9 Tips for Drinking Sagaciously
- Having or showing keen mental discernment and good judgment; shrewd:
"They were sagacious enough to avoid any outright confrontation"
Synonyms: wise · clever · intelligent · knowledgeable · sensible ·
Sage · discerning · judicious · canny · perceptive · astute · shrewd · prudent · thoughtful · insightful · perspicacious · streetwise · savvy · sapient
From horrid hangovers to puking in public to DUIs, we all know there are consequences to heavy drinking. But sometimes drinking moderately is easier said than done. Here are some tricks to make your next night out a no-mess success.
1) Don’t drink and drive. Duh, you know this! The problem is, most people charged with a DUI also knew this, and drove drunk anyway. Since alcohol impairs memory, impairs one’s ability to fully judge one’s own sobriety at the moment, and increases confidence, it’s easy to forget how much you’ve had to drink and feel overly confident in your ability to drive. The legal limit for blood alcohol content is .08%, but you can be charged even if you fall below that mark and are noticeably impaired. Though you might try to estimate your road-worthiness, or ask your friends if you look ok to drive, without a BAC breathalyzer test (which some bars offer), you won’t really know what your BAC is when you pull out your keys to go home. Plan ahead! Better to shell out for a cab than to spend your night sweating out Irish Car Bombs in a drunk tank or dying on the roadside.
2) Don’t fall for internet rumors. Many people believe that 1 “standard” drink (12 oz beer, 5 oz glass of wine, or 1.5 oz. of liquor) per hour is the golden rule to stay within legal limits. False! How much you can drink actually depends on many factors, including: age, gender, fat/muscle content, metabolism, hydration, your overall health, medications you’re taking, your emotional state, how much you’ve had to eat, how strong your drink is, how fast you’re drinking it and at what elevation, and even the carbonation of your drink. Your tolerance to alcohol can change occasion to occasion, so just because chugging brewskis with the boys gives you a light buzz, don’t assume it’ll hit you the same at the office party.
3) Be aware of social mirroring. Social mirroring is when you mirror someone’s attitudes, gestures, speech habits, or actions, as a subconscious way to build rapport. You probably do this all the time without noticing it, smiling when your friend smiles, nodding when your boss nods his head. Some people will sip their drinks when others take a sip without even thinking about it. This kind of social mirroring can have dangerous effects, causing you to drink more than you intend. If you’re a social sipper, always make sure you have a glass of water in front of you so you can sip from that instead.
4) Go for the nachos. It’s common for bars to set out pretzels or peanuts during happy hour. Eating salty foods makes you thirsty, causing you to drink more: big bucks for them, big headache for you. If you’re hungry, split an appetizer or order a full meal that will actually satisfy you and not just salt your tastebuds. Again, make sure you have a glass of water to quench your thirst so you don’t reach for your beer too often.
5) Remember not all drinks are created equal. For instance, a Long Island Iced Tea has 5 kinds of alcohol in it with a splash of Coke. Having one Long Island cannot be compared to having one glass of wine, or even one Rum & Coke. Even though bars use standard measurements, drink recipes often vary bar to bar. Even beers differ in their alcohol content. Order wisely: know what you’re ordering and what it’s alcohol content is like.
6) DIY your drink. If you’re attending a private event, avoid Jungle Juice and other pre-made mystery punches. If you can, make your own drink so you can see how much alcohol goes in it. If a friend — even one you trust — is making your drink for you, watch to see how much alcohol they pour in. There is a tendency for people to make stronger and stronger drinks as they become more drunk themselves, and you might not notice. Some drinks can be deceptively tasty and sweet, belying their heavy alcohol content.
7) Use caution with kegs, pitchers and bottomless refills. It’s easiest to count drinks when you can see your empties. If you can, leave your empty beer bottles or glasses in front of you on the table. The visual reminder of what you’ve already consumed can subconsciously slow your roll. It’s much more difficult to keep track of how many drinks you’ve had when you’re topping off the same drink, especially if you refill it before it’s empty.
8) Pick a number. Before you go out, decide how many drinks you will have. Put that number of hair-ties on one wrist, and every time you have a drink, move one hair-tie to your other wrist. Hair-ties can also be good way to mark your drink and you can do the same thing, adding one hair tie to your glass or beer bottle for each refill.
9) Have a Plan B. Program the number of a cab company into your phone before you go out—even if you only plan on having one beer, and even if you have a designated driver. Life happens. You’ll be more likely to call a cab when you need it if you already have the number. It’s also a good idea to write down the address of where you’re partying, or send it to yourself in a text.
Do you have any tips to add? Share them in the comments! Cheers!
Atira Zeoli-Contributing writer for IfiKnew.org