Berocca Performance is an effervescent tablet containing a combination of B and C vitamins as well as magnesium, calcium and zinc. Formerly manufactured by Roche Pharmaceuticals until 2005, it has since been manufactured by the Australian branch of Germany’s Bayer.
Edit: In the weeks since I first tried Berocca Performance – I have to say this is one of the best hangover cures I’ve used. During the preventive stage the night before, I had a great buzz from my favorite beers and had the energy for some wild alpha male sex. The following morning I cooked breakfast, bathed the kids, mulched an acre worth of fall leaves, cleaned up a bunch of dead trees and started a vicious bon-fire. Berocca Performance Chainsaws the Night! Amazon took a hiatus from offering it and eBay no longer had them, but I’m glad that Amazon is offering them again – stock up!
Marketed as a vitamin supplement, it is widely known among Australian binge drinkers to be both a preventative, and a cure for the dreaded hangover. It was the official supplement of the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon in 2007 and has been voted Best Energy Supplement by Boots customers from 2004 through 2009.
Bayer’s website claims that Berocca Performance is a refreshing effervescent experience that is clinically proven to help optimize your physical and mental performance while being free of sugar, preservatives and artificial colors.
According to Bayer, it contains 15mg (1071% RDA) of vitamin B1 , 15mg (938% RDA) of vitamin B2, 25mg (138% RDA) of Nicotinamide, 10mg (500% RDA) of vitamin B6, 400 micrograms (200% RDA) of Folic Acid, 10 micrograms (1000% RDA) of vitamin B12, 150 micrograms (150% RDA) of Biotin, 23mg (383% RDA) of Pantothenic Acid, 300mg (150% RDA) of vitamin C as well as 100 mg (33% RDA) of Magnesium, 10mg (66% RDA) of ZInc and 100mg (12% RDA) of Calcium. While not marketed in the US, I bought a packet of Berocca Performance after reading about it and finding it onAmazon
I tried this both as a preventative and as a reliever in the morning even without much of a hangover. It’s effervecent qualities help take in a large glass of water easily, which helps hydrate the body from alcohol’s dehydrating potential, and gives the body a boost of Bvitamins, which are water soluble and easily eliminated in the urine during drinking.
I was surprised to find that it did pick me up and kept me energized and hydrated while using it as a preventative, and it turned my urine into a harmless but magical orange glow. The glow is interesting because the body was flushing out excess amounts of B vitamins, while the glow was absent in the morning, indicating that my body was busy absorbing all the necessary nutrients eliminated the night before.
While it was a fantastic energizer as a preventative, it did encourage me to drink a bit more than usual, and I can see why it may be used as a prelude to binge drinking. In the morning, I’m certain that the vitamins immediately went to work, but I needed the help of a good breakfast and a rich banana/blueberry/strawberry milkshake to feel 100%.
While it doesn’t contain sugar, it does have aspartame which is in itself somewhat controversial, and the warnings indicate that it is for those older than 12 years of age and contains 285mg of sodium. Also, excessive overuse of the B vitamin group is known to cause nerve damage and daily use should stay closer the the standard recommended daily allowance. I’m no doctor, but I would use Berocca only during extended sessions as well as the following morning while taking a good quality multivitamin as a daily supplement.
References:Bayer – Wiese J, Shilpak MG, Browner WS. The alcohol hangover. Annals of Internal Medicine2000;132:897–902. – Pittler MH. Complementary therapies for alcohol hangovers. Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies 2004;9:265–8.