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by Mike McAdams
The healthy drinking revolution is about redefining fun. Great beer doesn’t have to give you a gut, an epic Saturday night shouldn’t cost you your Sunday, and you never again have to feel guilty about taking the edge off a hard day.
Here are ten things you can do to improve your well being, without quitting drinking:
1. 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. For some healthy cocktail recipes go here.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Take a drinking break. Push yourself to go for an extended period of time (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.
5. Eat well the next day. If you feel hungover 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 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.
6. 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 help prevent nausea, headache, and upset stomach. A little bit of starch or dairy goes a long way in coating your stomach lining and preparing your body for alcohol.
7. 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). A great way to avoid these regrettable 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.
8. Drink water. Before, during, 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.
9. Drink less. I know, I know, some people don’t want to hear this, but do yourself a favor, and have a few less drinks on those big nights out. Sometimes it’s just about saying no to that last shot of Patrón.
10. Take your vitamins and minerals. Drinking depletes essential nutrients – make sure you’re feeding them to your system. If you don’t have your bottle of Drinkwel on hand, try some vitamin C and a B complex. It won’t do everything, but it will help.
What do you do to drink healthier? Let us know in the comments section.
Of course, I should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. Because everyone is different, you should work with your medical professional to determine what’s best for you. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid!