- Certain Foods Can Slow The Rate Of Alcohol’s Absorbtion Into The Bloodstream
- What You Should (and Shouldn’t) Eat While Drinking
- Get your nutrients starting early.
- Don’t go on empty.
- Skip the salt.
- Plan ahead.
- Watch what you eat at the after-party.
- What happens when you drink?
- If I eat a lot of greasy food, I can drink more.
- If I drink a lot of coffee, I’ll sober up fast.
- If I mix my alcohol with an energy drink, I can keep going.
- My medications don’t affect me much, so I can drink what I want.
- I get high on illegal drugs, and drinking makes it even better.
- There is nothing better than a smoke and a drink.
- I will be fine in the morning no matter how much I drink.
- Alcohol helps digest my food.
- Alcohol makes me warmer.
- Alcohol increases my sexual performance.
- Your drunk munchies now have a name, thanks to science
Certain Foods Can Slow The Rate Of Alcohol’s Absorbtion Into The Bloodstream
Toasting friends with a glass of cheer over the holidays is a tradition, but for some folks it can quickly get out of control.
A designated driver is of course a smart strategy.
So is starting the party on a full stomach, but what you eat can make a difference.
At the Raleigh Bartending School in North Carolina, along with the ABC’s of mixology, students learn the one two threes of responsible drinking.
“When you keeping an eye on your patrons take into an account the type of drink they are drinking.” These are lessons that can come in handy in the season of overindulgence, notes Director Anthony D’Agistino.
“What does it take to get to point oh eight?” he asks. “Not much”
According to the national highway traffic safety administration, four Drinks in an hour for an average 170 pound man three for a woman weighing under 140 pounds.
“About 8% of the alcohol you consume is absorbed while it’s still in your mouth. It will go straight through the gums absorb into the tissue and go into the bloodstream,” says Doc Harvey, an instructor at Raleigh Bartending School.
An empty stomach will speed up that process, so will carbonation, he adds. “The carbonation in the Coke accelerates the rate of absorption into the bloodstream. Drinks made with a juice or water will actually be absorbed a little slower into the system.”
It takes the liver about an hour to process one serving of alcohol whether it’s an ounce of liquor or a glass of wine or beer. “But your blood alcohol can continue to increase up to 90 minutes after you stop drinking,” Harvey explains.
Many people eat in an effort to slow that process.
Harvey says avoid carbohydrates which have the opposite effect, and go for proteins and fats. “When it comes to helping your customers slow down use my personal favorite, mozzarella sticks. It is the granddaddy champion for helping prevent alcohol from getting absorbed through your stomach lining.”
And as for coffee or heavy foods as a sober up strategy, “It does not help. Actually there is nothing that can sober somebody up except for time,” D’Agostino says.
What You Should (and Shouldn’t) Eat While Drinking
There’s zero shame in enjoying yourself while at a party, out to brunch, or simply hanging at home with your partner. And it’s definitely OK to imbibe a little. Research links red wine and beer to some health advantages, after all. The catch is that you don’t want to totally overdo it—on both the drinking and the foods you eat pre-, during, or post-party. To help you make smarter choices so you keep your health on track, we asked registered dietitians for their best advice on what to eat while drinking. Here’s what they had to say.
Get your nutrients starting early.
Eating plenty of protein in the morning will help stabilize your energy level. Plus, nutrient-rich foods such as fruits and veggies will give your body the fuel it needs to process alcohol, says Jessica Cording, R.D., a dietitian based in New York City. She suggests a smoothie as a pre-party mini meal, featuring frozen fruits (think strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, or mango), plain Greek yogurt or milk (or nondairy, if you prefer), and a scoop of protein powder.
Lindsey Pine, R.D.N., founder of Tasty Balanced Nutrition, agrees, citing fats and protein as your best bet to slow down the absorption of alcohol. If you go with a salad before your soiree, opt for chicken or fish on top, plus olive oil, almonds, or avocado for healthy fats. “Even if you can’t have a full meal, snacks with a combination of fat and protein, such as whole almonds, can help,” she says.
Don’t go on empty.
“A common mistake I see is people starving themselves earlier in the day to account for alcohol calories,” Cording says. “This ends up backfiring when they end up drinking on an empty stomach and struggle to make clear-headed choices around food and drinks. Or they just end up having an awful night because they get drunk quickly and don’t feel well.” Avoid all negative scenarios by making sure you put something in your system before you start sipping. People often say they want bread to soak up the alcohol. While that’s not really true, any food will keep you from getting too drunk too fast.
If you’re looking to make up the calories, instead of skipping meal, simply fit in a workout earlier into the day. With workouts as short as 10 minutes long, Aaptiv can help keep you on track.
Skip the salt.
You likely get that hangover headache the day after drinking due to dehydration. Eating high-sodium foods can make the effect even worse, Cording says. “Salty foods can make you more thirsty, causing you to drink more . This can also make you more bloated,” she says. “Additionally, alcohol can irritate the throat and stomach or worsen symptoms of acid reflux. , some people may find that spicy, oily, or very acidic foods cause further discomfort when consumed with alcohol.” In other words, keep it light on the super-pungent fare. Instead, Pine suggests going for the crudités plate.
Deciding before you go out how much you’ll drink and what you’ll have is a good way to watch your intake, Cording advises. “Decide which drinks would be most worth it to you,” she says. The Dietary Guidelines recommend that women stick to one drink per day and men cap it at two—so choose wisely.
Watching your intake will also make it easier to get up and workout the next day. Something is better than nothing! For short, easy-to-use workouts, try Aaptiv.
Watch what you eat at the after-party.
Is late-night pizza your jam? You may want to reconsider. “Alcohol itself doesn’t magically turn food into fat. But the body chooses to metabolize alcohol first over every other macronutrient,” Pine explains. “Once you go over your body’s daily energy needs, the food you eat will likely be stored as fat. Alcohol has seven calories per gram rather than four calories per gram of protein or carbohydrates. So the calories in those drinks can add up quickly. Plus, when alcohol is in your system, the body’s ability to burn fat slows down.” If you’re watching your weight, this is important to keep in mind. Even when you’re feeling tipsy, try not to go for the midnight food run.
What makes skipping food after drinking more difficult, though? “Alcohol may affect neurons that play a role in regulating hunger,” Pine says. So you may be mentally driven to the fridge post-party, but try to resist or at least watch your portions. “Alcohol can definitely fit into your life if you are trying to lose or maintain weight. But be smart about it by keeping your portion sizes in check and avoiding sugary mixers.” Try to stick to five-ounce servings of wine and 12 ounces for beer. That’s way smaller than those big glasses you get for both! And of course, have some water between bar runs.
Staying hydrated is key to avoiding a hangover and making it to your workout the next day. For a wide variety of exercise options across all levels of fitness, look no further than Aaptiv.
What happens when you drink?
If I eat a lot of greasy food, I can drink more.
It is true that foods, particularly those higher in fat, slow the absorption rate of alcohol. This happens because eating closes the valve between your stomach and intestines, where the alcohol is absorbed more quickly than in your stomach. But, eventually, the alcohol will be absorbed, and your body can only metabolize a certain amount of alcohol each hour. On average, a person metabolizes 10-12g of alcohol an hour. Eating before or while drinking helps to control how fast alcohol enters your bloodstream, but it will not protect you from the effects of excessive drinking.
If I drink a lot of coffee, I’ll sober up fast.
While the caffeine in coffee may make you feel more awake, it does not change the effect of alcohol on your coordination, reaction time, and judgment. To sober up, what you need is time. Your body can metabolize only a certain amount of alcohol each hour; how much you drink determines how many hours it will take until you are sober. If you drink to excess, your body may still contain significant amounts of alcohol well after you stop drinking.
If I mix my alcohol with an energy drink, I can keep going.
Energy drinks contain caffeine and may contain other stimulants, which make you less sleepy when you drink. Like coffee, energy drinks do not change how alcohol affects your body. You will still suffer the consequences of excessive drinking. Furthermore, some emerging studies indicate that drinking high levels of caffeine mixed with alcohol may increase risky behaviors, such as binge drinking, as well as side effects of caffeine like heart palpitations and insomnia.
My medications don’t affect me much, so I can drink what I want.
Over-the-counter and prescription medications often interact with alcohol in ways you might not expect, as some medications, mixing with alcohol can lead to serious liver damage. The effects can be disorienting or even dangerous to your health. If you are on medications, you should get advice from your healthcare provider or pharmacist before you add alcohol to the mix.
I get high on illegal drugs, and drinking makes it even better.
This combination is high-risk. The interactions between illegal drugs and alcohol may increase your impairment and result in serious negative legal, social and health consequences.
There is nothing better than a smoke and a drink.
Smoking of tobacco products is related to significant risk of lung disease, heart problems, and lung and other cancers. Drinking may be related to some cancer risks, which depend on how much and how often people drink. Regular smokers who also drink regularly and heavily have an increased risk of certain mouth and digestive tract cancers.
I will be fine in the morning no matter how much I drink.
You cannot always “sleep it off.” Your body can eliminate only a certain amount of alcohol each hour. Your body may still be processing alcohol in the morning that you consumed the night before. At high levels of drinking, your BAC the next morning could still be above any legal limits for driving.
Alcohol helps digest my food.
Alcohol actually slows digestion.
Alcohol makes me warmer.
The feeling of heat is deceptive. The dilation of blood vessels is responsible for producing only a momentary and deceptive feeling of heat on the surface which then involves a further cooling of the body, increasing the risk of frostbite for those in cold temperatures.
Alcohol increases my sexual performance.
While alcohol consumption may provide a perceived self-confidence, prolonged heavy drinking by males may decrease sexual ability and fertility.
Your drunk munchies now have a name, thanks to science
Blame science the next time you devour half a pizza after you go on a bender.
People are more likely to eat fatty and salty snacks rather than healthy ones like green vegetables during a night of heavy drinking and the morning after, according to a new study published in the Californian Journal of Health Promotion — and anyone who’s ever had one too many. But now researchers are referring to this insatiable desire to eat unhealthy comfort foods under the influence with the scientific term “drunchies,” or drunk munchies.
After seeing a college newspaper ad promoting unhealthy late night snacks to students who were craving food after a night of drinking, head researcher of the study Jessica Kruger, Ph.D., a clinical assistant professor of community health and health behavior at the University at Buffalo, wanted to further study the effects of excessive alcohol consumption on eating habits.
And the 286 coeds surveyed for the study not only noshed more fatty and salty foods, but researchers found that the participants were also less likely to skip breakfast (or brunch) on the day after a night of drinking alcohol (14%) compared to mornings not following alcohol consumption (3%). These unhealthy habits hungover into the next day, as many students reported they were still grabbing greasy bacon, eggs and cheese sammies instead of granola. Just look at the brunch industry; food and consulting research firm NPD Group reported last year that breakfast was “the one bright spot” in the restaurant industry, increasing 1% last year in part thanks to greasy new breakfast options from McDonald’s and Taco Bell.
“What we found was that people are continuing the unhealthy eating the day after drinking as well,” Kruger told Moneyish. “And colleges don’t typically cover the importance of eating healthy, or the importance of eating before you go out drinking to reduce the effects of alcohol consumption.”
In fact, 65% of the U.S student population reports regularly drinking alcohol, the survey reports. And almost 60% of college students ages 18 to 22 drank alcohol in the past month, while about two out of three of them engaged in binge drinking, defined as five or more alcoholic drinks for males and four or more alcoholic drinks for females at the same time or within a couple of hours of each other on at least one day in the past month.
But what most people don’t know is that eating those feel-good foods can actually make you feel worse after a heavy night of drinking. Kruger explained that salt and fat make you dehydrated and can often add to the headaches and other hangover symptoms — so you’re much better off opting for some water and dark green vegetables, like kale and spinach, that can replenish your body.
This isn’t the first study that has linked drinking to food cravings afterwards. An Indiana University School of Medicinestudy found that the brain responds more to the smell of food when intoxicated than it does when not, leading to an increase in the amount of calories consumed.
And the body also craves food after drinking in excess, because your blood glucose levels rise and fall as your body tries to get rid of the alcohol you consumed, Kruger said. But while this explains the general feeling of hunger after drinking, there are other social and environmental reasons why people are usually mostly drawn to fatty and unhealthy foods, she added.
“When people are drinking, it’s late at night and it’s easier to find a slice of pizza rather than a slice of kale,” she said. And common misconceptions about “hangover cures” play a part, too. “There are tales that fatty foods can soak up all of this alcohol, when in fact none of them work,” Kruger said. “The only way to get over a hangover is to not get one in the first place — to drink less alcohol and drink more water.”
Bowen, a 21-year-old recent grad from Bard College that asked to withhold her last name, swallows this skewed logic as much as most people her age. In fact, when she recently woke up after a night of heavy drinking, she told Moneyish that she immediately craved a burger because she thought it would help her body feel better.
“I think that’s why I needed to get food so badly that day,” she said, adding that she thinks everyone feels that fatty and carb-filled foods serve as the perfect hangover cure. “When you’re drunk at night, or your friend is too drunk, that’s why you feed them a cracker or bread — to soak up the alcohol.”
And even if her college dished healthier late-night options, she admitted that she probably would have grabbed the junk food, anyway. “Whenever I’m drunk or hungover, my first thought isn’t ‘Hey let me grab a salad or baby carrot,’” she said.
But Kruger hopes the drunchies study will at least spark a discussion about having healthier food choices available to students on college campuses. “We’re just bringing awareness to this and putting a name to it to have college campuses talk about it, and even offer some healthy late-night options in their dining halls,” she said.
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