How to Drink Responsibly at Holiday Parties
The holiday season is a wonderful opportunity for family get-togethers, traveling to see loved ones who are out of town, and an overall great reason to eat, drink and be merry. It’s also a great excuse to overindulge. In fact, the average American sees a 100% increase in their alcoholic drinking habits between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
Hangovers aren’t the only negative consequence to drinking too many spirits. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking heavily can negatively affect:
- Your brain
- Your liver
- Your pancreas
- Your heart
- Your immune system
Luckily, having a game plan can help. Here are a few tips on how to drink responsibly at parties.
Recruit an Accountability Buddy
Finding a friend or relative who wants to limit their intake can do wonders for your morale and help you stay motivated.
Avoid Excess Sugar and Alcohol With a High Congener Content
Celebrating the holidays with a mug of your uncle’s rum punch may be tradition, but all that sugar can contribute to dehydration. It can also cause a sugar crash.
You may also want to avoid certain alcohols. Many darker drinks contain congeners, which may contribute to your hangover the next day. Sticking to light-colored liquors, wines and beers may help reduce hangover symptoms the next morning.
Dehydration is a key factor when it comes to having a hangover. Chasing every drink with water is a good way to keep yourself hydrated. Bring a large water bottle to the party and take a swig after every alcoholic drink. This may also limit your alcoholic consumption — frequent trips to the bathroom from all that extra water will get old fast.
Eat Protein-Dense Meals and Snacks
Try to eat a meal heavy in protein and fat before a night out, and stick to protein-rich snack options. Throw a protein bar and some nuts in your bag or pocket to help stick to your plan.
Plan a “Mocktail” Get-Together.
It’s hard to find fun drinks at parties that don’t contain alcohol. It’s an unfortunate oversight, but happens often — and anyone avoiding alcohol has to make do with lackluster selections.
Luckily, San Diego has some great options for places where you can socialize and still get a fantastic non-alcoholic drink. Here are a few places to try:
3015 Lincoln Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
Head to this bar in North Park for delicious mocktails like the Rhubarb Limeade or the Blackberry Lavender Lemonade.
2550 Fifth Ave 12th Floor, San Diego, CA 92103
Known for their iconic San Diego views and delicious food, Mister A’s also offers a special “No Proof” section on their cocktail list.
2219 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104
South Park’s charming wine bar boasts a great selection of natural wines and tasty craft cocktails. Their menu also has a 0 proof selection with fun and refreshing drinks.
Attending a party at someone’s home? Make BYO mocktails your contribution to the event!
Volunteer to Be the Designated Driver
Being the DD is the best reason to not drink. It’s also a great way to make sure your friends get home safely. If you do plan on drinking (even a little) utilizing a ride service is another great option. Some programs even offer free or discounted services on New Year’s Eve to help ensure your celebrations end safely. Then you can go home, get some sleep, and be ready to jump into dry January.