We’re all aware of the effects and dangers of consuming alcohol. The fact that drinking is related to weight gain, sleep loss, and anxiety (to name just a few ailments) hasn’t stopped it from being one of the most popular activities in the world. Associated with fun, winding down at the end of the week and facilitating social interactions, alcohol has been a mainstay in our culture for decades, something that’s unlikely to change any time soon. They don’t call it social lubricant for nothing.
Since it’s an activity that comes with some serious negative side effects, moderation is very important. The Huffington Post spoke with different physicians who gave out different recommendations. Check out five of the most useful ones.
Remember to eat food
It’s never a good idea to drink on an empty stomach. This practice makes it more likely for you to get drunk while also irritating your digestive system and facilitating even worse hangovers. You should consume a balanced meal that contains proteins, healthy fats and carbs, around the same time you’ll be consuming alcohol.
Know what’s in your portions
While we all appreciate a bartender who over-pours, large portions contain more than one serving of alcohol and make it easier for you to get drunk rapidly. Plus, your liver has a hard time keeping up!
While it’s always important to pair alcohol with food, it’s just as important to consume water as you’re drinking to keep you hydrated and help you stay sober. Since alcohol depletes your body of electrolytes, the more dehydrated you are the next day, the stronger your hangover will be. “Drink a glass of water between every glass of alcohol,” recommends personal trainer Mike Clancy.
Avoid the extra calories
Sodas, juices and all sorts of sugary drinks pair deliciously with alcohol, but they come with an extra serving of throwaway calories that you probably don’t need. Alcohol is already caloric enough, so try to learn how to enjoy and appreciate the flavor of it by pairing it with seltzer or some other mixer that is low in sugar and calories.
Know your limit
Try to keep some sort of control even on the nights where you really want to drink with your friends. Learn your drink limit and always pace yourself with water. While getting drunk is still likely to catch you off guard from time to time, if you eat, drink water and pace yourself, you’ll feel better the next day and avoid some of the damage to your liver and body.