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How to Drink Wisely

How, when, and what to drink to enjoy yourself but remain in control.

By Sara Reistad-Long
How to Drink Wisely Miha Matei; Illustrations by Andrew Rea

Slow Down and Be Still

The rate at which your body absorbs alcohol into your bloodstream and how intoxicated you feel aren’t based on just the proof of your beverage; these results also hinge upon how quickly you drink. In other words, a small glass of wine drunk in a half hour can have the same effect as a stiff vodka martini sipped over an hour. But the effects of the martini will last longer. Having a carbonated drink, like Champagne or a gin and tonic, may also make you feel effects faster. According to a 2007 study conducted at the University of Manchester, in England, drinks with bubbles were absorbed into the bloodstream faster than flat ones. 

 

Drink Later in the Day

Until midafternoon, your body is building its food and water reserves, so a drink at lunch will have a bigger impact than one at dinner. Likewise, drinking in a warm environment or under a hot sun promotes sweating, which dehydrates your body and leaves it with less fluid to dilute the alcohol. The result? You get drunk faster.

 

Eat Smart

Before you have a drink, eat something that contains a little oil or fat, which will slow the rate at which your body absorbs the alcohol. This is not license to decimate an entire hors d’oeuvre tray, but a handful of spiced nuts, a cheese-and-cracker combo, or a few olives are all good options. 
 
 
Read More About:Preventative Health

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Nuts

Juice may serve up vitamins, but it won’t do much to ease hunger: Unlike solid foods, liquids don’t trip the brain’s satiety mechanism. For a more effective snack, pair a glass of 100 percent juice with a few nuts. Get more tips.