Tech by VICE

We Got Wasted then Tested Out a Herbal Remedy that Claims to Sober You Up

Sober Up says it can 'boost mental clarity and physical health' after you've been drinking, so we went to the pub and put it to the test.

by Tom Usher
22 December 2015, 6:00am

All photos by Hannah Lawrence

All photos by Hannah Lawrence.

Being sober is a tough ask during the Christmas season. Between work drinks, the Christmas parties and all the times that you sit at home weeping as you cradled a bottle of Glenfiddich, there's not a lot of time to y'know, just be sober and that.

So what if there was some way you could chokeslam your liver through a burning table from the top turnbuckle and still feel fine and dandy? Sober Up, a liquid 'dietary supplement' in a small metal bottle, claims that it might just be able to help you out.

In the 'About' page, it says that Sober Up can "boost mental clarity and physical health before, during and after good times", which is good because my physical health was about to take a pasting.

To test it out, me and my colleague Leala decided to get drunk, then breathalyse ourselves both before and after taking the shots of Sober Up, to see if it had any effect on our blood alcohol level. As I stepped out toward the pub, I could feel the hand of a Science Nobel Prize on my shoulder.

First, we needed to test our levels before we touched any alcohol to make sure we knew what we were working with. Mine came up 0.0, which meant that I was sober enough to drive, operate heavy machinery and get really fucking drunk.

Here we are, two shots down and chugging through two pints of Kronenbourg. You can see from my face that I'm discussing something that meant quite a lot to me at the time. And you can see my from my colleague's face that she's thinking, "Man, this guy chats a lot of shit."

This is the state of us after our second round of shots, complete with a pint for the gent and a glass of house white for the lady. In the name of science I must declare that not all of the drinks on the table were ours and were in fact left by loud, angry bald men having their Christmas party. As you can see from this picture, I am merely a quiet bald man.

After all that science, it was time to get do away with childish things and crunch some numbers. We waited 30 minutes to really let that alcohol pickle in our bloodstreams, then breathalyzed ourselves to see how mashed we were. My colleague clocked in at 1.2 and I clocked in at 1.3, which, according to Wikipedia, i the stage that can cause 'over-expression' and 'temporary erectile dysfunction'. The breathalyzer also handily made a piercing bleeping noise and flashed a big yellow sign on it with a picture of a crossed-out car. So not only can I not have sex, but I also can't drive. Thanks for rubbing it in, breathalyzer.

It made sense to take it to the streets to see if we could both perform the standard police DUI test of standing on one leg and looking like a twat for 30 seconds. As you can see, we both passed with flying colours.

Us, before drinking Sober Up.

Us, after drinking Sober Up. You may ask, what does this stuff taste like? And I could bang on for a couple of hundred words about its rich flavour, using a series of generally negative adjectives. But instead I just want you to study my face and what its doing in this picture. Really, really study it. You'll find the answers there.

According to the website blurb, there is a 60% average reduction in toxins within 30 minutes of drinking Sober Up. So that's how long we waited, while both necking a pint of tap water as per the instructions, and also as per the disgusting taste. We then breathalyzed ourselves again to see how much alcohol it had broken down in our systems. I clocked in at a lower rating of 1.1, so maybe things were 'on the up' for me (BECAUSE OF THE ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION THING). Alas, my colleague clocked up a quite impressive 1.4 – two points above her original score of 1.2, which doesn't really make sense, but then really I don't think anything made sense at this point.

To keep everything fair, we decided to do another test back in the office, about an hour after drinking the Sober Up. I managed to clock up a still-quite-hefty 1.0. That's a reduction of .3 from my original score, so maybe my future would be as bright and shiny as my head looks in this picture.

Here we are, sports fans: The Morning After. Having decided to go out after the experiment and carry on in a similar vein, I was feeling pretty fragile when I came into the office. So when I was told I had to do another fucking shot of this shit I wasn't too happy. But shot I did, and another breathalyzer test was administered in which I ranked a not too shabby 0.8. According to Wikipedia, this is the level at which you have 'blunted feelings' and 'impairment in reasoning', which made sense because I couldn't feel my face that much and I was stupid enough to do another shot of Sober Up.

What can we conclude from this top-notch scientific enquiry? Well, for one thing, if you are the kind of person stupid enough to believe in a magical sobriety cure then good luck to you in surviving in the world once you've learned to drive. Or have sex. There is no magical sobriety cure. The only cure for a hangover which truly works is a bacon and egg sandwich with a squirt of ketchup, and trust me, that tastes a whole lot better than some herbal remedy.


More from VICE:

VICE Staffers Reveal the Most Hipster Things They've Ever Done

The VICE Guide to your Bleak Office Christmas Party

Stories of Women Who Found Love at the Christmas Party