This time of year is all, rightly - it is silly season, party party party but unfortunately the day after the festive good times presents a high physical price of pounding head, desert-dry mouth and churning stomach that leaves you craving a dark, horizontal location with endless supplies of hot chips. But, according to a University of Louisville research study reported in The New York Times, the solution to the hangover question may actually lie in aerobic exercise, specifically jogging. That's right, the complete opposite of what your body feels like doing. The study found that running may negate some of the impacts of heavy drinking on the brain, that pounding headache? It won't be hanging around after you lace up and hit the jogging track.
The study was conducted by University physiologists on adult male mice over a time period of 12 weeks. Each day, groups of mice were given injections of either alcohol or salt water. Half the animals were then put on the treadmill for an intense but short workout. The scientists then tracked how their brain cells reacted (because alcohol kills brain cells). Interestingly, the workout mice showed noticeably different brain function from those of their sedentary friends; theirs was strong, with similar levels to the mice who were injected with just salt water. The non-exercise mice who were given alcohol showed weakened brain function, providing evidence that the post-alcohol treadmill time helped negate the effects of alcohol on the brain. However... the study isn't a free pass to Booze Town, but rather to show that if you have overindulged hiding under a doona all day may not be your best option. Also, if you are going to run it out, don't forget to hydrate.