Planning to enjoy a festive party drink this year? Read this survival guide first!

Everyone wants to have a good time over the festive period… until the next day when you begin to regret having that final glass of wine, that extra shot or that night-cap!

However, fear not, because Daniel Fenton, Clinical Director and GP at London Doctors Clinic is on hand to offer practical, GP-approved advice to have you feeling better in no time.

1) Take antacids before going to bed 

These are an absolute lifesaver for reducing stomach acid and will help you to feel less nauseous the following morning.  

2) Beware of ‘hair of the dog’

We’ve all heard of drinking through your hangover, and whilst this always sounds like a great idea  and undoubtedly does kill the pain for a short time but  in practice, it only makes things worse  in a few hours.

It makes you more dehydrated, aggregates your stomach and worsens the headache.  It also means you’ve very likely got a serious drinking problem. 

It’s better to rehydrate and top up with electrolyte rich sports drinks and tons of water to help you rehydrate and replace the salts and sugars lost by the diuretic effect of alcohol. 

3) Be careful if you’re going for a run

This  may well make you feel better as it  will certainly get the endorphins going and lift your mood  but be a bit careful of this. If you’ve had a real bender your liver is already feeling pretty beaten up and over exercising can wreck it even more. 

Make sure you drink a lot of water. The fluid you lose in ‘sweating it out’ needs to be replaced and a lot more. 

4) Watch what you eat 

Heard that raw eggs are a popular hangover cure? They do contain some of the essential amino acids the liver uses to digest alcohol, so it has a theoretical basis.

Mixed with tomato juice, worcester sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper and chilli sauce, raw eggs have been glugged by our transatlantic cousins for many years after a big night out.

Who knows if it really works though? The thought of it puts me off drinking – so that may be something. 

5) Stick with clear alcohol

We’ve all experienced the red wine hangover!  There are ingredients in many drinks called  congeners which do contribute  significantly to  hangovers and red wine and fortified wines have a lot of them.

You  probably already  know this from experience…

Vodka, gin and white rum have less so you may get less of a hangover per unit of alcohol consumed. Think about it though: this is not necessarily a  good thing. 

6) Remember that espresso martinis are not your friend

The addition of caffeine acts as a stimulant and can make you feel really lively whilst at the Christmas party. However, one too many martinis will leave you feeling dry as a bone, as caffeine acts as a diuretic and causes you to make more frequent trips to the loo.

Dehydration is one of the factors contributing to that morning hangover headache. So it may be better to keep it simple and have a drink without the caffeine infusion. 

Dr Daniel Fenton, Clinical Director and GP of London and Birmingham walk-in GP clinic, London Doctors Clinic part of the Doctors Clinic Group.

Photo by Dio Septian