A CGB Product Review: DrinkWel

Here at the CGB, we're always striving to provide our readers with something new and interesting to read.  In May, we were presented this opportunity when we were contacted by one of our faithful readers.  Our reader (we'll let them reveal their self if they so choose) asked us if we would like to try a product which they were in the process of launching.

That product is DrinkWel. 

What is DrinkWel?  Well let me try and explain.  

Basically, "drinkwel is a specially formulated Alcohol Nutrition supplement that provides short-term relief and long-term support against the negative effects of alcohol." (www.drinkwel.com)

Within each capsule is a "30-ingredient, doctor-approved formula contains a mix of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and our proprietary Superfruits & Botanicals Blend that help replenish nutrients and support the body's ability to process alcohol."

More specifically, it includes stuff such as:

1. Milk Thistle, Bupleurum & other botanicals to support liver health.
  2. Amino Acids to help process alcohol induced toxins.
  3. Superfruits rich in antioxidants to neutralize free radicals.
  4. Vitamin B-Complex to aid metabolism and maintain energy.   
  5. Vitamin C from multiple sources to support immune system function.
  6. Essential vitamins & minerals to provide hangover relief."

Being the alcoholics that our readers are (lemon drops, FTW!) we here at the CGB decided that it would a great opportunity for us to provide new and interesting commentary on a product that could be useful for so many of our readers.  Thus we took up the opportunity to try this product before its official launch and test its alcohol-effect negating abilities. 

Quite promptly, both YellowFever and I were sent one bottle each of the product to try.

The product arrived in these nifty press-release fabric bags:

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Within the big bag was the bottle itself:

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And within the smaller bag was a dice game:

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The dice was a regular six-sided dice, except instead of the "1" there was the drinkwel logo. 

So what else is in DrinkWel?

Here's the back of the bottle:

Dscn6499_medium

Okay, I have no idea what some of that stuff is.  Kudzu Flower?  Sounds exotic.  Artichoke leaf?  Yum.  Schisandra?  Your guess is as good as mine. 

I'm no expert, but I suppose that a lot of this stuff is healthy for you or has some sort of positive medicinal quality. 

Anyways, so I opened up the bottle and took a look at the pills.  The pills are pretty big.  They're your typical big sized gel capsules filled with its sand-colored ingredients.  The smell was similar to that of some NatureMade multi-vitamins that I normally take.  So naturally, I began wondering if DrinkWel was like a fancy multi-vitamin.

Well, it is filled with a ton of vitamins.  In the picture directly above you can see the vitamin values on the left (in the picture, the vitamins listed are cut off - sorry!).  But a serving size of three capsules contains 625% of your daily value for Vitamin C, 50% of your DV of Vitamin E, 6667% of your DV for Thiamin, 882% of your DV for Riboflavin, 750% of your DV for Vitamin B6, 125% of your DV of Folic Acid, and 5000% of your DV of Vitamin B12, etc. 

Basically, there are a ton of vitamins in these pills.  Keep in mind the daily values shown in the picture above are for three capsules.  But the instructions say to take 3 capsules daily, therefore these are the values that you will be consuming.

But the instructions also say to drink another 3 capsules if you're drinking enough to give you a hangover.  Thus, you could potentially be taking up to 6 capsules in a day.  Wow, that's a lot!  That's 10,000% of your daily value of Vitamin B12! 

So anyways, with the school semester coming to a close, I had an opportunity to let loose and have a few more drinks here and there.  Below is a log of what I've been drinking and how I've felt afterwards.

 

THE DAILY LOG

Day 1: The "control" day.  Took no DrinkWel capsules.  Went out to celebrate the end of the semester with some friends.  Ended up at Tonga Room in San Francisco.  Had two fruity drinks there.  Then went over to the Castro for a friend's birthday bash there, and had another 3 hard liquor drinks. Total: 5 drinks.

Fairmont_sf_tonga_room_006_medium

Tonga Room via www.californiatravelexpert.com

 

Day 2: Woke up with a very slight hangover from last night.  On scale of 1-10, it was about a 3.  Took a DrinkWel capsule in the morning.  Went out about The City to watch Bay to Breakers.  Didn't partake in the festivities though.  Took another capsule around lunch.  In the evening, had a few beers at a friend's graduation party.  Took one more capsule at night before bed.  Total: 2-3 beers.

Bay-to-breakers-elvis_medium

Bay to Breakers via jazzrunner.files.wordpress.com

Day 3: No hangover from Day 2, although I only had a few beers the night before.  Felt good.  Not sure if it was the DrinkWel or just because I had less to drink during Day 2 than Day 1. Drank no alcohol today.  Total: 0 drinks.

Day 5: Took a DrinkWel capsule in the morning.  Went out to graduation ceremony on an empty stomach.  Had two small glasses of champagne at the reception afterwards.  Then went out to Osha to eat with a friend.  Stayed there for a few hours and had 3 drinks there.  Then went to Palmero on the Embarcadero for happy hour.  Had a mojito and a beer there.  Took another DrinkWel capsule around dinner time (didn't take one during lunch because I wasn't at home).  In total: 2 glasses of champagne, 3 hard drinks at Osha, 1 mojito and 1 beer at Palmero for a total of 7 drinks. 

25_medium

Osha food, via www.insiderpages.com

Day 6: Woke up feeling fine.  No hangover.  I had only taken 2 DrinkWel pills yesterday.  I missed the lunch pill because I wasn't home, and had forgotten to take three extra pills that are suggested when you drink enough for a hangover.  However, I felt fine - perhaps because the drinks I had was spread out over the course of 6 hours rather than all within a few hours.  Or maybe it was the DrinkWel.  Not quite sure.  Took more DrinkWel pills today.

Day 9: Forgot to take the DrinkWel today.  I'm bad at remembering to take pills.  I also forgot to take my Prozac and HGH pills today too (just kidding).  So I guess we'll call this another "control" day.  Went out to celebrate another graduation with some friends.  Played some Cricket (darts) with some friends at a local bar and had 4 drinks. 

Cricket_darts_c3_medium

Darts, anyone?  via www.jatekozon.hu

Day 10: Woke up feeling fine.  No hangover from last night although I didn't have a lot to drink and despite not taking any DrinkWel pills.  Took a DrinkWel pill.  Was glad that the DrinkWel pills have a ton of Vitamin C in it because I was out of orange juice and had wanted some vitamin C to protect myself from the germs that a sick friend was coughing on me last night.

Day 40 something:  I've had to take a break from drinking lately because I have an important test coming up and I need to study.  However, today I had an unexpected occasion to drink.  In total, I ended up drinking one Irish Car bomb, and two beers over the course of a six hours without any other hydrating liquids (such as water).  By the end of the night, I was already feeling a slight headache coming on.  Because I've been on a break from drinking, I hadn't been taking the DrinkWel pills three times a day as normally prescribed.  Nevertheless, I figured I'd try to counteract the alcohol effects with three DrinkWel pills before going to bed (as per the instructions which state to take three pills before bed when drinking enough for a hang over).   

Day 40 something +1:  Woke up without a headache, bodyache, or groggyness.  Felt fine.  Felt perfectly fine, actually.  I was pretty convinced that I would wake up not feeling good because I hadn't had a lot of water to drink all last night aside from one cup with the pills I took before bed.  Was pleasantly surprised by how good I felt.  Not entirely sure if it it was the DrinkWel or just luck, but I'm leaning towards the DrinkWel.

Day 70 something.  Finished my big test.  Time to celebrate.  Drank 1/2 a bottle of wine, a few beers at a local bar, and one shot of tequila.  By the time I got home I had a massive headache.  I popped three DrinkWel pills before going to bed with some water, and prayed that I woke up feeling better.

Day 70 something +1:  Wake up with a massively hang over.  Head hurts.  Got my butt out of bed because I had friends from out of town visiting.  Felt nauseated, and almost ended up praying to the porcelain gods a few times but luckily I didn't.  After some breakfast, and water, and a few pain killers, I felt better.  I can't say that the DrinkWel completely prevented a hangover, but the amount of alcohol consumed probably was more of the reason why I felt so bad and not the fact that the DrinkWel failed -- if at all.   It's entirely possible I could feel even worse had I not taken the DrinkWel pills.

Day 90 something:  Up in SF for the weekend.  Have some old highschool friends in town, so we're going to go clubbing.  Take a DrinkWel pill in the morning, and again at lunch.  Meet my friends for a get-together and drink two beers.  Go home, and change into club clothes.  Take another DrinkWel pill.  Go out to Slide in SF.  Drink five hard alcohol drinks (two shots, three drinks).  Walk home nicely buzzed and half-deaf, and fall asleep.   Total: 2 beers, 5 drinks.

Day 90 something +1:  Wake up early to go meet friends for dim sum.  Feel fine.  No hangover.  Maybe it was the DrinkWel pills.  Take another DrinkWel pill anyways.  Ate dim sum.  Took another DrinkWel pill in the afternoon.  Meet my old highschool friends again for dinner in Pac Heights.  We eat at Via Veneto.  Share a bottle of red wine with my friends while we eat.  Go home, change into club clothes.  Pound a beer with my friends before we leave for the club.  Walk to Fluid.  Have two vodka shots, two tequila shots, a "liquid cocaine" drink, a vodka tonic, and I think that's it.  Go home feeling wasted.  Pray to porcelain gods.  Go to sleep.  Forgot to take three extra DrinkWel pills before I went to bed.  Total: 1/3rd bottle of wine, 1 beer, 4 shots, 2 hard drinks.

Day 90 something +2: Wake up at 9:30 am.  Feeling massively hung over.  World is still spinning.  Get up to get some water.  Pray to porcelain gods some more.  Take a DrinkWel pill.  Wonder if I'm going to pray to the porcelain gods again.  Go back to sleep.  Wake up at 11:45 am.  Drag my ass out of bed, still feeling somewhat hung over.  Get in car with some friends and drive to Golden Gate Fields to watch some horse races.  My friend is still hung over from last night and promptly pukes into a garbage can upon arriving at Golden Gate Fields.  He then spends the next two hours in the bathroom dry heaving as since he's on empty.  I feel fine though.  He and I had the same amount to drink yesterday, and he also prayed to the porcelain gods last night too.  But only I was on the DrinkWel pills.  Maybe that's why he's feeling so bad and I'm feeling fine?  By 4 pm, my friend is finally feeling well enough to actually eat some food without regurgitating it.  I was feeling fine by 1 pm and had already chowed down on some $1 hot dogs.  Total: 0 drinks -- just water.


Conclusion:

Let's get right to the chase.  Do these things work?  Answer: I think so. 

I'm not a health expert, nor am I really a health nut.  And unfortunately, my testing of the product can hardly be called scientific.  But I think that there can be some benefits from using DrinkWel.  There were definitely some nights where I was drank enough to possibly give me a hangover, took some DrinkWel pills before bed, and woke up the next day feeling fine (see Day 40 Something+1 and Day 90 Something+1). 

Then of course, there were a few days when I drank enough to definitely give myself a hangover, and I took some DrinkWel pills, and I still woke up hammered (see Day 70 something+1 and Day 90 Something+2).  But I think on those nights, I was getting a hangover regardless of how many DrinkWel pills I took due to the amount of alcohol I had consumed.

And let's remember that I don't think DrinkWel pills are intended to or can completely prevent a hangover.  They're supposed to minimize the negative effects of alcohol.  That means that instead of waking up feeling groggy, tired, and lethargic, perhaps instead you wake up feeling like you would on a normal day.  And I think I had a few of those days.  Day 90 Something+1 might be the best example of that.  That night before I had multiple alcoholic beverages over the course of the evening.  Not enough to guarantee a hangover, but then again enough to ensure that my body might feel some of the after-effects the next day.  And what happened the next day?  I felt fine.  Completely fine.  I mean, I woke up, hopped out of bed, and was like "I'm ready to go." 

But is it worth it?  The typical DrinkWel bottle holds 90 pills and costs $39.95.  If you drink moderately, and take three pills a day, then that supply will last you 30 days at a cost of about $1.33 per day.  That's a pretty small price to pay for feeling better after having a night out drinking, and improving your chances of waking up in the morning feeling better.  What are the alternatives to not using DrinkWel?  Either drink less, drink more water, pray to the porcelain gods or just suffer the consequences that alcohol has on your system. I personally don't drink enough, or drink daily for that matter, for this product to be something I'd invest in.  However, if you're a daily drinker who downs three, four, or more drinks every day then this is definitely a product which should interest you. 

Overall, would I recommend the product?  I would definitely suggest the product.  I would definitely point any of the daily alcohol drinkers I know towards the product.  I'd tell them about the product and suggest that perhaps it's something that they would be interested in.  I can't quite say that I had enough personal experiences with the product to truly say "Yes, it's amazing, it does wonders!"  But I think that there really are some positive effects of taking DrinkWel pills.  And at the very worst, even if you don't feel any better taking the DrinkWel pills than when you don't, the DrinkWel pills are practically a multi-vitamin in of themselves so it's not like you're getting nothing out of them.

 

Full Disclosure: CGB was provided two sample bottles gratis. CGB is not affiliated with Drinkwel, was given no other compensation for this written review, and will receive no future compensations.

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