It doesn’t matter how many shots you consume, the number of beers you chug, or how low in calorie your favorite beverages are – you are consuming alcohol. What does matter is your safety and here at Healthy Liquors we believe that alcohol can be good for you – but only if consumed in a safe and responsible manner. Regardless of your age or drinking habits, there are a few things you should always do to ensure your safety and that of those around you.

Drink Slowly

You shouldn’t be drinking to get drunk. A low-risk drinker who is out to enjoy the company of friends while appreciating a nice glass of wine or a cocktail doesn’t need to chug his alcohol. A study done by St. Peter’s College indicated that consuming more than 2 alcoholic beverages does not increase the likelihood that you will feel sensations of pleasure. Limiting yourself to 2 drinks will keep you feeling healthy and energized without adding a ton of extra calories to your diet.

Don’t Give in to Peer Pressure

Drinking with friends does not mean you have to play drinking games or keep up on a drink by drink basis. Alternate your beverages from alcoholic to nonalcoholic. If you really feel pressured, consider drinking a beverage that resembles a mixed drink while eliminating the alcohol after you’ve reached your personal limit. No one will know the difference.

Eat Before You Drink

Eating before you drink does not mean you will not feel the effects of the alcohol you have consumed. If you drink on an empty stomach, the alcohol will go directly from your stomach to your intestines – specifically your duodenum, where the highest level of absorption happens. If you drink on a full stomach, your food will absorb the alcohol and it will take longer to pass through to your intestines. It may take up to an hour or more for you to feel the full effects of the alcohol or wine you are consuming. That said, you should still be very conscious of what you are drinking.

Be Conscious and Aware

Do you know the signs of alcohol poisoning? They include slowed breathing, cold and clammy skin, unconsciousness, and vomiting while passed out (without waking up during the vomiting process). It is possible to overdose on alcohol, especially if you suddenly find yourself enjoying a beverage you’ve never tried before. I once had a friend who consumed a few too many shots of tequila after never having had anything other than a few cocktails. She became incredibly ill and needed immediate medical attention. While not everyone over-consumes on purpose, it can still happen and you should be conscious of the condition of those around you.

Have a Plan for Transportation

Make sure you have a designated driver in your group or money for a cab if you need it. Even if you don’t feel buzzed, you may be incapable of driving. Don’t risk your license, reputation, or life thinking you are sober when you really aren’t.

Remember that limiting the calories in a glass of wine or choosing a lite beer can be great for your diet but that doing so does not necessarily mean you are limiting your alcohol consumption. Don’t assume that choosing lower calorie options means you can drink more and move about safely. Be a responsible adult and you’ll be able to continue enjoying your favorite alcoholic beverages in a safe manner for years to come.

Image credit: Christiano Betta