The Anticipatory Hangover Pill


There was a Sunday morning, not too long ago, when I woke up feeling like my head had split in two. Each ray of light through the window was like a shard of glass in my eye, and I was sure I would throw up at any moment. I was really hungover.

I rolled over in bed and nudged my boyfriend. We had gone out the night before with a friend visiting from out of town, and we’d all taken tequila shots. Like, a lot of tequila shots.

“Am I dead?” I asked my boyfriend. “Are you dead?”

He shrugged. “Actually, I feel great.”

Before we had gone to sleep, he had swallowed a small capsule called Liver X, while I passed out without one—and now I was paying for it.

I know this sounds impossible, so let me explain: Liver X is a natural enzyme made from milk thistle, which aids in liver detoxification. You can take them as a daily supplement or when your liver is compromised—like if you’re on certain medications, you’re really stressed out, or you know, drinking heavily. It’s sold like a vitamin, so I can’t point to any FDA-backed claims about how exactly it works, but I can tell you this: I take one every time I have a glass of wine (…or half the bottle) and when I do, I’ve never once felt hungover.

I do not believe in miracles. I have tried lots and lots of products that claim to perform instant magic (smaller pores! thicker hair! no more cellulite!), and while there’s often some difference, nothing is ever 100 percent effective—except for Liver X.

I’ve slowly turned all of my friends into Liver X converts, because I no longer believe in having hangovers. Sometimes, I even carry a few in a little Ziploc baggie in my purse, and more than once, I’ve learned over to friends at a bar and whispered, “Here. Take one of these, and you’ll thank me in the morning,” in a way that totally makes me seem like I’m trying to roofie them.

All it takes is one night of drinking and one Liver X capsule until my friends order their own bottle. It’s that good. Because if you could have a few drinks and wake up without the puffy eyes and head-splitting headache, why wouldn’t you?

—Arielle Pardes

Illustration by Lucy Han. Hangovers suck, but so does not being able to sleep through it the next day. Read how to Fall Asleep Faster.