With the holiday season drawing nearer, it’s safe to assume that alcohol consumption will be on the rise, too. Alcohol is one of the most abused substances, but in most states it is not illegal to drink, as long as the age requirement is met and you don’t break laws related to drinking. Excessive alcohol consumption has adverse effects on the physical health and mental acuity of the heavy drinker, aside from the social blunders and legal troubles that you may get into from being intoxicated.
There are countless horror stories of the effects of getting drunk, from vomiting on your date’s dress to getting handcuffed for overly rowdy behavior. That is why it is imperative for men and women who drink beer, wine or liquor to learn how to hold their alcohol. Holding your liquor means not losing control of yourself when drinking.
Here are tips on how to hold your drink and not make a fool of yourself.
- Choose your diluters wisely. Use regular sodas over the diet beverages.
It’s generally accepted that mixing alcohol with non-alcoholic drinks delays intoxication. Taking it further, a recent study published in 2013 shows that your choice of diluters plays a role in the speed at which alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream. Or simply put, the type of diluter can influence your Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC.)
Diet beverages use artificial sweeteners while regular ones use sugar for their sweeteners. Our brain sees sugar as food and holds it longer in the stomach, delaying its absorption into the bloodstream. The artificial sweeteners in diet drinks are not treated the same way and without sugar, the alcohol is absorbed more easily into the blood. In their experiment, drinkers were given the same amount of alcohol. The diet soda-laced drinks pushed the BAC over the .08% limit while the regular beverage diluter had a below-limit concentration when tested at the same time.
This is especially critical if you are driving after a drinking session. Your impaired driving could catch the attention of police officers and you will be charged with DUI. Learn more about defending yourself from a DUI offense and how a charge can negatively affect your lifestyle, insurance premiums and even your opportunities for employment.
- Know the percent of alcohol by volume of your favorite drink.
Alcoholic drinks have different alcohol content, computed as percent alcohol by volume (ABV) by weight percentage. A higher ABV is absorbed faster into the bloodstream, making you drunk faster. Knowing the ABV of the drinks you usually have will give you a choice of what to drink and how much to consume in a night of drinking. Generally, beer and red wine have lower ABVs than hard liquor.
The ABV is not the only indicator for how fast you get intoxicated. Just as important is the amount of drinks you consume. Drinking ten bottles of beer that has 7% alcohol content will have a faster effect than a glass or two of red wine that has 13% ABV.
- Have a meal loaded with carbs and fats before a night of drinking.
While having a meal of green veggies and fruits is healthy, eating them before drinking is not recommended. To reduce the pace of alcohol consumption into your blood, choose pasta and red meat. The carbohydrates in a serving of spaghetti keep the drinks in your stomach longer and the fats in a slab of beef help to coat the stomach linings, making it more difficult for the alcohol to permeate the gastric layers and get into your bloodstream.
- Take your daily vitamin supplements.
With the easy availability of fast foods and the depletion of our natural resources, people are not getting the required amounts of nutrients. If you drink, it becomes more imperative to supplement your body with vitamins and minerals. Alcohol destroys B vitamins and uses up your store of the other nutrients for its metabolism. The liver is strained from digesting the alcohol in your system.
A body that has the recommended daily requirements of vitamins and minerals can withstand the effects of alcohol longer than a malnourished one, so you don’t get drunk as quickly.
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Marie Miller is a safety nurse. She looks after safety in the workplace, at home, on the road and other places where there are people.