If I want to get drunk, but in as healthy a way as possible, what are the best beverages and strategies? originally appeared on Quora – the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.
Because of my company I’ve spent a lot of time learning about being healthier about including alcohol in my lifestyle. Here’s my top ten list for how to get drunk as healthily as possible:
- Avoid sugary mixers. Things like margarita mix, juice with high fructose corn syrup, and Red Bull are just as hard for your body to process as the alcohol itself. Not to mention, they’re bad for you. Try mixing your booze with water and fresh fruit juice (no sugar added). You’d be surprised what great drinks you can make without all that extra sugar.
- The clearer, the better. Vodka, gin, and light beer are much easier on your body (and lower in calories) than whiskey, bourbon, or red wine.
- Don’t mix. It’s hard on your stomach. It’s hard on your head. Mixing alcohol is never a good idea. Pick your drink of choice–and stick to it for the night. You’ll thank yourself the next day.
- Take a drinking break. Push yourself to go for an extended period (days, weeks, etc.) with no drinking at all. Your liver will appreciate the rest, and you might even see a decrease in your tolerance so you can drink less (and spend less!), but have just as much fun.
- Eat well the next day. If you feel hung over in the morning, try healthy breakfast options like eggs and fresh juice. Despite what you may have heard, greasy food won’t do anything to help you feel better the next day. There’s no such thing as “soaking” up the booze–your body has already processed the alcohol, and the grease will only leave you feeling more bloated. The best thing you can do for yourself is to eat foods that will help replenish the vitamins and minerals you’ve lost and put your body back on a healthy digestive cycle.
- Eat before you drink. Having a snack or a meal before your first beverage will help give your body the time it needs to process alcohol and aid in preventing nausea, headache, and an upset stomach. A little bit of starch or dairy goes a long way in coating your stomach lining and preparing your body for alcohol.
- Eat while you drink. We all get the drunk-munchies (and are guilty of downing pizza, or Jack in the Box or whatever else sounds delicious when you’re too drunk to think about calories). An excellent way to avoid these grievous choices, and help your body absorb the alcohol correctly, is to keep healthy snacks around while you’re drinking. That way, by the time you’re wasted, you’ll also be full.
- Drink water. Before, during, and after. Alcohol is a diuretic and causes dehydration. Have a glass of water in between drinks to keep yourself hydrated and help prevent those nasty dehydration side effects.
- Drink less. I know, I know, some people don’t want to hear this, but do yourself a favor, and try to have fewer drinks on those big nights out. Sometimes it’s just about saying no to that last shot of Patrón.
- Take your vitamins and minerals. Drinking depletes essential nutrients–make sure you’re feeding them to your system. It won’t do everything, but it will help.