We’ve all seen it on St. Patrick’s Day: men and women who may or may not actually be Irish stumbling in the streets, passed out at the bar, or fighting with strangers in the bathroom. It doesn’t take much for St. Patrick’s Day to turn from an evening of fun, responsible drinking to a disastrous night — where you’re sprawled out on the sidewalk, sobbing to your friends in an inexplicable faux-Irish accent, and throwing up as you walk.
So don’t be that guy this St. Paddy’s Day. No one likes that guy. Avoid being that guy this March 17 with these five easy tips, and know that you still can have a very happy St. Patrick’s Day.
Avoid Sugary or Caffeinated Drinks
Yes, we know you want to start the day (and continue the day) with an Irish coffee. But coffee is a stimulant, and adding a stimulant to your alcohol drinking process will make you jittery and overly alert. It can also make you more likely to crash, turning you into that unfortunate dude or dudette sleeping at the end of the bar. Sugar, meanwhile, will not only make you crash at the end of the night — it can leave you with a killer hangover the next day.
The key to drinking and having a good time without being a total stumbling mess is to pace yourself. This can be hard to do while your pals are taking shots of Jameson and guzzling Guinnesses like there’s no tomorrow. But remind yourself throughout the night that tomorrow will exist, and the last way you want to spend it is hungover. This thought will give you incentive to supplement every drink with a glass of water. Good ol’ H20 won’t make you any less drunk, but it will help with pacing, since you’ll be sipping on something healthy instead of something with a high ABV.
Carbohydrates and protein will help to soak up the alcohol in your stomach, so eat before you go out on St. Patrick’s Day and snack throughout the evening. Luckily, there are plenty of indulgent, meaty, and bready Irish foods to enjoy this March 17, from steak and Guinness pie to Irish soda bread with butter to corned beef sandwiches.
Know What You’re Drinking
If you’re hanging out with friends at home, mix your own cocktails and look at the labels on the beers and spirits you’re consuming to know what’s going into your body. If you’re out at a bar, order cocktails that are described in full on the menu and watch the bartender make them. Keeping up mentally with the amount you’re drinking physically will keep you aware of how you might be feeling in the future if the alcohol hasn’t hit you yet. You may not feel like you’ve had three beers and two shots, but you have, and it’ll get to you sooner than you think.
Pay in Cash
You can’t drink beers that you can’t pay for, right? A way to keep your alcohol intake in check before you even leave the house is to remove your credit and debit cards from your wallet and keep to a strict budget by paying in cash. After you’ve spent your $40 or $50, you’ll be officially cut off (by your own hand), so paying in cash will help with pacing and avoiding overconsumption.