Indulging in a few festive tipples is understandable, but excessive alcohol consumption at Christmas can have severe consequences

Many of us like a few drinks at Christmas time, but it’s hard to deny the negative effects of excessive alcohol consumption. Understanding more about the possible consequences of drinking is the first step in keeping your consumption balanced and under control. This will help you have a happier and healthier festive season.

The negative effects of drinking at Christmas

Excessive drinking at any time of year puts you at risk of both short term and long-term health conditions, some of which can be extremely serious. These include heart disease, liver disease, stroke, brain damage, nervous system damage and certain kinds of cancer such as mouth, throat and breast.

And since we tend to drink more at Christmas than at any other time of year, it’s important to consider the negative effects of drinking at Christmas, which can really put a dampener on your festive season.


Multiple studies have shown excessive alcohol consumption to be one of the most common migraine triggers. Beverages such as red wine can put you at greater risk of suffering intense throbbing pain in the front or side your head. There is a wide range of effective migraine relief medications available from Express Pharmacy to help get you through the Christmas period.

Weight gain

On average, UK adults gain an extra 1.3 pounds during the holiday season, as we tend to see December as a time of indulgence. Alcohol is a major contributor to winter weight gain, putting you more at risk of conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. More and more people are turning to weight loss medications like Xenical and Mysimba to help them shed excess pounds quickly and safely.

Erectile Dysfunction

One of the negative effects of drinking at Christmas for men is an increased risk of erectile dysfunction. This is often a result of a poorer diet, increased drinking habits, lack of physical activity and sometimes even Christmas-related stress. With this in mind, it is hardly surprising that sales of impotence medications like Sildenafil and Viagra double in the run-up to Christmas.

Guidelines for drinking at Christmas

Staying health conscious in your drinking habits over the festive period is, of course, partly about knowing how much to drink at Christmas, and knowing the up-to-date unit limits for men and women (14 units a week.) However, it isn’t just about knowing how much to drink at Christmas. There are other factors to consider.

Do your research

In order to encourage yourself to drink responsibly this December, brush up on the negative effects of drinking at Christmas. Hearing statistics such as alcohol being a causal factor in over 60 medical conditions will help you understand the importance of moderation.

Take days off

Even though it’s Christmas, you should still abstain from drinking on most days. Give yourself a rule to follow that you will spend more days of the week not consuming alcohol than you do actively drinking.

Drink plenty of water

Drinking plenty of water between alcoholic drinks helps your body clear out alcohol. In fact, it’s estimated that your body needs four-parts water for every one-part alcohol.

Watch your urine

If your urine is a dark amber colour or smells strongly, this is a clear sign that your body is dehydrated and needs more water, less alcohol.

Drink slowly

Drinking slowly gives your body, and particularly your liver, more time to metabolise and flush toxins from your body.

Never drink on an empty stomach

Drinking without eating floods your body with alcohol, forcing your liver to work particularly hard. Carbohydrates and fats are the best food groups for absorbing alcohol effectively, helping you line you stomach and avoid a hangover. By allowing food to absorb alcohol, there remains less alcohol for your body to absorb.

For more information on having a happy and healthy festive season, contact the team at Express Pharmacy. You can use our discreet live chat service or call us on 0208 123 07 03.