New, all-natural hangover drug created with help of the University

Students tested the effervescent tablet, Drinkin' Mate, with mixed opinions on its effectiveness.

For students celebrating the holidays with champagne, a different bubbly drink may be the answer to their hangover problem.

University students, Plymouth businessman Fred Wehling, a Chinese scientist and a University researcher each played a role in developing a new hangover defense product, Drinkin’ Mate. The all-natural effervescent tablet went to store shelves a month ago.

Wehling, president of Amerilab Technologies, said the idea for the product came a few years ago while he was visiting with business executives and partner Dr. GeMing Lui in China.

“At that time in China, and even now, business involved eating, then drinking, then going to the karaoke bar and drinking some more,” Wehling said.

The guava leaf has traditionally been used in China to alleviate hangovers and is the main ingredient in Drinkin’ Mate. Wehling said he drank a guava leaf concoction during a long week of entertaining business executives.

“We’d basically pick the leaves off the guava tree, grind them up in a little blender and we would drink this stuff – basically a green sludge,” Wehling said.

That extract is now in an effervescent tablet manufactured at Amerilab Technologies, the largest nutritional-effervescent tablet producer in the United States.

The product came to the University for testing last year. A focus group of students tried the product – which can be taken before, during or after consuming alcohol – and about 60 percent reported success, Wehling said.

Amy Miller, who has used Drinkin’ Mate twice, said she and her sister had dissimilar results the morning after drinking when they tried the product.

“The next morning I was up early, like very early. I did feel good; I didn’t have that haze,” Miller said.

However, she said her sister didn’t notice much of a difference from how she normally felt after drinking.

Dr. Arnold Leonard, a paid consultant of the company and University researcher, reviewed research already available on the subject and reported his findings, Wehling said.

When antioxidants in the guava leaf are coupled with an effervescent, it can reduce acid in the stomach, which would protect the stomach and stop headaches from progressing, Leonard said in a paper summarizing his results.

Dr. Edward Ehlinger, director of Boynton Health Service, said he worries people will take the product and think they can drink more alcohol than they can handle safely.

“Drinking to excess is a real problem for college students,” he said.

The product can be found at Lunds and Byerly’s grocery stores. It is $9.99 for six tablets online.