Look, drinking all day is not healthy. But what if you and the missus signed up for a nine-hour wine tour, and you want to get your money’s worth? Or maybe you’re hitting your bachelor pal’s BBQ, and the action starts at noon. Or, maybe, what the hell, you just want to go all out on a hot summer day. This afternoon bender is probably not a good idea. But here are some tips to make sure you stay awake—and, you know, survive.
Drinking all day is an endurance event. You are literally slowly poisoning yourself all day and seeing how long you can take it. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Listening to your body is the number one most important thing. If it tells you, “I’ve had enough,” well, you had a good run, but you need to stop, because you could do some serious damage. However, your body may send the message, “Just gimme another 15 minutes. I’m still working on that last one,” in which case, game on. Respect those messages, though, and do your best to listen for them.
Maximum Volume, Minimum Impact
ABV (alcohol by volume) is critical here. The lower the better. Continuing the metaphor from the last section, this is a marathon. Sipping beer (typically 6 percent ABV) is a slow, steady jog that will get you to the finish line. Taking a shot of whiskey (typically 40 percent ABV) is like doing a 100-yard dash as fast as you can in the middle of it. You’re going to blow yourself out too quickly, and very well might not finish unless you slow way down immediately afterward.
This is absolutely essential. Drinking on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster. Blackouts, blood-poisoning, all kinds of bad shit. It’s a rookie mistake—don’t ever do it. You need to eat at every stage of this, and we’re not talking about potato chips—real meals. Start with a big, hearty breakfast. As mentioned, alcohol is primarily absorbed in the small intestine. You know what else is? Complex carbohydrates. Fuel up with a breakfast of whole-wheat pancakes, or oatmeal, but don’t stop there. Because BAC is affected by gastric emptying rates, put something more substantial in there, like ham and eggs. Proteins and fats take longer to digest, so they’ll stay with you longer and continue to work their anti-spins magic. Cheeseburgers are a superfood in this sport. You’ve got to keep eating throughout the day. Not only will keeping plenty of food in your stomach slow the rate of alcohol absorption, but it will make you feel full, which will encourage you to drink slower. The same rule applies for the end of the night, and the next morning as you’re trying to shake off the cobwebs. Try to avoid super salty snacks, though, because that may dehydrate you. Speaking of…
Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it makes you pee more, which can lead to dehydration (one of the major causes of getting sick from drinking, and also of hangovers). Water is your friend. Not soft drinks, not fizzy water, water. Aim to have once glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume. It’s hard to do it, and you will pee quite a lot, but try. Hydration is absolutely critical for maintaining proper brain function. The more you dry out, the more your head will hurt and the harder thinking straight will become, and that will lead you down a nasty path very quickly. Definitely drink as much water as you can before you go to sleep.
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