How to Be a Responsible Alcohol Consumer
Alcohol is so socially acceptable that it can be hard to remember that it’s a serious drug and has very real consequences for over consuming. As with anything, responsible consumption is key and will help you feel your best even if you do indulge regularly or sporadically. If you’re asking yourself ‘how long does a hangover last,’ you may want to re-establish your boundaries with alcohol and consider changing your habits to be a more responsible drinker. In reality, it isn’t too difficult to develop healthy habits with alcohol, except in the case of family alcoholism or previous issues with addiction and substances. If you’re looking to change your habits and become a more responsible alcohol consumer, then take a look at these five tips for better drinking habits.
Common Hangover Symptoms
Hangovers are nasty and when you experience one, it can feel like it will last forever. Thankfully, the symptoms will pass, but not without putting one through some discomfort in the process. How long they last depends on a few factors, but in general they will last around 8-12 hours. Headaches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and dizziness are all common symptoms of hangovers. Each person is different, and may experience hangovers differently. Some may find that they have more muscle aches than headaches or find that they don’t experience nausea. However your body responds, it’s always best to avoid these symptoms when you can.
Know Your Limits
The first and most obvious thing to recognize is your personal limits. Everyone's limits are different, but in general sticking to one drink per hour is a safe bet. This is roughly how much alcohol the body can effectively process. Consume more than that, and you’re risking getting a hangover the next day. You are also risking damage to your internal organs like your liver, kidneys and heart the more that you consume during each drinking session. In general, if you stick to a drink an hour, you’ll stay within a good level to stay alert and enjoy yourself at the same time.
One to One
In addition to limiting yourself to one drink an hour, you should also pair each alcoholic drink with a glass of water. This is because alcohol dehydrates you and is a diuretic, meaning that it encourages the body to get rid of fluids through the bladder. Drinking water on top of the alcoholic drinks you’re consuming will help balance your body, keep you from feeling hungover the next morning and keep you hydrated throughout the night. Bringing a reusable water bottle with you is a good way to keep yourself balanced and hydrated during a night of drinking. Of course, you can always order water at the establishment you’re visiting as well.
Eat Before and After
Eating before a night out drinking is essential. If we don’t have food in our stomach, the alcohol will get absorbed much faster with nothing to act as a barrier between it and your bloodstream. Food helps absorb some of the alcohol so it takes more to feel the effects of being drunk. With no food, you will get drunk faster and more intensely than if you did otherwise. Additionally, a snack or meal after a night of drinking is also a good idea. This can also help absorb some alcohol, however most of it has likely already been absorbed in your system by the time a night is wrapping up. Still, eating food after drinking can definitely sober certain individuals up and help them have a more restful sleep.
DD or Rideshare
When it comes to responsible drinking, we have to think about how we get to and from wherever we’re going. If the bar, restaurant or establishment is within walking distance, then you’re in the clear to walk over without worrying too much. But if it’s a drivable distance, you may need to establish a designated driver or use a rideshare app to get to the location. Driving while drunk or driving with the intention of drinking is never a good idea, is against the law and puts yourself and other drivers in danger. Always use a rideshare service or designated a driver for the evening.
Responsible drinking means understanding what alcohol is and what it does to the body. It’s one of the most powerful and addictive substances in the world and because it’s so socially acceptable, many find themselves engaging in irresponsible habits sometimes without even knowing it. Know your limits, hydrate with a glass of water per drink, and make sure you have food in your stomach beforehand. Sticking to one drink an hour will help how long your hangover lasts and always make sure to practice safety when getting to and from the location that you’ll be drinking at.