What’s your Roman empire? Now that I’ve entered my 30s, mine is my hangovers. Specifically, their random and inexplicable intensity. In my uni days, I could down tequila shots, stumble home at 4am, and wake up for a lecture a few hours later, completely unscathed. Nowadays, I drink less regularly and in moderation, yet just a glass or two of wine can land me in bed with all-day nausea and hanxiety levels bouncing off the charts. A cruel twist of fate, indeed - which is why, when I saw hangover cure pills Myrkl doing the rounds on TikTok, I was intrigued.
Science says that hangovers happen because alcohol dehydrates you, spikes your blood sugar levels, and puts your body into an inflammatory state. As you age, your body changes too, so the effects of drinking feel loads worse. Metabolism slows, staying hydrated gets tougher, and suddenly, we're more sensitive to irritants like alcohol. It's a rough combo.
That's where the new supplement comes in, promising to be the hangover remedy of all hangover remedies and break down alcohol before it reaches your liver, in turn preventing toxic acetaldehyde from forming (which is responsible for alcohol-related facial flushing, headaches, nausea, and increased heart rate).
Keen to see if it could make me feel slightly less like garbage after a night of drinking, I called them in. Of course, the best way to avoid a hangover is to not drink entirely, but with Christmas party season fast approaching, curiosity got the better of me. Would it work? Would I actually be able to enjoy a few drinks and dodge the churning stomach the next day, at the same time? Keep scrolling and you'll find out.
I tried the viral hangover cure pills - and have some thoughts
What is Myrkl?
Created by a Swedish wellbeing company, Myrkl is an anti-hangover remedy that claims to help you feel refreshed the day after drinking. Technically, it’s legally classed as a food supplement and not a medicated product, as it can’t explicitly describe itself as a "hangover cure." However, anecdotally, people have been buzzing about this product on TikTok, claiming it’s a game-changer for boozy nights out.
According to the company’s website, the pill – which costs £30 for 15 doses – is the result of 30 years of research and development. Safety-wise, Myrkl has been approved by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) and the Food Drug Administration (FDA) in the US.
So how does it work? “When we drink, alcohol is metabolised by the liver” says Colin Chapman, a spokesperson from Myrkl. "A byproduct of this is acetic acid, which is responsible for some of the ill-effects of drinking like sickness and fatigue"
Myrkl is claimed to be effective at nixing a hangover because it contains high-performing bacteria (called ‘AB001’), an amino acid called L-cysteine and a high dose of Vitamin B12. FYI: you need to take this product before drinking (the boffs at Myrkl suggest two to three hours before) for it to have any beneficial effect.
“When you take Myrkl before drinking, the cocktail of bacteria is activated in the gut, creating a beneficial environment to break alcohol down into water and carbon dioxide before it reaches the liver, reducing the metabolism of toxins,” Chapman explains. “L-cysteine, meanwhile, protects the liver by reducing the production of acetic acid, while supporting its function too.”
As alcohol depletes B vitamins, a lack of which is a major culprit for tiredness and fatigue, the B12 content in these supplements is said to keep energy levels high. Combined together, Chapman claims these ingredients can help you to feel rejuvenated after drinking.
What are the benefits of trying hangover cure pills?
The clue is in the name, really - so that you'll feel less nauseous, headache-y and unwell the day after a night out. That said, and as I've pointed out above, there's a totally free way to do that (hint: it's called not drinking so much in the first place). While we all like to let our hair down from time to time, mindful drinking during Christmas time is important for both your physical and mental health.
Any other benefits of the food supplement, then? Well, it contains plenty of healthy bacteria strains (we're looking at you, Bacillus subtilis and B. coagulans), not to mention L-Cysteine, magnesium and Vitamin B12, so even if it doesn't completely cure a hangover, it could certainly boost your gut health.
Is Myrkl scientifically backed?
It's important to note that there's not an awful lot of research on the supplement itself. While one 2022 singular study does conclude that taking the supplement can have a significant impact on your blood sugar levels, it only looked at 24 participants consuming a small amount of alcohol.
Does Myrkl actually work? My verdict…
As a wellness writer, I'm pretty sceptical when it comes to so-called "cures", but I went into taking Myrkl with an open mind. The supplements themselves come in a small blister pack and are fairly easy to swallow, especially if you’re used to taking multivitamins.
I took two capsules with food two hours before heading out to the pub to meet a friend. I find that vitamins can sometimes cause stomach irritation, but these ones didn’t upset mine. Many glasses of prosecco later, I returned home feeling the familiar alcohol buzz and downed two pints of water before bed, as I always do.
The next day, I was pretty impressed to find that I didn’t wake up in the throes of a full-scale hangover. My headache wasn’t as bad as usual, and I did feel more energised, but the dreaded cotton mouth and fuzzy feeling were still lingering. All in all, an improvement, but not exactly a cure.
This makes sense, really, when you think that Myrkl is only meant to help the body metabolise alcohol before it reaches the liver. In this way, drinking lots of alcohol will always result in hangover symptoms. This isn’t because the pill hasn’t done its job properly, but because our bodies have a limited capacity to process large amounts of alcohol.
Senior Health Editor at MC UK Ally Head had a similar experience when trying Myrkl, and while it didn't cure her hangover, as promised, she was impressed by how much it seemed to slow down the rate at which she noticed the effects of the alcohol she was drinking.
It’s called Myrkl, not miracle, for a reason, so don’t set your expectations too high, plus, they are a higher price point for what's essentially a food supplement with a big promise. That said, I’ll definitely be keeping these on my bedside table ahead of my next hen party. Anything that reduces the absolute misery of over-30s hangovers, even if just a placebo effect, is worth a shot.
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Liz started her journalism career reporting on fashion at ELLE, GQ and Fashion Beans before finding a love for all things fitness and travel.
Keen to report on her favourite topics, she moved over to the lifestyle desk at The Evening Standard before taking the reins as health and wellbeing editor at news and features agency PA Media. She has also been a senior commissioning editor for the publisher Penguin Random House, finding future bestsellers in the self-development field.
Liz’s features have taken her from fashion front rows to the furthest reaches of the planet, via several hundred sweaty basement gyms in London. Her favourite aspect of her job is getting to write about new trends, whether it’s an under-the-radar travel destination or a TikTok-inspired workout method.
Since going freelance, Liz has written for titles including The Independent, National Geographic Traveller, Stylist, Prospect, Yahoo, and MSN. When she's not writing on her laptop, you'll probably find her at a gig, eating at a new restaurant, or listening to Taylor Swift.
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