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20 Dec 2017 By

How to Survive the Inevitable and Agonising Office Party Hangover…

How to Survive the Inevitable and Agonising Office Party Hangover.

By Dr Nick Knight from GQ magazine.

Dear GQ Doctor.
This may sound trivial, but next week is our office party and I will probably (OK, definitely) get very drunk. Is there anything I can do to reduce the hangover the next day so I can still function at work?
Sam, via email.

Don’t worry, Sam, I’ve been asked this a lot. And it’s understandable that the office Christmas party, for many, is a calendar event with the predictability of a Trump State visit. Sadly, while both deliver shame, embarrassment and bewilderment, it is only the former that hands you a hangover as a parting gift. With no universally agreed cure, the focus has to be on damage limitation. With that in mind, let me explain my three-tier plan to surviving a hangover.

Tier one is primary prevention. This is where you avoid the hangover altogether by a) not drinking any alcohol or b) not attending the party. Yes, I agree, so let’s move on to tier two.

Tier two is secondary prevention. Here, the goal is to minimise the effects of alcohol and stop you becoming a social hand grenade.


Here are your eight pre-game counter-measures:

1. Eat before you drink.
Lining your stomach slows the rate of alcohol absorption.

2. Avoid carbonated drinks.
They increase your stomach pressures and forces alcohol quicker into your bloodstream.

3. Pace yourself.
Surreptitiously adding soft drinks gifts your liver a grace period to metabolise alcohol and arrest sky-rocketing blood alcohol levels.

4. Bring a charged phone.
Useful for a multitude of sins, from telling someone you are at the back of a six-hour wait in A&E to booking a taxi so that it is not the cold exposure that kills you on the way home. Not for taking too many drunken selfies or calling your ex-partner.


5. Secure a good night’s sleep.
Approaching the day fresh can help rebuff the physical and mental effects of the day after.

6. Book the next day off.
Time is a healer. Or at least, out of sight, out of mind.

7. Avoid buying rounds.
They can escalate your consumption rates to alarming proportions… and empty your wallet.

8. Drink responsibly.
Come on, I have to say this.hangover

Tier three is your tertiary prevention. This is where any hope of avoiding a hangover is lost and you are in need of physiological restoration.

These are your seven enhanced recovery steps:

1. Rehydrate with water.
Drink water when you get home and the next morning when you wake. Alcohol switches off your anti-diuretic hormone increasing urination and salt loss.

2. Replace low sugar levels.
Alcohol sabotages your carbohydrate metabolism leaving you feeling drained of energy. A hearty breakfast will remedy this from fry-up to hand-picked porridge. As long as you can keep it down, of course.

3. Have paracetamol on standby.
Headaches are common. It is thanks to both the dilating effects of alcohol on brain blood vessels and your dehydration. Handy for alleviating any drunken injuries as well.

4. Netflix and chill.
The night after you will be exhausted. Alcohol disrupts your deep-wave sleep, which is important for feeling refreshed and rested.


5. Acquire anti-reflux medication.
Alcohol irritates the thin sensitive lining of your stomach, which is worsened only by the excess production of gastric acid juices after alcohol. Heartburn and nausea result.

6. Avoid alternative remedies.
The hair of the dog, or perhaps novelist Ernest Hemingway’s cure of tomato juice and beer are not going to see you transform from caterpillar to butterfly, so don’t bother.

7. Maintain a mental robustness.
While there is no cure for the moral shame that can accompany the office party, confession and counselling is available from your doctor.

I hope this three-tier hangover plan goes some way to helping your question. The litmus test will be: if you have the hand-eye coordination the following morning to open the next door to your advent calendar, things are going to be alright.

Read it at GQ

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