Be a Professional Drinker …?

Haha. I know this sounds funny, but here’s the background.

A LONG time ago, I used to own a restaurant/nightclub with 2 of my brothers. You might imagine that New Year’s Eve would be a pretty wild night for the club. Actually, there were lots of wild nights at the club with people not “holding their liquor” so well, and all of the bartenders, managers and bouncers trying to stay on top of it so that no-one got over-served (not the easiest task in the world). Of course, there were many who handled themselves admirably as well.

A few years ago, when both of my boys and my nephew were all in college, we celebrated a holiday dinner here, at my house. I overheard my brother Mike recalling to his son Jeff (the college age nephew), how he used to watch all of these “amateur drinkers” come rolling into the club.

Given that I think both of them MAY have had perhaps 1 glass of wine too many at that moment, I laughed and asked him if he wanted his kid to be a “professional drinker”!?

This has given me lots of laughs the past couple of years, but really, in retrospect, I think Mike was making a good point to his son.

Probably many of us could have used some advice on how to drink “professionally” 🙂  … sorry, can’t say it with a straight face….when we were young and starting to drink alcohol.

If someone who didn’t drink, asked me now if they should start or not, I’d say “no”. I know there are supposed to be some heart benefits from moderate drinking; however, I think it can easily become a habit, a means of social interaction, what you do with your friends… basically, a way of life. If you can control it, great, but if not? Either don’t start or learn how to do it so you don’t hurt your body and your brain.

So here goes with some suggestions for your party tonight.. or every party for that matter:

Stay home, have a celebratory dinner of sliced salami, artisan cheese, smoked salmon, salad and a glass of champagne or 2 …be in your jammies at midnight, so you can go straight to bed after you yell, “Happy New Year!”

What’s the matter?? You don’t like that idea?? OK.. that’s my preference for myself, but here goes for those of you who think I’m a party pooper, on this, most festive of nights:

First off, recognize that alcohol:

  • doesn’t go through the normal process of digestion and is absorbed directly into the blood stream through the stomach extremely quickly;
  • is a toxin to our livers, nervous system and irritates our esophagus, upper digestive tract and urinary system;
  • dehydrates our bodies ( our body has to pull fluid from our cells in order to flush the stuff out of our body…. our body views it as an emergency and places priority on getting rid of it… again, it’s a toxin);
  • basically, is pure sugar… I’m not going to go into the whole explanation here, but bottom line, it raises our blood sugar levels and sends our insulin levels rocketing. And just an FYI for those who are concerned about it, the extra sugar that you can’t use (because you’re not burning it off with exercise as you consume the drinks), is converted to fat and stored as fat. (Beer is one of the worst for this… you’ve heard of the infamous “beer belly” right?);
  • is a depressant and seriously affects your mood as well as your judgement.

Come on, how many times have you seen someone crying and hiding in the bushes after having had too much to drink? Oh yeah… besides YOU! Actually, I crawled out a bathroom window once after locking the bathroom door and ran to a neighbor’s house and called my date… who thought I was still in the bathroom… but it wasn’t my fault….

OK… I could go on, but I don’t want to make you cry, SO… here are some ideas that might help:

  • EAT before you start drinking! Food helps slow the absorption of alcohol;
  • Take a B-complex vitamin before you go out to the party and also before you go to bed, as they are totally depleted as the body processes the alcohol;
  • Ditto the above re drinking a glass of water with a packet of Emergen-C dissolved in it (or some other vitamin/mineral/ electrolyte….not with lots of sugar in it!);
  • Drink a glass of water (with a squeeze of lemon or lime if you want) in between drinks or sip throughout the night;
  • Have a small amount of food at the party after consuming 2 drinks … the healthier your choices are, the better you’re going to feel in the a.m.;
  • Remember that on top of the alcohol being sugar to your body… all of those mixers and liquors and fruit juices are sugar too. Sugar = insulin production = inflammation. Try to go for the healthiest choices you can. Personally? I’d pick real fruit juice over tonic. Tonic is loaded with sugar and high fructose corn syrup… YUCK! Rather than a vodka/tonic… go for a vodka/ grapefruit juice. (or better yet.. vodka and soda with a splash of grapefruit/ cranberry/ pomegranate… juice to taste).
  • Remember that some types of alcohol have more impurities than others. Bourbon, rum and cognac are high  in these, so if you’re going to drink them, go for the highest quality you can afford and just sip them. Vodka is the cleanest alcohol as far as the impurities, but even with this, it might be worth it to go for one which has gone through high quality filtering.
  • And PLEASE!!!! STAY AWAY from things like “Red Bull” and all of those disgusting non-food poisons. They’re toxic enough without alcohol in them. WITH alcohol, truly, they’re so, SO bad for you.. I’m seriously not kidding.
  • Drink lots of water before you go to bed;
  • And last but not least, remember to have a designated driver or take a cab!

Happy New Year Everyone! (and hope you wake up feeling great to start 2011)!

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This entry was posted in A Healthy, Balanced Lifestyle, Pharmaceuticals and Supplements. Bookmark the permalink.

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