If you drank one too many glasses of champagne on New Year's Eve, chances are you're already nursing your first hangover of the year. While it's practically written in our culture to go all-out with the drinks on NYE, remember that you don't have to start off January 1 on such a dreary note—even if it already feels like it's too late. While the most effective way to avoid a hangover is to stop it before it begins, scientists have nailed down a highly efficient way to get rid of your symptoms after the fact too. (But sadly, it's not indulging in french fries.)
According to new research, exercise is the quickest route to hangover relief. We know, we know. (Ugh!) Although, this method seriously works. To monitor their subjects' brain activity, scientists at the University of Louisville injected two groups of mice with alcohol daily for 12 weeks. One group completed treadmill exercises every day for another 12 weeks while the other group stayed inactive. After the study, the scientists looked at mitochondria in all of the mice's brains and found that the group that exercised didn't experience any mitochondrial damage while the inactive group of mice did.
In a second study that focused more specifically on the effects of binge drinking, the scientists saw virtually identical results. Similarly, they found that weakened mitochondria can cause memory impairment and a loss of brain cells. Previous research also shows that alcohol has a direct impact on this, which is why we feel a little fuzzy after a night out.
So while we might be feeling particularly fitness-averse after a night of overdoing it (unless you count competitive binge-drinking as exercise), it might be worth swallowing a few minutes of pain to head out for a brisk jog. Couple that with our foolproof hangover cure, and you might never have to rely on post-night out fast food again.