Invites to holiday parties are starting to freely flow, which means the cocktails soon will be too. And there's nothing wrong with drinking in some holiday spirits, right?
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Well, according to a survey by Caron Treatment Centers lots of us use holiday parties as an excuse to binge drink -- and that's where the trouble (and the embarrassment) comes in, warns Glamour Magazine.
The survey found that 60 percent of respondents have seen inappropriate behavior by someone at family or workplace parties, and 50 percent have witnessed a co-worker or supervisor share inappropriate details about themselves (or their colleagues).
And because you really don't want to be that person everyone's talking about the next day, Dr. Harris B. Straytner, vice president of Caron Treatment Centers and New York regional clinical director, has these tips for healthily handling the cocktail situation -- while still having fun.
• Before and during the party, eat a balanced meal filled with nutrients and vitamins. Drinking on an empty stomach is never a good idea. "It's a good idea to go heavier on starches to help absorb the alcohol," Straytner says.
• Avoid salt (it will trigger thirst and make you drink more), and stay away from greasy foods (which can upset your stomach).
• Drink noncarbonated water. "A good rule of thumb is eight ounces of water for every drink," he says.
• Don't drink coffee. "It's a misconception that coffee helps you sober up -- it only results in a wide-awake intoxicated state," Straytner says.
• Avoid champagne or other bubbly cocktails will get you tipsy faster. Forgo dark spirits (whiskey, brandy)." Your liver has a tough time metabolizing them due to certain chemical toxins they contain," he says. Also avoid super-sweet drinks (like cocktails made with fruit punch), which can lead to hypoglycemia and dizziness.
• Don't have more than one or two drinks over the course of one or two hours.
Forty-four percent of Caron's survey respondents thought that having three or more drinks during a holiday party was OK if the person could "hold their liquor" and had no intention of driving.
But, says Straytner: "Consider that one and a half ounces of hard liquor is equivalent to a 12-ounce can of beer, and both are equal to between four to five ounces of wine," he says. "So anywhere between four and seven drinks -- such as vodka -- may be considered 'acceptable' to drink at one time, but this is a dangerous misconception."