The onset of the holiday season is imminent at this point, which means you might already be anticipating the merriment ahead. But we'd be remiss not to acknowledge the flip side of hot toddies and New Year's toasts: the hangovers that, during the holidays, are as inevitable as vintage Mariah Carey.
Research tells us that our best course of action to avoid a next-morning headache is to be proactive about it. The most effective way to avoid a hangover is to stop it before it begins. However, scientists have nailed down a highly efficient way to get rid of your symptoms after the fact, too. (Sadly, it's not indulging in french fries.)
Keep reading to see the fastest way to get rid of a hangover.
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 plenty of water, and you might never have to rely on post–night out fast food again.
Next, check out the hangover cures we (and Gwyneth Paltrow) swear by.