The severity of hangover symptoms is one of the leading causes of discomfort after drinking alcohol. In one study, it was estimated that 21% of the drinkers from a sample of Americans had experienced a hangover within the year prior . When left untreated, hangovers caused by consuming alcohol can lead to severe and frequent symptoms including but not limited to, fatigue and weakness, poor sleep quality, and mood disturbances. Natural solutions, commercially-available beverages, and OTC medications currently serve as relievers of hangover symptoms.
Morning Recovery is a RTD nutrition supplement made with natural ingredients. In addition to electrolytes (salt, potassium, sugar), the product includes the following ingredients: ● Dihydromyricetin (DHM) ● Vitamin C & B Complex ● Milk Thistle ● Prickly Pear. Current research and early experience suggests this unique combination of ingredients may boost liver detoxification, provide increased energy, rehydrate and reduce morning-after symptoms when taken with alcohol consumption.
What did we do?
In order to better understand how Morning Recovery can help people feel better the next day, we collaborated with Curebase to conduct a multi-site, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study. The study protocol was approved by Integreview Institutional review board (IRB) and was overseen by physicians and scientists. In this paper we will report the results of this study.
Subjects and study design.
Healthy subjects, both male and female, aged between 21-40 years, BMI within 18.5 to 30 kg/m2, who had previous drinking and hangover experience were included. Exclusion criteria were alcohol use disorders, currently smokes, certain disease histories and allergies, currently ill or on any kind of medication.
After obtaining written informed consent, 60 eligible subjects were enrolled in the trial and were randomized into one of the two groups (lemonade placebo or Morning Recovery group). Lemonade placebo and Morning Recovery were re-packaged in the same unlabeled bottles before the study so both administrator and participants were blinded to the beverage intake. Participants were asked to take one bottle of placebo or Morning Recovery (one serving) at the beginning of the study, then they were asked to consume a pre-measured amount of Smirnoff Vodka (containing 40% alcohol, v/v) within 1-1.5 hours. Thirty minutes after they finished drinking, their breath alcohol content (BAC) was measured by a commercial breathalyzer device, if 0.1% BAC was not reached, a calibration dose of alcohol was administered until 0.1% BAC level was reached. Participants were monitored for the next 4 hours until they were released to leave the clinic. In the next morning, participants were asked to fill out a series of standardized surveys including Alcohol Hangover Severity Scale (AHSS) , Groningen Sleep Quality Scale (GSQS) , Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS) , Immune Status Questionnaire (ISQ) , and Profile of Mood Scale-Short Form (POMS-SF)  to assess the efficacy of Morning Recovery vs. placebo.
Data were analyzed using both student’s t-test and Mann-Whitney U Test.
What we found.
Compared to placebo, on the morning after drinking, Morning Recovery led to statistically significant improvements in several key symptoms related to the aftereffects of alcohol: headaches, concentration (“brain fog”), heart-pounding (“chest discomfort”), clumsiness, and anxiety (p < 0.05). Morning Recovery also led to reductions in sensitivity to light, weakness (“exhaustion”), dizziness, and nausea, though these improvements were not statistically significant.
Our multi-site, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical study demonstrates that Morning Recovery can effectively support a more healthy and normal morning after drinking. Users of Morning Recovery felt up to 80%+ better than those without Morning Recovery across multiple symptoms after heavy drinking.
Dihydromyricetin (DHM for short) is the main functional ingredient in Morning Recovery. It can be extracted from traditional herbs including Hovenia Dulcis and Rattan Tea, and animal and laboratory studies have suggested that it can increase alcohol metabolizing enzymes (ADH and ALDH) activity in the liver, accelerate the metabolism of alcohol to non-toxic acetate, and reduce the accumulation of acetaldehyde.
DHM is also known for its liver protection and anti-inflammation effect, and we have also recently demonstrated in a liver cell model that DHM can effectively protect the liver from the damage caused by alcohol drinking and significantly reduce the release of inflammatory cytokines (study to be published later this year).
Alcohol also affects brain function by strongly binding to and activating a receptor on the neuron membrane called the GABA receptor. GABA is an important neurotransmitter responsible for reducing the activity of neurons which causes relaxation and sleepiness. By binding to GABA receptors, alcohol causes the imbalance of GABA in the brain. DHM is a natural GABA receptor agonist, which means it can compete with alcohol and limit its binding to the GABA receptor    .
Besides DHM, Morning Recovery also contains other liver-supporting ingredients such as Korean ginseng , Prickly Pear  and Milk Thistle . These ingredients have also demonstrated support for heavy drinking in clinical studies.