The perfect drinking scenario is to feel that happy buzz, but to avoid the gut-wrenching, nausea-inducing blackout drunk that can turn a good night into the worst night of your life. In extreme scenarios, drinking too much can lead to alcohol poisoning, hospitalization, and even death, as one 21-year-old binge-drinker nearly experienced herself.
That being said, you may be curious to learn how to drink and enjoy yourself, without getting too drunk. A new video out of the Brit Lab examines this question, focusing particularly on how visual information about alcohol can impact the way we drink.
For example, in 2015, researchers published a study in which they stated that the shape of your beer glass can affect how quickly you drink alcohol. They found that people who drank from curved beer or wine glasses consumed more alcohol than people who drank from straight glasses — likely because it’s tougher to gage how much booze is in a curved glass. And people who drink from glasses that are marked, depicting the number of ounces, tend to drink less.
So the first step in your night of enjoyment is to choose to drink from a straight glass if possible, or to be aware of the amount of ounces or pints you’re consuming. There are plenty of other tips to drink smart, like drinking your liquor neat or on the rocks as opposed to mixing it with sugary beverages.
This will reduce the stomach-upsetting results of mixing sugar with alcohol, which can be especially dehydrating. Drink water in between each drink, and be sure to eat plenty of food before beginning the night, as drinking on an empty stomach can be especially damaging for the body — allowing alcohol to travel much faster to your organs.
And perhaps the most effective tip is to avoid mixing different alcohol. If you’re drinking beer and whiskey for the night, don’t add wine or tequila into the mix, and maybe stick to lighter beers like lagers or pilsners.
There are plenty of reasons to learn how to drink right, and the most important ones — aside from avoiding embarrassing behavior — are health-related. Young adults who binge-drink are setting themselves up for a higher risk of chronic disorders later on, like alcoholism/substance abuse and high blood pressure.
In a recent study, researchers found that drinking excessively led to pre-hypertension in twentysomethings. So find the methods that work best for you, and enjoy that buzz without its damaging consequences.