Eat Regularly When Drinking
Eating a good meal with protein and complex carbohydrates before you drink is important because it keeps alcohol from reaching an empty stomach, which can lead to quick intoxication. Along with eating a good meal, snacking while you drink and eating something light after you’re done can help to keep your body from breaking down and becoming damaged, especially if you drink more than once or twice per week. It’s also important to eat a light, healthy breakfast when you wake up in the morning after drinking to help your body restore any nutrients you may have lost.
Drink Plenty of Water
Food is important for keeping your body healthy, but water is just as important since alcohol can quickly dehydrate you. Before you drink, try to drink a good amount of water – 12 to 18 ounces is pretty much a minimum. You also need to drink water along with alcoholic beverages. Most experts recommend a glass of water for every drink. Try to grab a fresh glass of water whenever you get a drink. Follow any drinking with a glass or two of water before bed to help your body rehydrate.
Skip the Sugary Drinks
Drinks that have a lot of sugar in them can make dehydration worse, and the sweet taste can mask the amount of alcohol you’re consuming, which could lead to drinking more than you planned. Stick to mixers that don’t have too much sugar in them like low-calorie fruit juice or a mixture of juice and club soda, or stick to wine and beer. You should also avoid using too many carbonated beverages as mixers since the carbonation may actually increase how fast your body absorbs the alcohol. Caffeinated drinks that are carbonated like energy drinks and soda are the worse since they’re loaded with sugar, carbonation, and caffeine, which can also have a dehydrating effect on the body.
Stick to a Schedule
College parties can go on for hours, and if you’re having fun with your friends, you may be out pretty late on the weekends. If you have a drink in your hand the whole time, you may end up drinking way too much and feeling the effects the next day. Instead, try to set a rough schedule for yourself. Have a drink over the course of an hour with a snack and follow it with a glass of water. Talk to friends before you get that new drink. That way you’ll be consuming far fewer drinks over the course of a long evening.
Make Your Own Drinks
At college parties there isn’t usually a bartender, so you’ll likely be making your own drinks. When you do, limit yourself to one shot of alcohol per drink, and make sure the drink isn’t excessively large. A single shot is 1 1/2-ounces, and an alcoholic beverage should only be about eight-ounces in volume. While you may not have a measuring cup available, you can probably estimate how much 1-cup is. You should also avoid filling your glass to the top with a mixer since this could practically make the taste of alcohol disappear. You don’t want to forget that you’re drinking alcohol because you added a ton of fruit juice – that can result in drinking too much over the course of a night since you might think you aren’t feeling the effects. Stick to a standard drink size.
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Dana Douglas is a nurse practitioner and guest author at Top Colleges Online, where she contributed to the guide to the Top Online Schools for Nursing Degrees.