We all know the dangers of drinking too much. We’ve all made that mistake of having one drink too many more times than we’re willing to admit, even just to ourselves. The thought of the hangover we’ll suffer from the day after is often enough to help us reduce our alcohol intake, but there are more tricks than that which can help us to be responsible drinkers, while also being able to have fun, at every party.
Just because you’re controlling how much you’re drinking, spending the evening being a sensible, responsible grownup, doesn’t mean the party will be boring. If the party requires you to drink in order to enjoy it, get yourself out of there: That is not a party you should be attending anyway. The terrible hangover that will ruin the next day will totally not be worth it. Drinking prudently, so that you’re not dizzy, slurring your speech, and embarrassing yourself, shouldn’t mean that the party is no longer enjoyable.
Drinking responsibly is really very simple, but it involves a significant amount of restraint and self-control. Unfortunately, as soon as we’ve had one drink, our ability to exercise said restraint and self-control diminishes dramatically, and continues to do so with every other drink we have. But doing all you can to remember to stay hydrated, to avoid mixing types of alcohol, to eat before you start drinking, to know what your limits are, and what the signs are that you really need to stop will help make sure that you don’t embarrass yourself, and that you’ll be suffering a lot less the next morning.
Ask What You’re Drinking
If you’re drinking a cocktail but have no idea what’s in it, ask. You don’t want to guzzle down a sweet, delicious cocktail or two in 15 minutes, only to realize how potent it was, and that it’s about to knock you out for the evening. Always makes sure you know the alcohol content of your drink.
Try to avoid combining alcohol and caffeine. Even if you’re exhausted, and the alcohol has made you even sleepier, having a coffee or energy drink seems like the sensible thing to do, but it’s not. The coffee and alcohol will come together in one huge, overwhelming burst of energy, which will make you shaky and jittery, before you come crashing down on a massive low.
Don’t Combine Sugar and Alcohol
Sugar and alcohol is a lethal combination. Try to avoid overly sweet cocktails, as the sugar will go to your head as quickly as the alcohol does. You’ll be on a massive high, and very soon afterwards will dramatically lose all your energy. Sugar and alcohol will also come together to make the next morning unbearable as you’ll have a real hangover, and a sugar one.
Don’t Mix Drinks
Pick your chosen drink for the evening, and stick to it. Your body really struggles with drinking various different types of alcohol, so try not to. Having a gin and tonic, followed by wine, followed by tequila shots is not a good combination.
Before you go to the party, make sure you eat something. This is especcialy important if you’re not sure whether there’s going to be food there or not. Having some carbohydrates and protein in your stomach will help you absorb the alcohol, and will slow down how quickly it affects you.
Keep Your Hands Still
If you don’t know lots of people at the party, or are just a naturally fidgety person, don’t keep drinking just so you have something to do with your hands. If you notice yourself picking up your glass because you’re hands are restless, or you’re feeling nervous, try to pick up a glass of water or some food instead.
Know Your Limits
Make sure you always know what your limits are. You probably have a vague idea of how much you can safely drink, so always keep that in mind. By being aware of yourself, and noticing if you feel yourself getting dizzy, or your vision going blurry, or that you’re slurring your words, stop drinking straight away.
Don’t drink too quickly. Try to stick to a general rule of one drink per hour. If you notice yourself picking up your glass more regularly than this pace, swap your drink for a non-alcoholic one every once in a while.
Alcohol dehydrates you and draws the vitamins and minerals out of your body. To help counteract this side effect of alcohol, drink at least one glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have. Matching your drinks with water will help your body be less susceptible to the effects of alcohol.
Swap to Mocktails
If you still want to be drinking, but don’t want any more alcohol, switch to a mocktail, soda, or water. Drink out of a cocktail or wine glass, and no one will know that you’re not knocking back as much vodka as they are.