Bracing yourself for a hangover is kind of like boarding up for a hurricane. You don’t want the worst to happen, but like the scouts say, you may as well prepare for it.
Local entrepreneur John Serda believes he has developed a fail-safe formula for preparing for them (hangovers, not hurricanes). Serda, the man behind Serda’s Coffee Co. and Serda Brewing, has crafted PrePear and RePear, a two-stage drink mix that supposedly helps you “defend and recover” from the effects of alcohol.
The powdered drink mix contains vitamins B, C and D, folate, Korean pear extract, prickly pear cactus extract, milk thistle, n-acetylcysteine, ginger root, turmeric and chamomile, among other nutrients and herbs. Some of these, a press release from the company says, are lost while drinking alcohol, while others reduce the effects of hangovers. Together, they “supercharge the liver’s ability to produce needed alcohol metabolizing enzymes” and “enable the body to flush out alcohol and toxins faster so it feels better the next day.”
You drink the first stage, PrePear, one or two hours before imbibing, and then the second stage, RePear, after your last drink. Serda launched the product with an Indiegogo campaign in October and is now distributing R&D samples from his labs in Mobile.
“Our ingredients have been scientifically shown to help the liver detox alcohol and its harmful by-products faster, replenish electrolytes and vitamins, reduce withdrawal symptoms and protect the brain and help you sleep better after a night out drinking so you wake up feeling better,” the product’s packaging reads. “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration.”
I got my hands on some samples and decided to test them out, even though I am unaware of Serda’s qualifications for producing dietary supplements. As a disclaimer, I do not normally get hangovers. Some would assume this is admirable, that I know my limits and stick to them. That assumption would be incorrect. I have just perfected my no-hangover method: Chugging a Red Bull and Gatorade with my booze and then forcing someone with a vehicle to take me to Sonic for fried Oreos, which tend to smooth out my blood alcohol levels.
Excessive fluid-drinking plus late night binge-eating equals a pretty good formula, although I’ve found that hangovers can also be shaken out of you the next morning by hearing an alarm, reminding you that you booked an ill-timed flight to California, or by hearing a bedside whisper of “do you want to be my girlfriend?” that jolts your brain to consciousness.
Where was I?
The first time I tested the supplement was Halloween night. I took my niece and nephew trick-or-treating (she was dressed as Sheriff Callie, he as Toby the cactus) and then tucked them into bed before throwing on my own costume (Mia from “Pulp Fiction”). I poured the PrePear powder into a glass and mixed it with 12 to 16 ounces of water, as instructed. The drink came out cloudy and brown and smelled of artificial bananas and pineapples. It tasted rather chalky, like tropical Crayolas.
I spent the rest of the night drinking Miller Lites and whiskey shots in Pensacola and then ate a pizza before bed. I woke up clear-eyed the next day. Was it the supplement I had choked down, was it the pizza or was it the lingering high from pulling off a pretty great (in my unbiased opinion) Uma Thurman impersonation? I cannot be sure.
I tested it out again the other night, after arriving home dehydrated and sleepy from a cross-country flight. I mixed it for a friend to try. His review was: “It’s late and you need to go to work tomorrow. Maybe you should go to bed.” I did not go to bed, instead opting to tear into a box of gas station pinot noir and pot of beef curry.
RePear supposedly has “more electrolytes in it than most sports drinks without all the bad sugars, food colorings and preservatives” and helps “keep the body hydrated to prevent headaches, tiredness and confusion.” Yet for some reason, I did not wake up so clear-eyed the following day. Even though I had forgone my fail-safe Gatorade and Red Bull method — replete with bad sugars, food colorings and preservatives — for this wellness product method, I woke up tired and extremely confused. Who or what was to blame? I cannot be sure.
But when I went to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee before work, I found something rather curious on the counter: a half-drank glass of RePear. I had apparently forgotten to finish it.
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