December tends to be an indulgent month. Already I have had 17 mince pies, more chocolate than Augustus Gloop and enough prosecco to provide for a medium-to-large wedding.
What we always forget, though, is that just because we're in the holiday mood, we've got three weeks this month where we still need to do everyday stuff. Stuff like run errands, do life admin and, for most of us, go to work. And if there's one thing every working woman knows, it is that 'working' and 'hangover' do not go well together.
This year, as we get more and more into things like 'natural treatments' and supplements, there's been a sharp rise in so-called '
hangover remedies '. Purporting to do everything from dial your hangover down a notch to give your liver a helping hand, these remedies range from effervescent rehydration tablets, to vitamin shots, to blasts of pure oxygen.
So in the name of (very unreliable) science*, we decided to put some of these remedies to the test. Last weekend, Team R29, armed with their various remedies, took themselves out to imbibe some alcoholic drinks, get themselves a hangover and see if they were able to combat it.
Click through to find out which ones were the most effective.
*Sorry guys, we don't have medical degrees. These reviews are purely our own personal opinions. While we're here, may we remind you to drink responsibly like the champions you are.
Phizz is a little tablet that looks and tastes like Berocca. Users just need to drop a tablet in water, let it "phizz" and then drink straight down. It contains vitamins, minerals and rehydration salts. Here's what we thought...
"Phizz is magic. I felt kinda horrific this morning but I had two tablets in water (they tasted a lot like Berocca tbh), walked to work with a coffee and now I feel absolutely fine. No headache. We’ll see if I can focus later but yeah, absolute winners."
"I could totally focus later. I tried it on red wine another day too and it worked again, period pain and all. I'm a repeat user now. " – Sadhbh O'Sullivan, Social Media Assistant
Phizz, £4.99, available at
This is a shot you drink just before going to bed. According to the creators, you wake up "feeling amazing". Apparently it works because of an antioxidant it contains called dihydromyricetin, which "supports the body's natural detoxification process". So did it help?
"I'm a lightweight. Two pints or glasses of wine on an empty stomach and anything could happen. My hangovers are never catastrophic, as my body says "time out" and I vomit before I can get too lairy or sloppy. I had three pints on an empty stomach on Friday – lovely stuff – then downed this remedy before bed. I also had two pints of water and a falafel wrap. I woke up when my boyfriend left for work at 9am and felt fine! Not fresh, but not bad at all. Nice one." – Georgia Murray, Fashion and Beauty Writer
"A casual few drinks in an unassuming Camden pub inevitably descended into an outrageously debauched soirée which involved table dancing and bleeding Primark mascara (I went glam goth for the weekend, darling). To my surprise, upon stumbling home I did manage to remember to down my bottle of Morning Recovery before collapsing into a sweaty heap on my bed. By the grace of God, I woke up the next day with not a whiff of a hangover. I rode on a cloud of smugness and superiority for the whole day until precisely 3pm when I promptly crashed (HARD!). And I mean that literally; I felt feeble to the point where my knees buckled on the Tube and I had to drag my rotting corpse into my bed for a midday nap. I was rendered useless for the rest of the day. Still, I got much more done than I usually do on a hangover day, which is probably down to the sugar rush provided by Morning Recovery." – David Farrell, Marketing Intern
Morning Recovery six pack, £22.22, available at
By far the most intimidating of the lot; this is like a spray can of 95% pure oxygen which you inhale. Some athletes use it to help train but other people use it to stave off hangovers. According to Boost, it is "a terrific hangover cure! Simply put, when we drink alcohol, we become oxygen-deficient. It takes 3 molecules of oxygen to metabolise 1 molecule of alcohol." Did it work for us though?
"I had a civilised, medium-sized hangover: six glasses of red wine at a charity event. I tried Boost Oxygen the following morning. I needed to be up and out by 8am and I'd slept really badly, as I always do when I've been drinking. I put the nozzle around my mouth and nose as instructed and breathed deeply into it, inhaling the oxygen. It felt like doing a balloon at a festival and I felt a bit lightheaded afterwards. I don't think it really helped the hangover. Lots of water and more sleep would have been preferable." – Sarah Raphael, Editor-At-Large
Boost Oxygen, £17.99, available at
BoostOxygen More Story Continues
An all-natural "recovery chewable", Zaca also calls on the dihydromyricetin found in Japanese raisin. It also apparently aids electrolytes and hydration. How did it go down with the team?
"The Zaca Recovery Chewable didn't make a blind bit of difference to my hangover. The very unspecific instructions on the back were a bit of a giveaway, telling me to either 'take two as needed' or 'if drinking, take two after every few drinks and two before bed'. It meant I spent virtually the whole night chewing away, leaving this unpleasant fruity chalk residue on my teeth. Still, I soldiered on, hoping that I was somehow doing my body a favour. Alas, I woke with an incredibly sore head and the fake taste of wild berries in my dry mouth." – Zanny Ali, Content Manager
Zaca Recovery Chewables, from £15.54 for 12, available at
By far the most interesting of the lot, if only because of the steep price tag. Developed over several years in Switzerland, this solution has been approved by both the Food Standards Agency and the Danish Food Association. It contains ginger, grape seeds, shiitake mushrooms and taurine. How did it fare with our team?
"I tried YourSaint on a boozy Wednesday with ex-colleagues. You take six drops in a glass of water before drinking, then six before you go to bed. I'm not going to lie, it tastes gross – kind of like vinegar. The pre-bed one, two glasses of wine and two pints down, was particularly difficult to swallow. The next morning, though? MAGIC. I kid you not. It was as if I hadn't had a drink at all. I felt extremely smug all day as my pals from the night before WhatsApped away about the state of their hangovers. Maybe I just really wanted it to work (a very attractive man delivered it and told me that it totally worked) but either way, I was impressed. Ten out of ten would recommend." – Jess Commons, Health & Living Editor
YourSaint VIP Concentrate (12 doses), £87.56, available at
This pack, from Gabriela Peacock Nutrition, consists of a sequence of supplements to be taken over a few days in the lead-up to a big night out. It claims to "minimise the symptoms of a hangover" and "improve the detoxification process to get you back to fabulous, fast". Okay then.
"I enlisted the help of the Rescue Me pack from Gabriela Peacock Nutrition to save me after a friend's birthday party. You're meant to take the supplements (a mixture of capsules and dissolvable drink powders) over three days but I had to squeeze it into two (ever the last-minute merchant). The drinks were surprisingly palatable and, crucially, I didn't get a hangover. BUT that could've been down to the vat of soup I inhaled straight from the fridge when I got home (I was out of everything I actually fancied at 4am – bread, hummus, cheese. Sad, but probably for the best)." – Natalie Gil, News Writer
Gabriela Peacock Rescue Me, £6.99, available at
GP Nutrition More Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? How To Avoid Drinking All The Drinks This Christmas Why I'm Eating "Bad Food" In Public Here Are 31 Weird Hangover "Cures" That People Swear By