Most people have experienced that feeling when waking up after a night of heavy partying. It’s not fun, but you’ll survive. Besides passing out, indulging too much can also put you at risk because you may let down your guard easier. To help prevent this from happening, here are 10 tips to help you stay safe when you are out enjoying the night.
- Know your limits.
This is probably one of the most important things to know when it comes to your safety. Everyone is different. Some people can only handle a few drinks, while others can drink twice as much and still appear to be fine. Tolerance, body weight, and gender, among other factors, can play a huge role in how much you can safely drink. If you are unsure of your limits, move on to number two.
- Pace yourself.
It is important to remember that your body takes a while to digest alcohol. You may think you are capable of handling another shot, but there might still be a lot of undigested alcohol in your stomach. Once your body processes it all, you could be well over your limit. By pacing yourself, you can more accurately judge how intoxicated you are/will be. Generally speaking, most people are satisfied with one drink per hour.
- Drink water in between alcoholic beverages.
This is a good way to help pace yourself, and it keeps your body hydrated. By doing this, you can help control your blood alcohol concentration level, helping you to avoid getting too intoxicated. Even if you do end up drinking too much, you probably won’t feel as bad the next day. Although dehydration is not the only cause of a hangover, it can contribute to symptoms of it. Your thirst, fatigue, dizziness, and headache can all be the result of dehydration.
- Eat while you are drinking.
High protein foods, such as cheese and peanuts, can help slow down the absorption rate of alcohol. However, any food is better than drinking on an empty stomach. Before drinking, fatty food can be best because it takes longer for your stomach to digest it. The food will remain in your stomach longer, preventing alcohol from being absorbed too quickly. Before bed, eating chicken can be a good idea. The chicken gives your liver a huge supply of amino acids that help metabolize and remove alcohol.
- Have a designated driver.
Before heading out for the night, select someone to be the designated driver. In case nobody wants to be the driver, another option is taking public transportation. It can be an Uber, the bus, a train, or walking, just as long as you don’t get behind the wheel and drive. Check to see what services are available where you live. Certain cities have programs where taxi rides or other forms of transportation are offered for free, or at a discounted rate, to encourage people not to drink and drive.
- Avoid drinks with congeners.
Studies have shown that drinks with higher levels of congeners can increase the frequency and severity of a hangover. For those unaware, congeners are toxic byproducts that form during fermentation. Drinks that are low in congeners include vodka, gin, and rum. Types of alcohol you might want to avoid are tequila, whiskey, and cognac.
- Keep an eye on your drink.
Unfortunately, you have to worry about people slipping things into your drink when you are not looking. If you leave your drink unattended, for example, to use the bathroom, it is wise to get someone to watch your drink while you are away. You can always use the bathroom between drinks so you don’t have to worry about this.
- Be careful when on drugs.
Whether it is the prescription Valium you are prescribed or the marijuana you smoke for your anxiety, always be careful when mixing with alcohol. The combination of the two can cause some serious problems. Even if the mixture isn’t toxic, it can still leave you pretty out of it.
- Avoid peer pressure.
Yes, this may sound silly, but there are plenty of times where people drink too much because they are somewhat pressured by the people they are hanging out with. If everyone is doing a round of shots, it can be easy to give in. If you don’t feel like drinking, don’t feel the need to keep up with everyone else. Also, don’t pressure people into drinking and respect their choices.
- The day after. If you drank too much the previous night, one of the best things you can do is drink plenty of water and something that has electrolytes in it. This will help rehydrate you and minimize how sick you feel.
Another option to cure your hangover is the “hair of the dog.” Although widely thought of as an urban legend, there is actually some proof that having a drink the next morning can help lessen your hangover. When your body processes alcohol, methanol is converted into formaldehyde, a toxin that can contribute to the symptoms of your hangover. Drinking alcohol the next morning stops the conversion of ethanol into formaldehyde and your body disposes of it safely through your urine. This is not encouraged, though, because it can lead to alcohol dependency if not careful.
There are also a variety of dietary supplements that are believed to help ease the symptoms of a hangover. Red ginseng (claims to reduce blood alcohol levels), prickly pear (claims to cut your hangover symptoms in half), ginger (when mixed with brown sugar and tangerine, it is claimed to help nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea), borage oil (claims to reduce symptoms by 88 percent) and eleuthero (claims to alleviate several hangover symptoms) are all items you can try.
These are all very easy tips to implement. So, the next time you go out drinking, try taking some of these suggestions into consideration to keep yourself safe and avoid getting sick. Stay hydrated and get plenty of sleep. Your body will thank you the next day.
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