We Put The Hangover Cure Pill To The Test

As anyone who's tipped over into the latter part of their 20s can attest, hangovers are no longer for messing around with.
As you get older, hangovers morph from being the sort of thing that you and your flatmates complain good-naturedly about across the breakfast table the next day, into the sort of ailment that turns you into a sickly Victorian child, confined to your bed, gasping for water. They last for two days as well. Which is cool.
So what is the solution? Obviously, drink less. That's a given. Most of my friends have pretty much given up midweek drinking and are drinking a lot less on weekends, too. But wouldn't it be great, for those times you accidentally go a little bit too far, if there were a magical pill that would allow you to stay out all night and get up and keep on trucking the next day. Could such a miracle exist?
Well, maybe.
Flyby is the brainchild of 23-year-old Eddie Huai from New York. Eddie created the pill after he went to university and (like many of us) started drinking more. Unusually, Eddie also lacked an enzyme to help him break down alcohol. Basically, his hangovers were extra crap.
After visiting an all-you-can-drink bar with friends during a trip to Tokyo, though, he was given a Japanese drinking supplement which, according to him, allowed him to wake up "feeling great". Back in the US, he set to work creating his own version (along with a little help from a PhD in biochemistry), and Flyby was born (along with its slightly unfortunate bro-friendly promo video).
So what's in a Flyby pill? Well, there's milk thistle (which you've probably already heard of people taking to combat hangovers), which "supports healthy liver function and increases the activity of your antioxidant enzymes to combat free-radicals". There's also liver hydrolysate, which comes from "Argentine cows" and is "packed with everything your liver craves most – natural B vitamins, minerals and 18 amino acids". There's also alpha lipoic acid, vitamin C, dihydromyricetin and n-acetyl-l-cysteine (all your favourite things), all working together to metabolise the toxins your body isn't able to break down in time.
But does it work? Reviewers at the Daily Mail had positive feedback, with just one out of four testers reporting no difference the morning after. So far so good, right? But how did it work on me?
I waited until I knew I was going to have more than four drinks and have to get up in the morning. So one Saturday, when I was headed to a fancy dinner in the evening and had an early start at work on Sunday, I tried Flyby out.
Eddie recommended taking two pills before I started drinking and two pills afterwards. So, pre-prosecco, I swallowed two and carried on with my merry eve.
FYI, in the end, my merry eve consisted of a glass of prosecco, which may or may not have been filled up at least once, and two large glasses of white wine over dinner. By the end, despite the valiant efforts of all the table bread, pork, cake, pastries and veggies, I was nicely merry. Not "Oh shit I'm about to do something stupid enough to be featured on @drunkpeopledoingthings" merry, but I was definitely in "Mum's had a glass of sherry at Christmas" territory.
So at home, before bed, I slip myself two more Flybys, drink a pint glass of water (always, always, always) and pass out.
And do you know what? The next day I am... fine? It's like I can tell I've had a drink – there's a slightly groggy filter over all my senses and getting productive is a little more of a struggle than usual. But that gym session I've got pencilled in later doesn't seem unachievable and my insides aren't churning like a cement mixer (a marvel for me at the best of times).
As the day wears on, I can still feel the effects of alcohol from last night but overall, I'm pretty A-OK.
Now, whether my good health was an accidental one-off, a rogue mysteriously-hangover-free morning, or whether it was due to the fact that I was drinking wine that cost more than £6 from the corner shop, who knows. But either way, I'd be willing to give Flyby another shot.

More from Diet & Nutrition

R29 Original Series