Q&A with Terry Yanko of hangover cure Life Support

From the December 27, 2012 edition

Terry Yanko said a hangover changed his life — in a good way. When he was in South Korea, and having a lot of fun, Yanko said he discovered the best hangover cure in the world. The gears started turning, and he realized that lots of products claim to cure a hangover, but don’t follow through. Yanko then, with the help of some old friends, decided to create a hangover cure based on the one he tried overseas, and Life Support was born.

Life Support is a nutritional supplement. It has more than one use, not just hangovers. When I started thinking about this product, I wasn’t even sure to market it as a hangover product. But I knew that was a niche that hadn’t really been satisfied, so we decided to tackle it. It’s also very healthy. Tons of studies have been done on the Hovenia dulcis fruit that we’re using that demonstrate its very unique ability to help your liver recover from alcohol damage.

The way it’s supposed to work is to take one Life Support after your last alcoholic drink of the night and you wake up hangover free. It’s pretty simple. A lot of people say they even drink it in the morning and like it that way, but we advise against having a hangover in the first place.

The worst hangover I ever had was the night before I found the product that Life Support is based on. That was the hangover that saved my life. I was in South Korea, went out with my friends and had one too many drinks. The next day I wanted to call it quits and that’s when I found this product. I drank a lot of Absolute Mandarin and Soju. That combination just killed me — worst cab ride home ever.

When I started the company, I knew I couldn’t do it all myself. I was privileged to have this group of talented, very eccentric friends. This would be a good purpose to bring everyone together and exploit their knowledge and skills. I approached Dillon Beck, our vice president of branding, because he’s a brilliant designer. David Zamore, the executive vice president, is a walking Wikipedia. You can ask him anything. Zach Beebe is our vice president of business development because he’s very popular and very social. He does sales and handles the social media aspects while finding new distributors and contacts.

We think Columbus is one of the greatest markets for this product. We’re really privileged to be here. With Ohio State being one of the most dense college campuses in the United States, we really think there’s a lot of potential. We really want to establish a solid presence here and expand outwards geographically. We‘re launching online at lifesupport.com as well, so you don’t have to get up and go get some. You can get a six-pack or 12-pack online. It’s convenient, free shipping that comes straight to your door.

We’re in about 75 retail stores around Columbus. There’s a lot on campus and the bars downtown have been doing a lot of business with us. It seems like BBR runs through a 48-pack every couple days.

Photo by Meghan Ralston