How to avoid getting too drunk this Christmas, and how to stop a hangover

Make sure you stay hydrated.
Make sure you stay hydrated. Photo credit: Getty

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year - but with the temptation to overindulge strong and festive drinks aplenty, how can you avoid a Boxing Day hangover and stay safe this holiday season?

Science has revealed the best ways to enjoy a Christmas beverage without getting wasted.

When it comes to alcohol, the Christmas classics of sherry and port are the ones to avoid according to Brighton University's professor of public understanding of science, Dr Hal Sosabowski.

"It has to do with the concentration," he told BBC Radio Five Live.

Port and sherry are 20 percent alcohol - and unlike higher percentage alcohols they don't inhibit their own uptake and are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream.

Stronger spirits like whiskey are absorbed into the bloodstream more slowly as they overpower the cells in the stomach wall.

"That burning sensation in your stomach stops [the alcohol] being taken up," he said.

"Somewhere in the middle is sherry and port and the optimum way of getting very drunk very fast is that because it's about 20 percent and it doesn't inhibit its own uptake."

Dr Sosabowski says the safest way to avoid a hangover after Christmas is not to drink at all. 

However, if you can't resist a beverage or two, he says the best way to avoid headaches is to have one big drink of water before bed.

Drinking water between drinks could actually make your hangover worse.

"If you're drinking strong drinks followed by water, what you're doing is diluting it to that terrible 20 percent," he said.


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