Houstonian takes his miracle hangover ‘vitamin’ to Shark Tank

AP Photo/Rick Rycroft

Kingswood, Texas, native Brooks Powell took his idea for a hangover cure to the sharks at ABC’s Shark Tank, and while they didn’t bite, he’s far from discouraged.

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The 24-year-old former competitive swimmer is the inventor of Thrive+, a pill which claims to “mitigate the negative effects of alcohol…by reducing short-term alcohol withdrawal, replacing lost vitamins, and providing your liver with what it needs to break down alcohol and its toxic by-products.”

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According to the website, all you have to do is take two and you’ll feel better in the morning.

According to CultureMap Houston, Powell got the idea after reading about a study in the Journal of Neuroscience involving rats. The experiment appeared to show a drug called dihydromyricetin (DHM) rendering lab rats instantly sober and less likely to abuse alcohol; Brooks was intrigued.

He began studying the drug with the help of his neuroscience professor to see if it would have the same affect on humans. By 2014, he was recruiting scientists and filing patents.

After a purified version of DHM was developed in the lab in 2017, Powell and company tested it on humans; the results were promising.

“People who were tested reported feeling at least 50 percent better the next day,” said Powell in an interview.

He says one of the things that makes his product so beneficial is it reduces the damaging affect of alcohol on the body over time, likening it to sunscreen for the skin:

Sunscreen not only prevents sunburn, but even skin cancer, over time. In the same way, Thrive+ isn’t just for hangovers, but for reducing alcohol’s negative effects, over time. That’s why we think people should take this every time they drink alcohol, even in moderation.

The main goal of his company’s product is not just to be a hangover cure all, but to cure alcoholism. With Ivy League graduates and myriad medical professionals on staff, Thrive+ is well-positioned to do the research.

Powell calls his company’s product a “vitamin for alcohol,” to try and alleviate the stigma associated with a hangover. Thrive+’s two products — the after-alcohol aid and oral rehydration solution — both work to help the body fight off the damage done by replacing what the body loses via dehydration and giving your liver what it needs to process alcohol.

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One way it could reportedly help prevent alcoholism is through a reduced tolerance. According to Powell, DHM reduces a human’s tolerance to alcohol, meaning they don’t have to consume more to get the same buzz, which also reduces damage done to the body.

He may not have made it to the winner’s circle on Shark Tank after the finale, but his company is still “blowing up.” By the end of 2018, Powell said he expects sales to hit $25 million a year.

What do you think?

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