UKrant tests the anti-hangover pill

Feeling even worse for wear

Last Friday, two RUG alumni launched their anti-hangover cure Pil-s. Two of UKrant’s student journalists had parties this weekend and tried out the pill (which came with a sachet of powder as well). The pill wasn’t particularly effective: ‘It made me even more nauseous than I already was.’

Lars Marée

Student journalist Lars Marée (19) is a first-year student of history. He had a birthday party this weekend, and because he predicted it might get out of hand, he volunteered to try the anti-hangover pill.

It’s Friday night and I’m surrounded by friends, music, and alcohol. My girlfriend is celebrating her twentieth birthday. We end up playing drinking games and before I know it, I’ve had several beers, a few glasses of wine, and a bunch of shots.

Friday night was great, but as I slowly come to on Saturday morning I’m hit with regret. I’m feeling weak and nauseous. My head is pounding, throbbing even, and I’m certain aspirin can’t cure this. An anti-hangover pill waits for me in the bathroom. Could it be the solution to my alcohol-induced problems?

I sluggishly drag myself into the bathroom, where I mix the sachet of powder with water, swallowing it in one big gulp. I pinch my nose to avoid having to endure the bitter and sour taste.

Now it is time for the second component: a fairly large, maroon pill. I thought the dissolved powder was bad, but the pill is even worse. Immediately after swallowing it, I get a burning feeling in my stomach and it’s a struggle to keep myself from vomiting.

Feeling worse than I already did, I slide back into bed. I try to ease this burning sensation with water, but nothing seems to be working. To add insult to injury, I have started sweating like a maniac and my chest is tightening. It takes at least half an hour before my stomach settles. The sweating continues for an hour more.

As the pill’s effects finally pass, my hangover remains, throbbing headache and all. One thing is clear, the pill did not rid me of this hangover. Next time I’d rather just have a greasy breakfast.

Sofie Tuinsma

Student journalist Sofie Tuinsma (23) is a teacher training student at the RUG. She went out with a couple of friends this weekend. She figured they might just benefit from the anti-hangover pill the next morning. She was wrong.

‘I can’t come, honestly. My parents are coming at noon tomorrow and I cannot have a hangover!’

Under normal circumstances, I would accept my friend’s excuse for not joining me on a night out. But last Saturday, I happened to be in possession of three anti-hangover pills, and they turned out to be very persuasive for my friends.

We went to Loft, a party hosted by Vera. Great music, lots of dancing, familiar faces everywhere. Like most of our nights out, this one ends with us eating pizza at a sticky Formica table, our drunken faces illuminated by fluorescent lights. We bike home in the pouring rain. Three of us will take Pil-s in the morning.

At ten in the morning, sunlight streams through the gap in my curtains – a rude awakening for me. Normally, I would pull the covers back over my head for more sleep, but thanks to this promising anti-hangover pill, I can look forward to my day!

The pill comes with a sachet of powder, which I dissolve in water. Following the instructions to the letter, I drink it, my face contorting at the first taste. Then, I swallow the pill.

Less than five minutes later, I’m already feeling the effects, and it’s not good. The pill feels like it’s burning my oesophagus and stomach, as though I just ate an entire red chili. I’m sweating, my heart is beating out of my chest and I feel awful – this is as bad as some of my worst hangovers.

Panicking slightly, I make my way to the toilet. Afterwards, I shakily limp towards the fridge, glad to be rid of the wretched stuff, to steal my roommate’s milk. The milk alleviates the burning in my mouth and nose, which is probably caused by the cayenne pepper in the pill.

I slump against the fridge door, slowly recovering, and send a selfie to my friends. Sifra (24) tells me she feels the same way: like her insides are on fire. She survives the rest of the day by chewing Rennies like they’re candy. I quickly call Nora (22), the third guinea pig, to tell her not to take the pill. She has to work soon, and I wouldn’t recommend working if she’s burning up inside.

My stomach settles as the day wears on and eventually I manage to eat a grilled cheese sandwich (with extra cheese). A tried and tested hangover cure, it’s never worked as well as it does today.


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