Feeling a bit slow today?

Today, New Year’s Day, is often spent in deep, personal reflection as many pause in their hectic lives to consider just what the hell they said, did and drank the previous night.

Ah, the hangover. The fitting reward for a boisterous night of debauchery.

Scientists have recently performed research that confirms what many drinkers already have known. Different kinds of libations have different effects on you the next day. Dark colored liquor like bourbon, with a higher number of toxins, can make you feel worse than clear liquor like vodka. The participants in the study, however, exhibited the same impairment from their hangovers despite what they drank. Vodka does have milder after-effects than whiskey, but I know that the clear liquor gin can bring a hellish morning of remorse and regret the next day.

During this time of year you can hear about lots of “hangover cures.” There is, however, no such thing as a hangover cure. Rather one only has options on the best way to endure the six to 12 hours of suffering as your body regains its proper balance. The following are some of the better methods I’ve discovered:

SENSIBLE AND BORING: Take two Advil and drink lots of water. If this is your approach then you probably don’t get many hangovers anyway.

HEALTHY BUT MASOCHISTIC: Drink about a liter of water and then do a hour of strenuous activity. After exercising, drink about another liter of water. This is the closest approach to a cure I’ve found, but as one may guess, sometimes the suffering of a hangover saps your motivation to work out. The various self-inflicted, drunken injuries like a twisted ankle, torn MCL and general sense of hopelessness may also prevent you from taking this approach.

DELAY AND DIVERT: Watch a movie you know is going to make you laugh. (For me a good one is Ron Burgundy.) The laughter will release endorphins making you feel better and the movie itself should kill at least ninety minutes or two hours of your hangover. Key point on this approach, don’t watch a downer movie. Million Dollar Baby and other dark or depressing movies ain’t going to cheer you up and will likely make your hangover seem worse.

GET BUSY: Another way to release endorphins and feel good is to engage in an act of … er … intimate relations with whomever or whatever you chose. (Keep it legal though, winding up in jail for unnatural acts won’t make you feel any better.)

WALLOW IN YOUR OWN CRAPULENCE: Beer, football and Mexican food. A perfect antidote to the particularly unpleasant New Year’s Day hangover as you’ll have beer left over from the previous night’s festivities and there’s nothing but football on all day long. Mexican food can be swapped for other fare such as hamburgers or pizza but remember, it can’t be healthy. Who the hell wants to start the new year eating fresh fruit and fiber? New Year’s resolutions don’t take effect until Jan. 2. Today I’ve got some Coors and left over tri tip steak and I’m rooting for my Oregon Ducks to stomp on some Ohio Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl.

I’d be curious to know of any other hangover aversion strategies you gentle readers may use.

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