The Australian Hangover Cure You Can Chug Every Day to Survive the Cold Season

Catherine LeClair

Berocca Effervescent Tablets, Orange, 10 Count
> $8, Buy now at Amazon

When I started dating an Australian guy, I anticipated a future in which I was consistently charmed by his cultural quirks. I imagined giggling over his “g’days” and learning Aussie drinking songs. I thought I might learn the rules to rugby and start exclaiming “oy!” with confidence. What happened was different. What happened was that he got me hooked on an Australian cold remedy and hangover cure called Berocca. He drinks it everyday. And now I do too.

Since we are now officially amidst the season known as The Dark Time, allow me to share the joys and benefits of Berocca with you, my cold-fearing readers. Berocca is essentially Airborne's heartier, beefier cousin from down under. It is significantly more potent and satisfying. Think of Airborne as the sort of the soft and fuzzy Ugg to Berocca's tough-as-nails Blundstone.

Berocca is a disk-shaped tablet you drop into a glass of water to create an orange fizz packed with vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and other ingredients designed to boost immune health. But while Airborne is known for delivering a blast of Vitamin C to users, Berocca is all about B vitamins. There are 6 different types of B vitamins in one tablet, which, promote energy levels, digestion, and brain function, among other important bodily processes. (One of the popular uses of B vitamins is as a hangover cure, though its effectiveness in that department is somewhat disputed.) There is also a type of Berocca (my preferred variety), that contains about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. The Berocca website simply describes its benefits as: “it may help give you that extra little kick.” Trust me, you want that extra little kick.

As it turns out (and this is where it gets weird), I want that extra little kick every day. At the beginning of our relationship, I laughed at my boyfriend’s absurd habit of taking a cold cure every morning. “That’s for when you’re sick,” I’d argue. “Why wouldn’t I want to feel even better than normal all the time?” he’d rationalize. Unfortunately, I have now taken on that exact habit and rationale—independently and with vigor—spending hundreds of dollars ordering the product on Amazon—each tablet costs roughly one dollar—so I can start each day with that extra little kick. I wake up a dehydrated zombie, fumble to my pantry, drop a tablet into an inch of cold water (the colder the water, the better), wait for the fizzing to cease, and drink. Moments later, I feel incredible, the effervescent orange monster coursing through my veins.

Is it just a placebo? Possibly. There is of course the fact that Berocca, used as a cold remedy or a daily supplement, could be all placebo. “The role of supplements in health is still a hotly contested research question,” says Dr. Howard Sesso, an Associate Epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Dr. Sesso tells me that people will often swear that since they started taking a cold remedy or supplement they haven’t gotten sick, but that it’s not a controlled test (maybe they additionally started using hand sanitizer religiously, or eating more healthily, for example). “One usually makes the association of ‘well it must be this really cool Berocca product that’s explaining why I’m not getting the cold.’” (I gulp and nod.) “That may be true, that may not be true.”

Our flawed reasoning hasn’t stopped us. My boyfriend and I recently invested in a supply of the non-caffeinated Berocca, just in case we feel something coming on in the evening hours—a Berocca nightcap, if you will. The fact that I have been convinced to participate in this absurd charade must be proof that Berocca really is that good, right? In any event, I haven’t been sick in ages.

Berocca Effervescent Tablets

$8.00, Amazon

BUY NOW

Originally Appeared on GQ