in 2013 by two American businessmen — Sean McCormick and Harvey Peterson. To do this, the founders notably hung out the night in New Orleans, and in the morning they gave birth to the idea of a “resurrection drink” for a hangover.
Drinkade Boost now helps neutralize and recycle alcohol-induced toxins in the liver and kidneys, perfect before or after a heavy drinking session, with the added benefits of caffeine and vitamin B12, according to the manufacturer.
With potassium, milk thistle, green tea extract, aloe vera, electrolytes, caffeine and gotu kola, Gluten-Free Boost is a natural berry-flavored vitamin blend with zero grams of sugar.
A 100 ml (3.4 oz) bottle, taken one hour before a party or with alcohol, can effectively save up to seven shots of spirits.
Available at Amazon Prime, GNC, and The Vitamin Shoppe throughout the United States, as well as select stores in Texas, California, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico.
Morning Recovery, a specialized detox drink for fighting a hangover, has an army of loyal fans. It appeared on the shelves in 2017 and is currently represented mainly in the US and Asian markets — one of the most capacious for products in this category.
Formulated with a proprietary blend of ingredients including taurine, prickly pear extract, milk thistle and Korean pear extract to help reduce virtually all of the unpleasant symptoms of a hangover. Also contains electrolytes to promote hydration.
Morning Recovery is designed to support liver function, helping to reduce inflammation and help the body recover from alcohol abuse. The company claims that their product, in addition to speeding up the recovery process, also helps improve physical and mental performance.
The well-known brand has received support from celebrities such as investment guru Mark Cuban and stand-up star actor Kevin Hart, further boosting its popularity. According to a Wall Street Journal report, 2019 sales were around $20 million, indicating significant brand success in such a short period of time.
RESQWATER is another popular functional drink from Scottsdale, Arizona-based Intelligent Beverages LLC. The premium restorative product has been known on the market since 2012. It is made entirely from natural and organic ingredients from plant extracts, replenishing nutrients and flushing out toxins — the aftermath of wild parties.
As part of a dietary supplement, electrolytes and amino acids improve hydration and recovery of the body. RESQWATER helps the body metabolize acetaldehyde, the enzyme responsible for hangovers, by using N-acetyl L-cysteine to convert acetaldehyde to acetic acid, the company says.
The product also contains sucrose, prickly pear cactus extract and milk thistle extract, electrolytes, vitamins C and B to effectively combat hangover symptoms, provide protection against oxidative stress and are important nutrients for a healthy immune system response and improved functioning of all organs.
RESQWATER Premium Recovery Drink is only 5 calories, no sugar or stimulants. Kosher, gluten-free and vegan certified by Informed Sport and also recommended for protection against sore muscles. The drink supports stamina and helps reduce fatigue during sports activities. A 236 ml (8 oz) bottle can be purchased for approximately $4.49.
A functional drink from the well-known brand NOHO was launched on the market in 2010. Originally NOHO Premium, from California manufacturer Dolce Bevuto LLC, was positioned as a dietary supplement to improve physical and mental performance. However, if you drink 2 ounces of a NOHO shot before a party where alcohol is expected, it can also effectively prevent hangover symptoms.
NOHO contains a proprietary blend of herbs including milk thistle to help support liver function vitamins, minerals and herbal extracts of prickly pear fruit and ginger root to help reduce inflammation and improve recovery from alcohol. In addition, NOHO also contains caffeine and taurine, which are responsible for improving physical and mental performance.
A year later, the manufacturer expanded the NOHO brand with a variation of NOHO Gold. Unlike the flagship offer, NOHO Gold contains more vitamins and minerals for more intensive regeneration of the body.
The variation was developed specifically for alcoholic cocktails. A 250 ml can of soda with a light ginger flavor and known ingredients is available throughout the US and online for approximately $2.79.
In addition, the company releases NOHO Skinny, which helps to speed up metabolism and reduce body fat. In 2013, another brand extension took place. NOHO Rapid Morning Recovery is another anti-hangover innovation that relieves the symptoms of morning alcohol intoxication.
Rapid Morning Recovery is a traditional blend of vitamin C and vitamin B12, minerals and herbal extracts of green tea, artichoke and gingko biloba to help the body recover and get rid of the negative effects of alcohol.
NOHO continues to actively work on improving the formulas of its products and expanding the range to meet all the needs of its customers. The company’s products are shipped to more than 30 countries around the world and receive a lot of positive feedback from consumers. Consumers appreciate this brand and praise its effectiveness in reducing hangover symptoms.
Party Armor Protection from Michigan-based Bay City brand recommends that consumers drink one 60 ml (2 oz) bottle immediately after drinking and one before bed.
Popular since 2012 in the US market, Party Armor Protection contains 17 ingredients. One of the main components is L-glutathione, an antioxidant that fights hangover symptoms by detoxifying the liver and destroying acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is released in the body after drinking too much alcohol, which causes hangover symptoms.
The next key ingredients are the herbal extract of milk thistle, which protects liver cells, and a B-complex vitamin, which is believed to help prevent headaches.
Other ingredients in Party Armor Protection are prickly pear extract and maca berry extract. Prickly pear extract is used to speed up recovery, while maca berry extract helps cleanse the body of harmful toxins to help the consumer’s body recover during sleep and relieve morning sickness. The only serious drawback of Party Armor Protection is its specific rough taste and rather pungent smell. But with the side effects of alcohol intake, this functional drink copes quite effectively. In addition, it is one of the most affordable products with a similar effect — a pack of 6 bottles costs $22 (approximately $3.67 per serving).
Joe’s Products recommends consuming their Hangover Joe’s Recovery Shot the morning after the party. The product contains vitamins B6, B12 and niacin, as well as kudzu root extract (pueraria lobata, Pueraria labata) from the tropical regions of Indochina, which, according to the company, help in recovery after a hangover.
The company has partnered with Warner Bros to put characters from The Hangover movie on bottles of its Hangover Recovery Shot brand, making distribution much easier.
Launched a marketing campaign in which everyone who purchased a bottle of Hangover Recovery Shot received a discount code for cinema tickets.
This helped the manufacturer to attract attention to its products to a new audience and significantly strengthen its position in the market for hangover remedies, and for the film company it has become one of the most effective advertising campaigns for the film in recent years.
A good example of a successful collaboration.
Although some of the examples cited are less than five years old, they are already considered old-timers in the functional drink market, the category of functional hangover cures is growing so rapidly. In the second part, we will discuss brands that have appeared on the market for functional hangover drinks more recently.