Two Yale Students Think They Can Prevent Your Next Hangover

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There are nearly countless remedies that promise to cure that vexing hangover. Some of those remedies help while others don’t, but almost all of them cannot completely rejuvenate you from having one too many drinks the night before.

What if you could stop that painful hangover from happening without having to give up your night out? Two Yale students — Liam McClintock and Margaret Morse — want to do just that.

Morse (left) and McClintock (right) teamed up to concoct their hangover prevention drink. Credit: Liam McClintock/YouTube

McClintock, a senior D1 athlete and active member of Yale’s Greek life, and Morse, a senior Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology major at Yale, were driven to find a hangover elixir after struggling to complete work while hungover from a night out.

I like to be social, but I also like to get up early and work,” McClintock told the New Haven Register. “The idea was to create a hangover supplement.”

McClintock and Morse were not alone in their struggles — hangovers cost the U.S. economy about $90 billion in lost worker productivity and $179 billion in all forms of lost productivity, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Related: Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Is a Recipe for Injuries, Study Says

Paired up with Yale professors and outside advisors to find a hangover cure, they created SunUp, a powder mixed with water that can be taken before drinking alcohol. SunUp promises to stop the hangover before it even happens.

Credit: Liam McClintock/YouTube

SunUp contains 15 different hangover-busting ingredients, including vitamin C, vitamin B12, zinc, potassium and green tea extract. Once they came up with the initial formula, the pair tested it on themselves and friends.

“Their feedback was really encouraging,” McClintock said. “We would have people we didn’t even know asking us…if they could try the product.”

McClintock and Morse say their product is better than other hangover supplements because it addresses the four root causes of hangovers: the buildup of acetaldehyde, the toxic byproduct of alcohol; vitamin and electrolyte loss; glutamine rebound, which keeps the drinker from reaching deep sleep; and immunological disturbances.

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“A lot of other products you usually take after drinking,” Morse said. “That wound has already happened; you’re just sticking a Band-Aid…A lot of other products only address two or so of the main causes, while ours addresses all four.”

SunUp’s ingredients work to improve the liver’s ability to break down alcohol’s harmful byproducts while simultaneously replenishing the body’s nutrients.

Credit: Liam McClintock/YouTube

“You take it before going out and are able to wake up the next day with a happy liver,” said McClintock.

While State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services spokeswoman Diana Lejardi could not comment directly about the product, she warns that these kinds of products may encourage unhealthy behavior and binge drinking.

“The negative consequences help prevent the behavior,” Lejardi said. “By reducing these negative consequences, it could encourage binge drinking.

You won’t be able to find SunUp on store shelves just yet — they still need to raise a minimum of $20,000 for the pharmaceutical manufacturer to blend the formula and package it. The ambitious students launched an Indiegogo fundraising campaign to raise the money needed. As of March 30th, they have reached their goal with over 600 backers.

Danielle Tarasiuk
Danielle Tarasiuk is a multimedia journalist based in Los Angeles. Her work has been published on AllDay.com, Yahoo! Sports, KCET, and NPR-affiliate stations KPCC and KCRW. She’s a proud Sarah Lawrence College and USC Annenberg alumn.