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Alcohol Flush Reaction: Symptoms, Causes and Cure

What is Alcohol Flush Reaction?

You may have heard of a symptom of drinking alcohol known as Asian Flush.  What is this so-called Asian Flush? And is it the same as Alcohol Flush Reaction?

Some people very quickly turn red on their face (or on other parts of their body) when they drink alcohol.  This reaction to alcohol is called ‘Alcohol Flush Reaction’ or ‘Asian Flush Syndrome (AFS)’ due to these symptoms being more prevalent among people of Asian heritage. 

Alcohol flush reaction in Caucasians is less than eight percent, however, it has been estimated that about 36 percent of the East Asian population show characteristic physiological responses to drinking alcohol that include facial flushing, nausea, headaches and a fast heart rate.

What causes Alcohol Flushing when drinking alcohol?

Alcohol flush reaction (aka Asian Glow) is a condition in which a person develops flushes or blotches associated with erythema on the face, neck, shoulders, and in some cases, the entire body after consuming alcoholic beverages. The reaction is the result of an accumulation of acetaldehyde, a metabolic by product of the catabolic metabolism of alcohol and is caused by an acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ADH) enzyme deficiency.

During alcohol metabolism, the ADH enzymes assist in breaking down the alcohol molecule, in preparation for elimination from the body. Initially, ADH breaks alcohol down into acetaldehyde, which is then further metabolised into acetate and thereby into water and carbon dioxide.

The human body has a finite supply of ADH and ALDH enzymes and their cofactors, which limit the amount of alcohol that it can metabolise efficiently. That amount is dependent upon several factors; including liver size, body mass, and other genetic factors.

Obviously you can not change your enzyme level, but you can take supplements that contain these cofactors. Recoverthol helps replenish these cofactors that are found naturally in your body.  An extra dose of these cofactors in the form of a supplement may be beneficial to replenish what you have used up.

Alcohol Metabolism

Research indicates that individual variations of the ADH and ALDH enzymes exist from person to person which are largely determined by genetic factors. Some enzyme variants work more efficiently than others and some work less efficiently. As a result, some individuals can metabolise alcohol into acetaldehyde, or acetaldehyde to acetate, more quickly than others.

The excessive build-up of acetaldehyde in the body (created through the alcohol metabolism process) creates a number of unpleasant immediate side effects such as Asian Glow and next day effects known as hangover symptoms. The common symptoms include: tiredness; increased thirst; sleepiness; headache; dry mouth and nausea.

Is Alcohol Flush Reaction dangerous?

Facial flushing after drinking is a typical symptom of high alcohol sensitivity.  A 2013 study by scientists who looked at 1,763 Korean men, found the “flushers” (those who suffer from AFS) who drank more than four alcoholic beverages a week had a greater risk of developing high blood pressure compared to those who didn’t drink at all.

Having high blood pressure can increase your chances of heart disease and stroke.  Alcohol flush syndrome (a lack of / reduced activity of the ADH enzyme) has also been associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer in those who drink.

Are there treatments?

There are a number of Alcohol flush reaction treatments that are used by sufferers of the syndrome.  The majority of these Asian flush remedies treat the symptom and not the root issue of the issue which is the deficiency of the ADH & ALDH enzyme and their activity. Obviously you can not change your enzyme levels, but you can take supplements that contain cofactors that the enzymes need to perform their tasks. Recoverthol only contains these cofactors. It is designed to be added to a drink so that it reaches the enzymes at the right time. Recoverthol also helps replenish these cofactors that are found naturally in your body.  An extra dose of these cofactors in the form of a supplement may be beneficial to replenish what you have used up.

Medicines called histamine-2 (H2) blockers can be used to lessen the amount of facial flushing. These types of drugs work by slowing the breakdown of alcohol to acetaldehyde in your body.  Another topical therapy called Brimonidine is used to temporarily reduce facial redness. The medicine works by reducing the size of very small blood vessels.

Some people also use lasers and light-based therapies to reduce redness. Treatments can help improve the look of visible blood vessels.  Though it’s important to keep in mind that these therapies to help alcohol flush don’t address the ADH deficiency. They can actually mask important symptoms that could signal a problem.

What is the best way to flush alcohol out of your system and therefore assist in Alcohol flush reaction prevention?

The most efficient way to flush alcohol out of your system is to have well-functioning ADH enzymes and its cofactors that are able to effectively handle the alcohol metabolism process and therefore prevent Asian flush.

Products that include the necessary ingredients (i.e. cofactors) that are used by the ADH enzyme will have a greater chance of preventing Asian flush.

The bottom line

As mentioned above, the best way to flush alcohol out of your system and therefore reduce the symptoms (such as Asian flush syndrome) of drinking alcohol, is to improve the functioning and therefore the efficiency of the ADH enzyme in completing the alcohol metabolism process.

Most pre-drinking and post-drinking hangover products contain a blend of amino acids, vitamins, minerals and herbal ingredients. The mechanism of action of the herbal ingredients in commercially available hangover products are mostly unknown, however, some studies (see below) have shown that the herbal ingredients used in hangover products may:

  • Counteract the inflammatory response produced by alcohol consumption
  • Enhance the ADH and ALDH activities in the liver
  • Reduce the reported severity of nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea

It is important to understand that the concentration of the nutrients and vitamins in commercially available hangover products are usually sub-therapeutic. There is no scientific evidence to support the efficacy of these small concentrations and/or the combinations of ingredients used to reduce Asian Flush Reaction. In other words, research studies have been conducted on much higher doses of these ingredients than exist in current hangover products.

Furthermore, adding herbal ingredients that only mask the side effects of acetaldehyde may not be helpful, as the acetaldehyde has already done damage. Our (the Recoverthol team) research has also shown that most of these herbal ingredients contain very dangerous insecticides, this is mostly due to production methods on farms and a lack of raw ingredient related substance testing at the point of manufacturing.

Therefore in the case of alcohol metabolism less is more, as the liver is already taxed enough. These magical herbal ingredients may also give a false belief that users can drink as much as they want and not get a hangover.

The majority of commercial hangover supplements follow a liver support ideology. Our preliminary studies suggest that body systems other than the liver may have an important role to play in alcohol metabolism, especially in relation to the rapid onset of acetaldehyde build up in relation to Asian flush syndrome.

This leads to the investigation of alternative culprits such as the stomach and gut bacteria that also contain ADH, and contribute to alcohol metabolism. Although the use of liver tonic formulations may be beneficial to promote recovery from acetaldehyde build-up after alcohol consumption, Recoverthol works by preventing the acetaldehyde build-up (and potentially the symptoms of Alcohol flush reaction) before it occurs.

Recoverthol contains a unique combination of the cofactors and co-enzymes in its formulation that replenish the amount used up during the metabolism of alcohol. It only contains what ADH and ALDH enzymes need to do their job.  Other ingredients are not necessary and do not reduce acetaldehyde levels (and therefore Asian Glow) whilst drinking.

Alcohol Flush Reaction

We also know that just putting the ingredient in a tablet would not give the same result. Hence, Recoverthol is formulated in a unique solution that does not effect the taste of your drink.  Having a tablet would also mean that it would need to be taken before drinking alcohol as it would require time to be dissolved by the body.

If you are interested in finding out more about Recoverthol, or in trying Recoverthol, you can visit our website.

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Hangover symptoms – Are you drinking with caution?

Drink responsibly to be on your A-Game, because tomorrow matters. From timto time, we all like to indulge with a glass or two of alcohol, but how does our hangover symptoms impact on our next day productivity? 

Many substances can give you hangover like symptoms. Basically, anything that causes dehydration or an allergic reaction (if you are allergic to it).

The real culprits in alcoholic beverages are not just sulphite or congeners. If you are not allergic to sulphite, or if you only drink alcoholic beverages that have no congeners, you can still get a hangover by drinking more than what you liver can metabolise per hour.

So after the quality of the beverage (for those who are sensitive to the impurities), it is the amount of alcohol we consume that is the issue.

We know that the average liver typically metabolises 10g of alcohol per hour. So when you drink in excess of 10g the extra ethanol is metabolised through a different pathway that leads to the build up of acetaldehyde in the body. Numerous studies have shown that this toxic by-product of alcohol metabolism causes the symptoms of hangover listed below.

What are the the symptoms?

Now, these symptoms can be labelled as “feeling seedy” or “off you’re A-game” the next day, but all of these labels, including “hangover” refer to the after effects of alcohol metabolism for the majority of people, and commonly include

  1. Headache (vasodilation and/or dehydration).
  2. Dehydration (excess urination-for every 200ml alcoholic beverage we void 320ml).
  3. Tiredness (depleting your body of nutrients and stressing your liver and other organs).
  4. Nausea and many other symptoms.

Lots of other things can give you the above symptoms too, like a simple flu for example. If these symptoms present after drinking, we associate them with or call them a hangover.

The cause of hangover symptoms

It makes sense to look at what is in an alcoholic beverage that can cause these symptoms. Possible contenders are:

  • Congeners (Congeners are ingredients produced as by-products of fermentation and distillation. They include acetone, acetaldehyde, tannins, and some flavouring agents in different alcoholic beverages).
  • Sulphide not sulphur (some people are allergic to it and can cause vasodilation leading to headache).
  • Impurities (an expensive scotch has fewer impurities. So it is easy to swallow, taste good and gives you less side effects).
  • Ethanol (liver can only metabolise 10g/hr) excess leads to build up of acetaldehyde.

The percentage of the population that is sensitive to Sulphite (0.05%) is not that big, but we do know that everyone’s liver works the same way. The metabolism of congener alcohols as of ethanol is nearly exclusively catalysed by liver through alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme, which need a helping hand with alcohol dehydrogenase cofactors.

There is not just one simple answer. Anything that causes dehydration, stresses the liver, or depletes the body of essential nutrients, can result in the symptoms of hangover.

After removing the allergen issue for those minorities, the only way to reduce the side effects of alcohol metabolism (i.e. hangover) if you are not going to stick with W.H.O’s recommendation, is to support your liver to metabolise alcohol. That is done by taking amino acid cysteine, and alcohol dehydrogenase cofactors WHILST drinking, not after a big night.

Products which support the liver to more effectively metabolise alcohol are the best add on to have while consuming alcoholic drinks. These products should be provided as an add-on-sale in liquor stores, bars and pubs, to make sure consumers of alcoholic beverages do not have a bad experience the next day.

Recoverthol is an effective means to reducing hangover symptoms as it is a preventative measure rather than simply treating a hangover the next day after the full affects are already in full swing. The odourless, tasteless and transparent liquid is added to your first drink so you receive the benefits from the start.

The proof is in the pudding so why don’t you try some for yourself by going to the online Recoverthol shop.

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A blood alcohol calculator smart app or a breathalyser?

blood alcohol calculator

Alcohol can be an addictive and harmful drug, and as a pharmacist, I believe alcoholic drinks should be more stringently labelled with dosage instructions, based on a consumer’s weight and gender, just like most pharmaceutical drugs.   This would make it easier the estimate the metabolism of alcohol using a blood alcohol calculator.

In relation to alcoholic drinks, the only effort that has been made thus far to regulate the recommended dosage of alcohol, has been the “standard drinks” model recommended by WHO.  Surprisingly, the standard drinks model has only been adopted by 11 countries, and even these don’t agree on one single definition.  A drinks calculator mobile application may provide an answer to this issue.

A standard drink in Australia is any drink containing 10 grams of pure alcohol.
A standard drink in the USA, is any drink containing 14 grams of pure alcohol.
A standard drink in the UK, is any drink containing 8 grams of pure alcohol.

Keeping track of the amount of alcohol you have consumed can be difficult. The most common way to achieve this is to express the amount of pure alcohol in a drinks as “units of alcohol” or “standard drinks,” depending on where you live.

The recommended number of standard drinks consumption per day and per week differs for men and women according to the WHO Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health (2014).

Drinks calculator Smart App

Drinks Calculator

Our innovative Recoverthol App has been designed to address these issues. The features of this app include: time to sober, a standard drinks calculator and tracker based on where you live; interactive messaging system; and a dosage reminder for our product which promotes safe drinking.

The most advanced function of the drinks calculator app is an “if you do, if you don’t” feature, that allows the user see what may happen before they choose to have another drink. By knowing this information in advance, the consumer may wait a while, or choose a lighter drink option.

A breathalyser can not give the user information in advance about how much alcohol is in different drinks or how long it will it take to be cleared based on weight and gender. Breathalysers are used after drinking. The Recoverthol App can be used before having a drink.

The aim is to inform the user about what their level of drinking is before they decide to take their next drink, and to discourage consumers from drinking too much if they have already had too much. The Recoverthol App does not provide an accurate measure of your blood alcohol level. 

You need a breathalyser to measure your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) after drinking. You can, however, predict or estimate BAC by using by using a pharmacokinetic equation (i.e. Widmark equation).

In a recent scientific study, it was revealed that 89% of BAC apps evaluated, over-estimated the BAC level when compared to calibrated Breathalyser data (Weaver et al., 2013).  In addition, BAC apps that collected a greater amount of data (e.g., gender, weight, number of drinks and hours of drinking) showed greater accuracy.

Given the absence of such a blood alcohol calculator app on the current market that can provide the user with information before drinking, Recoverthol App was designed using the Widmark equation to compare the effect of different drinks (not to measure BAC).

Despite their evident weaknesses, incorporating this type of pharmacokinetic equation within the app will provide users with estimates of blood alcohol levels associated with different types of drinks, and an estimate of how long it will take for that amount of alcohol to be metabolised to zero, based on gender and weight differences.

These values can be obtained by users prior to deciding what drink they will have and when, and on the basis of this knowledge, choose not to drink a beverage with higher alcohol content, or to allow longer time between drinks in order to allow their BAC to decrease.

As mentioned above, BAC apps using equations tend to over estimate the BAC levels when compared to calibrated Breathalyser data (Weaver et al., 2013), so we are safeguarded against under rating BAC levels to some extent.

Recoverthol Drinks calculator Smart AppWe believe the Recoverthol App will fill a market niche for applications that provide longer-term benefits to users before and whilst drinking, that no other App on the market currently provides.

These benefits have been highlighted as areas of interest in focus groups studies identifying a need for blood alcohol calculator apps that promote self-care whilst drinking. For example, providing notifications to keep drinking water, stop drinking over the recommended standard unit of alcohol consumption per day, or to eat something to avoid hangover symptoms the next day (Weaver et al, 2013).

Recent use of this app amongst our testing group had shown that immediately following the use of this drinks calculator app, users became more cautious of their drinking habits and on many occasions have said that they would drink less (“wow, it takes six hours to process two glasses of wine”).

We have intentionally incorporated an interactive messaging system into our app that lets the user know if they are drinking too fast, or exceeding the recommended daily intake of alcohol based on WHO reports.

The intended use of this app was not to provide a means of measuring BAC, but to provide a means of tracking alcohol consumption based on the types of drinks consumed over time, and the amount of time it would take for those drinks to be fully metabolised by the body.

This information can provide consumers with valuable information about when to stop drinking in order to be sober for work the next morning. This feature was exclusively requested by the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA).

We believe that the Recoverthol app will actually encourage people to reduce the amount of alcohol they are drinking. Without some form of blood alcohol calculator based on weight and gender, consumers are flying blind when drinking alcohol.

Download this app for free from here.


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Fish or a Cadbury? Have a hangover treatment plan

Hangover treatment
Hangover treatment

I have never been a big drinker.  A glass and a half is all I can handle, but my friend can drink like a fish. Basically we each have our own limits.  I’m not here to discuss how much drinking is good or bad.  Obviously drinking to excess is not good for your health or well-being.  Sadly, we don’t often listen to good advice however we can help you manage and treat a hangover.

Consequences of drinking

The point is that the effect of alcohol resonates the next day mostly as fatigue, no matter what your limit is, or how much you drink, fatigue is a common health complaint to General Practitioners each year.  It has been reported that fatigue, or tiredness contributes to a $63 billion loss to the Australian economy in sick days.

We know that alcohol interrupts your sleep.  We also know that 90 % of the Australian workforce has been estimated to consume alcohol (VicHealth, 2012).  Could it be that modern day fatigue may be a consequence of even low-risk drinking behaviour?

Research shows that people who drink alcohol don’t sleep well. Couple this with an adult generation that are too time poor to eat well and follow a healthy diet and we can see a few red flags that provide an explanation for the fatigue epidemic within our modern society.

We all know the consequences of drinking too much on a big night out. Waking up with a nasty hangover the morning after does not make a great start to the weekend.  You don’t have to drink to excess however to feel off your A game the next day.  Even drinking a little can result in mild or ‘silent’ hangover symptoms like feeling tired, sluggish and unmotivated.


How often do you say I need a holiday or I’m tired?  How often do you have to resort to caffeine and energy drinks to keep you going?  Wouldn’t you love a hangover treatment?

No matter how much you drink, you can’t avoid the effect of alcohol the next day.  Research has shown that 3 out 4 of moderate drinkers experience hangover.

Loss of productivity

NCETA reports hangovers to be responsible for 11.5 million sick days annually, at a cost of $3 billion to the Australian economy.  In the UK 17 million working days are lost each year because of alcohol-related sickness.  In the United States, alcohol related absenteeism and poor job performance cost the economy $148 billion annually.

When we look a little deeper it becomes more apparent that there is a pattern in the work place in relation to absenteeism and accident rates.  Reduced productivity and increased workplace accident rates have been consistently observed on Mondays, perhaps as a consequence of overindulging on the weekends.

In support of this theory, 40% of all sick days are taken on Mondays, suggesting that workers often need a day to get over their weekends, and possibly a few too many drinks.  So what is the solution? Increasing the tax on alcohol? Prohibition?  Or maybe a new hangover treatment?

Unless you can come up with a way to stop everyone drinking, 76% of the population are going to enjoy a drink or two.  Approximately 6% of people will binge drink, 10-15% will fail to show up to work after a public holiday or an event, and 40% of sick days will be taken on Mondays.

We made Recoverthol as a hangover treatment


Recoverthol was made with the aim of reducing the side effects of alcohol on the body and improving lifestyle. The product promotes smart and safe drinking and a sensible approach to hangover treatment.

There are a few products on the market which claim to be hangover treatments.  The typically contain magic formulas containing exotic herbs from far off places.

The effectiveness of these herbs has not been scientifically proven.  At best, you would need very large quantities to show any effect, and the small amounts that are put in capsules really wouldn’t do much.

This evident lack of scientifically based formulations is perplexing, given that we have the science to develop products that have a clear mechanism of action. 

Known mechanisms of alcohol metabolism motivated us to develop Recoverthol, which is a hangover treatment formulation that supports the liver in breaking down alcohol.

Based on the science of alcohol metabolism, Recoverthol was designed and formulated to assist the liver to maintain the metabolism of alcohol, even after a few drinks, when it is required to work to capacity.  Recoverthol does not contain any magic formulas or herbs – only active ingredients and biochemical principles known to support alcohol metabolism.

Tablets and capsules are not the answer.  We wanted to design and manufacture a product that was easy for people to use.  If you tell people to take fluoride for strong teeth, they prefer to obtain a dose from their toothpaste as opposed to taking fluoride tablets.

Hangover treatment research

Research has shown that removing barriers will increase medication compliance. Providing a hangover treatment alternative to hard and bulky pills removes a barrier for many people that simply don’t like swallowing tablets. 

Having a product that you can easily use while you are drinking, that you can simply add to a drink of choice, offered a promising solution.  Off course the trick was to make sure it wouldn’t alter the taste of the drink. Who would want that?

After almost nine years of research and development, we have finally made it!  A snap open vial that delivers a small volume liquid formulation that you drop into your drink, with out affecting the taste.  Oh, and it works too!  By helping the liver to metabolise alcohol more effectively, Recoverthol may assist in management of hangover symptoms.

Now, if I can be so daring as to use condoms as an analogy when they first came on the market, they suffered a lot of criticism.  Today, however, we know that condoms have been in instrumental in providing a means of birth control, but also in preventing the spread of may transmissible diseases.

One of the biggest problems we faced whilst developing Recoverthol, was that some were worried that this product would encourage binge drinking. Obviously no one wants to encourge excessive drinking. 

We researched binge drinking extensively. We discovered that approximately 6% of any population binge drinks, and that this figure has not changed much over the years, despite the fact that hangover treatment products come and go.

Recoverthol is your insurance policy

We have also aimed to carefully position Recoverthol as a product that promotes smart and safe drinking. Recoverthol can be conceptualised as an insurance policy against hangovers.  Similar to car insurance, you take out a policy to cover you in the event of an accident. 

Recoverthol will cover you for tomorrow, in the vent of you having a few too many drinks tonight. If you chose to buy insurance, you will typically be more careful and not drink to excess.   We have also made an App to track the number of drinks you are consuming and to monitor how long that amount of alcohol will take to be broken down in your body. 

We believe personal education on the effects of alcohol will promote safe drinking and thereby reduce the side effects of alcohol the next day.  Having a viable hangover treatment option will have evident flow on effects for workplace productivity and the economy overall.


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How a hangover remedy tackles a $3 billion economic loss

hangover remed

A survey of over 2000 people conducted by indicated that 16% of Australians ‘chuck a sickie’ the day after Australia Day.  Similarly, up to 10% of people surveyed reported calling in sick the morning after Anzac Day and Melbourne Cup day.  A viable hangover remedy would reduce this problem and increase economic activity.

Greg Taylor CEO of, said he sponsored the survey of 2024 Australians because he knew there was a correlation between nights on the booze, and hangover related absenteeism in the workforce.

A study from the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) at Flinders University reports that in 2013, hangovers cost the Australian economy $3 billion, accounting for 11.5 million sick days.  This figure has risen from $1.2 billion in 2001.

Each day of alcohol related absenteeism has been estimated to cost on average, $267.70 (one day’s wage, plus 20% employer on-costs, based on average weekly income for 2013).  Of particular interest is the finding that the majority (56.1%) of people surveyed in this study were categorised as ‘low risk’ drinkers (i.e., consumption of 4 or less standard drinks on one occasion).

This finding suggests that it is the ‘silent hangover’ that puts most of the strain on the economy, not individuals that drink at high-risk levels.  This has been a historical trend with low-risk drinkers reportedly accounting for over half of all alcohol related absenteeism (Pidd et al., 2006).

Furthermore, research shows that 3 out of 4 of moderate drinkers experience a hangover after drinking.  Moderate drinking is defined as up to four alcoholic drinks for men, and three for women, on any single day, according to The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism (NIAAA), and a maximum of 14 drinks for men and 7 drinks for women per week.

In order to reduce the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury, the Australian national guidelines for alcohol consumption recommend that healthy men and women drink no more than two standard drinks on any day (Australian Alcohol and Drug Foundation).

In addition to the obvious detrimental health effects, we know that alcohol can also affect workplace productivity, with people failing to turn up to work due to hangover, or even worse, presenting for duty and being unable to perform to the best of their ability.

Ninety (90) percent of the Australian workforce has been estimated to consume alcohol (VicHealth, 2012). The majority of drinking is reported to occur at the end of the working day, or on rostered days off.

Workplace safety, however, can be impacted, by staff with alcohol-induced hangovers who are unable to perform at an optimal level (i.e., as a result of impaired co-ordination, slow reaction times, and poor judgement).

According to the Australian Alcohol and Drug Foundation, 1/10 workers report that they have been affected by a co-worker’s misuse of alcohol (Dale et al., 2010). Specific impacts include: poor job performance, accidents or near misses in the workplace, as well as having to work over time to cover for a co-worker.

Julie Rae, Head of Information and Research at the Australian Alcohol and Drug Foundation reported that co-workers even state that they don’t want to work with some people as a result of alcohol consumption or turning up to work with a hangover (Alcohol a major hangover for Australian workplaces. Australian HR Institute).

What has been done to address this problem?

We know that alcohol is a global problem. Much has been done to investigate the effects of alcohol consumption on our health and well-being, including workplace performance the day after alcohol consumption.  You only have to search alcohol and health in Google to see a wealth of reports from government bodies and health organisations that offer health warnings and recommendations for safe alcohol consumption.

Despite these reports, very little is being done at a community level to action these recommendations, or to provide real hangover remedy solutions which aim to reduce alcohol related absenteeism.  It is time to take action and to address alcohol related issues in society, with an emphasis on providing hangover remedy innovations that reduce lost productivity, and encourage responsible drinking.

In brief, consumers are not aware of how much alcohol they are actually drinking.  In addition, most people are unaware of safe drinking guidelines relative to their gender or country of origin.

Individuals also tend to be unaware of how much alcohol their body can metabolise per hour, or how long it would take to clear out of their system, and for them to return to a fully sober state.  People just wing it, and suffer the consequences the next day- either with a sore head, or with reduced workplace performance.

How can we help?

By making people personally aware of the negative effects alcohol can have, and by providing real solutions to remedy or avoid these effects, we can begin to actively educate society on what to drink and how to drink responsibly, and limit the impact of alcohol consumption on our ability to fully participate in our life roles.

Through personalised education, including the proper labeling of alcoholic products (i.e., highlighting the individual effects of products relative to body size and gender), and the development of drink tracking applications (e.g., drink smart app), consumers can be more accurately informed about issues such as the time it takes for alcohol consumed to clear out of the body (e.g. a 65kg woman who drinks 2 standard glasses of wine between 7- 7.30pm, can expect to be sober by approximately 1am).

Such innovations may support consumers to make better choices in maintaining safe drinking levels, and to maximise next day productivity.  The use of drink tracking apps may encourage consumers to pace their drinking behavior, or to choose lighter alcoholic options.  These innovations endorse a prevention is better than cure philosophy.

In addition to these life- logging technologies, scientifically developed and clinically proven medicines which can support the body to process alcohol more efficiently, also have a place in this preventative approach.

The market is saturated with hangover remedy options that are used when symptoms are in full swing, and a day off work after a big night is needed to recover.  Most of these so-called hangover remedy options also contain rare herbs from exotic places that have no scientific backing.

You don’t have to drink to excess to feel off your A-game the next day.  Even a couple of quite glasses tonight can leave you feeling tired and sluggish tomorrow morning.  If you want to indulge a little, make sure that you are at your best the next day.  Nobody wants to be treated by a tired doctor or driven by a taxi driver who is suffering the effects of the night before.  Let’s look after ourselves and each other – drink smart and stay covered.



Dale, C. & Livingston, M. (2010) The burden of alcohol drinking on co-workers in the Australian workplace, Medical Journal of Australia, 193(3), 138-140.Roche,

A., Pidd, K., and Kostadinov, V. (2016). Alcohol- and drug-related absenteeism: A costly problem. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 40 (3), 236-238.

Pidd, K.J., Berry, G., Roche, A., Harrison, J.E. (2006). Estimating the cost of alcohol-related absenteeism in the Australian workforce: The importance of consumption patterns. Medical Journal of Australia, 185 (11), 637-641.

VicHealth 2012, Reducing alcohol-related harm in the workplace (An evidence review: summary report), Victorian Heath Promotion Foundation, Melbourne, Australia.