How to Hold your Liquor at a Party

For good or bad, alcohol has come to be an inescapable part of socializing. While you may be labeled a spoilsport for refusing a drink – and not buying for others in turn – at the same time there is nothing worse than being bandied about as a drunk who got sick and made a scene. Here too like in most other situations, the golden mean works best – by all means have a drink but hold on to it as long as possible. Here are few tips on how to do this.

Leave home on a full stomach

Before you leave for a party, make it a point to have a hearty meal. Since Food helps to absorb the alcohol and lessen its effect on your body, you are less likely to be sick if you down a couple of drinks at the party. Because of all the food in your stomach, alcohol won't flow as quickly through your blood stream, so you won't get drunk as quickly. And the less drunk you are, the better your chances are of holding your liquor. In fact if you are staying at the party for more than a couple of hours, make it a point to keep eating something. By keeping food in your stomach at all times, you will be improving your chances of holding your liquor. Munch on high-carb snacks throughout the evenings, like chips and crackers. Fats and carbohydrates will line the stomach and replace sugars that the body needs for fuel. The best options are whole grains and polyunsaturated fats like omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in certain fish -- including salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines --and some nuts and seeds like including walnuts and flaxseed. If you find nothing else, grab a piece bread to help absorb the alcohol and slow your alcohol consumption.

Go for beer

Another tip to help you hold your liquor is to stick to low alcohol content drinks like beer and stay away from mixed drinks. Hard liquor has higher alcohol content and will get you drunk sooner. Also carbonated mixers increase the rate of alcohol absorption in the blood. Research has found that the gas in the bubbles speeds up the process of absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream. Moreover the sugar in the mixers you enjoy with hard liquor could soon send you spinning out of control. Instead it is better to mix your liquor with fruit juice or water.  However this is not to say that you can down as many beers as you want and expect to remain sane – it is only in case of a drink-for-drink comparison that beer is preferable to hard liquor.

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On the rocks

If you must opt for hard liquor, order drinks that are served on the rocks. As the ice melts, the drink is diluted and you can sip it slowly. In contrast cocktails like Manhattans and Cosmopolitans are strained, so they stay just as potent as time goes by. However if you dilute a drink with ice or water and increase your time between refills, it will decrease your odds of getting drunk.

Don’t mix drinks

Another trick that bartenders recommend to hold your liquor better is to stick to one type of alcohol for the evening, be it beer, wine or liquor. You'll have less stomach trouble if your alcohols don't mix. If you must mix alcohols, keep in mind the old saying, "Liquor before beer, you're in the clear. Beer before liquor, never been sicker".

Watch how you feel

You are the best judge of your physiological responses to alcohol; so instead of depending on someone else to prod you into counting your drinks, keep an eye on how you feel throughout the night. If you feel a headache or wooziness coming on, you are dangerously close to getting drunk. The sensation of getting a ‘high’ you get from alcohol is your body's way of telling you that things may spin out of control very soon if you don't stop drinking.

Take it slow

Finally consume your drink slowly throughout the evening your body absorbs alcohol quicker than you metabolize it. The faster you drink, the more time the toxins in booze spend in your body affecting your brain and clouding your judgment. Another important reason for drinking slowly is so that you can always monitor the effects of each drink. Don’t be pressured by friends and fellow party-goers into gulping down your drink just because they have finished theirs and are heading to the bar again. Above all, know your limits so that you are clear on when you need to stop. Switch to water or soda if the party still has some time to go and you start sensing that you've had enough alcohol. Best of all, put your focus on the main purpose of partying which is meeting friends and getting to know people. In fact having a conversation is an easy way to pace your drinking – if you are chatting, you are not guzzling and this will ensure that the alcohol hits the blood at a slower rate. Keep in mind that you can always have a drink at a bar or even in your own home – if you have taken the trouble to come to a party, you might as well enjoy with the people here and make new friends.