A Guide to Drinking Safely This Holiday Season

It’s the weekend, you’re out with friends and the fermented drinks are flowing. What I mean is alcohol, alcohol is flowing. Everyone and anyone is drinking. Maybe you’re at happy hour or maybe you’re at the pregame. You know it’s going to be a great night (or so you thought).

Next thing you know it’s the next morning and you’re waking up in your bed alone (or not, we don’t judge here). Maybe you’re still wearing last nights outfit and makeup. YIKES! Did you dance or make out with any strangers? Did you get anyone’s number? Why do you have so many Snapchats and texts asking “what happened last night?” Maybe you even texted your ex “you up” at 3:15 a.m. Who knows – you sure don’t. You blacked out.

Don’t worry we’ve all been there. Some of us remember a little, others remember nothing. But let’s try to remember everything, shall we? Don’t worry I got you covered on how to have fun and have a lit night without everything going dark.

First thing’s first, eat before you drink. I know the popular thing is to eat less while drinking so you can get drunk a lot faster. But hear me out, that’s how you blackout. And we don’t want that. Text your ex season died in 2016.

Eat, but don’t eat like it’s Thanksgiving or an all-you-can-eat buffet. A simple sandwich with carbs and protein will do. (Peanut butter toast, heck, even a couple slices of pizza will work). The object here is to put food in your stomach. Alcohol enters your stomach where it is then absorbed into your bloodstream. If no food is there, the alcohol moves to the small intestine where there’s a much larger surface area for alcohol to be absorbed. We want to slow down this process by making sure we eat.

But how do you continue? What if you still blackout even after you’ve eaten? Oh, honey, I GOT YOU.

Eat a snack or you’ll end up blacked out. When I go out to bars, to keep that happy medium where I’m slightly buzzed yet coherent enough to know who I talk to, I continue to eat. Yes, I’m the girl that shows up to the bars with snacks in her purse. And you should too. Make sure it’s something small – a granola bar, chips, or you could even bring piece of pizza in a Ziploc baggie. No one will judge you, heck they might even be jealous of you. When you start to feel a little too buzzed, snack on your snack.

Drink beverages with lower alcohol content. Yes, food is a BIG factor, but so is alcohol. This means low alcohol content liquor and light beer. Bud Light will be your friend. On top of the food you ate before and the snacks you’ve packed, you can continue to drink all night and not blackout. Try light beers, wine spritzers and spiked sparkling waters. We are talking 6 percent or less.

So you’ve lowered your alcohol content, you’ve eaten and you’ve packed snacks. That's not it.

Keep track. If you don’t want to lower your alcohol content but you’ve eaten and packed snacks (or snack money), keep track instead. You know your body and you know your limits. Keep track of how many drinks you’ve had by keeping a note in your phone or on the back of your hand with a pen or sharpie. Blackouts usually occur when you’re unaware of how much you’ve had and you haven’t eaten enough.

Follow at least three out of the four tips and you should be fine. So no worries, this will be a New Year to remember.