In case you doubt the value of an Ivy League education, this could restore your faith: Two Yale seniors have put their brains together to develop a new "anti-hangover formula" called SunUp that's designed to beat hangovers symptoms before they start - and they've already raised more than $38,000 (before graduation!) to bring the product to market.
SunUp's creators include Liam McClintock, a frat boy on the squash team driven by "the need to be more productive after social nights of drinking," and Margaret Morse, a molecular, cellular, and developmental biology major who worked with Yale professors and other experts to bring the concept to life.
The product is a powdered supplement made of 15 ingredients that you dissolve in water and chug before your first alcoholic drink of the night (or day, who's judging?!). Although experts agree that the best way to avoid a hangover is to drink less alcohol, and to imbibe on a full stomach while hydrating with non-alcoholic beverages, SunUp differs in that it doesn't call for sobriety. Instead, it relies on science to counteract four hangover culprits: the buildup of acetaldehyde, a toxic byproduct of alcohol; glutamine rebound, a process that could disturb your sleep; inflammation caused by the immune system's response to alcohol; and the loss of vitamins and electrolytes, which leaves your body helpless to fight alcohol's adverse effects.
While SunUp might sound like a godsend and something every college student should keep on hand at all times, Robert Swift, PhD, an alcohol researcher and professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University, isn't 100 percent convinced the product will offset your risk of feeling like a hungover mess.
"Without a controlled clinical study, you can't really say that something 'works,'" he says, and alas, no such data exists for SunUp. Plus, there isn't necessarily a one-size-fits-all remedy for those morning-after aches and pains: "The causes of hangover are multifactorial, and the specific causes may vary from person to person," Swift says.
What's more, it's possible that the supplement, which has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, could do more harm than good in people who suffer from allergies or take medications that react negatively with ingredients in SunUp, according to Swift. (Specific warnings pertaining to drug interactions aren't listed on the product's website, but a list of its ingredients can be found here.)
SunUp is still accepting Indiegogo funders here for another seven days - $5 will get you a packet of the stuff to test-drive yourself.
Only time will tell whether SunUp will make hangovers a thing of the past - or prove to be the biggest waste of college students' beer money. But hey, I'm rooting for it! 🍻
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