Sure, drinking is a lot of fun. After a long week, kicking back with friends and knocking back a few can be a great way to unwind and relax. However, it’s important to be smart about how you do it, whether you’re at a party or at home with your buddies. There are safe ways to drink alcohol and help to inhibit some of the negative effects of over-consumption. Here’s how.
Drinking on an empty stomach is bad
You may want to feel the pleasant buzz that comes after a few drinks, but it’s better to wait until you’ve eaten before you start. If you start drinking as much as you can right away, the effects of the alcohol will be felt much more quickly, which may lead to you cutting your night short.
Food can help slow down the effects of alcohol
While it is a myth that food can prevent you from getting drunk, it may slow down the effects of the alcohol long enough that you never reach that level of total drunkenness. Foods high in protein, such as meat and cheese, are good additions to any drink, as they are the most effective at slowing down alcohol. Bread and grains are another option, but they are slightly less effective than proteins at inhibiting the effects.
If you have nothing in your hands but a drink, you’ll probably keep sipping and drinking it in order to give your mouth something to do. However, if you have a meal in front of you (or even a snack), it can remind you to slow down your consumption and give your body a chance to catch up. After all, drinking too quickly can lead to a poor decisions. More than one DUI or DWI has been given because someone let the alcohol do the thinking for them, rather than being smart about their alcohol consumption. Don’t be the guy having to hire a DWI lawyer for your defense after an arrest for drunk driving.
Eating can counteract the effects of hypoglycemia
If you happen to suffer from low blood sugar (which doesn’t necessarily mean diabetic), food can counteract that. Because alcohol demands a lot of ‘processing power’ from the body, the amount of sugar at your disposal may be lessened. Eating a meal in addition to drinking can balance out the two effects, helping to keep you feeling steady and unbalanced. Hypoglycemia can cause lightheadedness and dizziness, and alcohol can compound these effects.
Food can help combat dehydration
It’s a well-known fact that alcohol dehydrates the body. However, eating foods with high water content, such as fresh fruit or oatmeal, can help to combat the effects of the alcohol. This will help to reduce the hangover the next morning and keep you from suffering the full effect of the alcohol. Keep in mind that the more you drink, the more dehydrated you will become. Dehydration is one of the main threats of drinking too much and can lead to hospitalization or even death. The liver needs proper hydration in order to work properly, and alcohol without water can be very hard on the liver.
The next time you head out for a night with friends or to a big party, keep these five tips in mind. Remember, you’re responsible for your own health; even though it may not be as ‘cool’ to worry about hydration or the aftereffects of drinking too much, ask yourself this: would you rather be the one feeling good the next morning, or the person stuck in bed moaning whenever light touches their eyes?