Alcohol Drinking Hands Party

The Dangers of “Drunkorexia” and How to Engage in Drinking in a Healthier Way

A common way for college students, specifically women, to enjoy drinking guilt-free is by “saving” calories throughout the day so that those calories can be obtained through alcohol. This is known as “drunkorexia” and although it is not a legitimate medical diagnosis, it is something that many doctors have been taking seriously. According to Psychology Today, “generally include engaging in unhealthy compensatory behaviors (e.g., extreme caloric restriction, over-exercise, or purging) to offset calories ingested through alcoholic beverages or to increase how quickly one becomes intoxicated.” These behaviors are dangerous because they can lead to permanent disordered eating or long-term negative effects on the body. Healthline warns that “it might be putting many students at increased risk of alcohol-related accidents and other negative consequences of drinking,” as well. Here are three healthier ways I have personally found work while indulging in drinking without hurting my body.

  1. 1. Eat meals that offer plenty of nutrients.

    woman eating

    If you are worried about staying healthy, but also want to drink, remember that the number of calories you consume does not determine how healthy you are eating. On any day, you want to make sure you are obtaining all the nutrients your body needs, but it is especially important on days when you plan to drink heavily. Rather than avoiding food or eating food with as little carbs, calories, and fat as possible, make sure you are eating foods that provide all of those things as well as proteins and vitamins. I have noticed that when I drink after a day of feeding and nourishing my body with the proper nutrients, I did not suffer the negative effects of alcohol as much as I would have if I had avoided eating throughout the day.

  2. 2. Drink water throughout the day.

    Woman Runner in Black Crop Top Sitting and Drinking Water at Marathon

    Drinking water throughout the day helps you stay hydrated. Drinking alcohol is likely to dehydrate you and can lead to negative effects on your body and in your body’s response to drinking alcohol later on in the night. Staying hydrated throughout the day may make it harder for you to feel the effects of alcohol as quickly once you do drink, but it can also avoid the post-drinking effects, especially throwing up and waking up hungover the next morning. Water also provides your body with electrolytes, which according to MedicineNet, “the balance of the electrolytes in our bodies is essential for normal function of our cells and our organs.” Alcohol hardens the liver, so electrolytes are important to have in our bodies in order to help our liver, as well as other organs, continue to function effectively.

  3. 3. Eat snacks with carbs after drinking.

    woman eating popcorn

    Every time I drink or go out to a party where I indulge in drinking, I always make sure to eat crackers or some kind of small snack that has carbs in it. Carbs are often seen as “bad” because too much can make people gain weight, and society perceives gaining weight as a bad thing, but they are actually very important nutrients to provide our bodies with. Carbs give our bodies energy, and if you are drinking you need to stay energized throughout the night so that you can make it through the night. Although eating carbs won’t actually make you less drunk, they do help when you feel like you are too drunk. If the room is spinning, it’s not a sign that you are the right amount of drunk, it’s a sign that you need food. Sleep is the only thing that will actually “sober” you up, so eating snacks will not take away from your fun experience of going out.

In college, students often feel a lot of pressure to avoid gaining weight but starving yourself for parties and drinking alcohol is not worth risking your health. It is dangerous to drink on an empty stomach and it is also okay to gain weight; it does not determine your worth or whether or not you are allowed to have fun. Go out and party. Drink with your friends. Make sure you are taking care of yourself when you do.