Is There a Smart Way to Day Drink?
The season of alcohol-soaked occasions is upon us. Learn to survive it in good spirits.
The Kentucky Derby, the day that launched a thousand Juleps, ushered in a new season of events that involve cocktails somewhere around noon. And as enjoyable as sipping champagne at a bridal shower or beer at a baseball game may be, an early start time can have it's pitfalls. "Because daytime drinking often accompanies a special occasion, we tend to treat it differently, giving it that 'oh just this one time' quality and setting aside the normal precautions that we usually follow," says Sue Stanley, a Tier 4 trainer in Tribeca.
This year, let someone else sweat tequila or slur their words. Follow our expert tips to navigate the season with your judgment and health intact.
Skip the Sugar
The Pro: Alex Zimmerman, T4 National Manager at Equinox
The Advice: Step away from the dessert table. Your body works overtime to metabolize alcohol, and giving it sugar to break down as well can take an additional toll. It works like this; booze alters our ability to maintain proper water levels. In an attempt to flush out the sweet stuff, the body responds with an increase in urination and, subsequently, dehydration—compounding those same effects from alcohol.
The Pro: Cassie Kipper, Personal Training Manager, Tier 4 Coach and Registered Dietician
The Advice: The body is only able to process one 'serving' of alcohol per hour, says Kipper. And while that holds true day or night, an early start can dramatically multiply the hours spent tipping them back. Exceed the 1 per 1 rate of consumption, Kipper says, and you can expect to see rising blood alcohol level, decreasing hydration status, and nose-diving judgement calls. If there is any doubt, one serving of alcohol is equal to 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine, or 1.5 oz (a shot) of liquor.
Fuel Up on Electrolytes
The Pro: Sue Stanley, Tier 4 Manager
The Advice: As sweating and increased urination deplete you of fluids, H2O and electrolyte-rich snacks will help regulate the body's temperature, ensure proper muscle function, and slow the alcohol's absorption into the blood stream, says Stanley. Stick to her suggested order of events—Food, Water, Alcohol, Water, Alcohol—and incorporate some of her favorite sources of electrolytes, including coconut water, bananas, watermelon, spinach, kale, avocado, whole grains, nuts and peanut butter.
Choose light beer over dark
The Pro: Brian St.Pierre, Precision Nutrition Coach, RD, MS, CSCS
The Advice: When compared to the potency of hard liquor or the sugar content of wine, beer can seem like the safest choice to carry you through an afternoon. However, not all brews are created equal. The average light beer contains 103 calories, while the average regular beer contains 153 calories, says St. Pierre, who adds that micro-brews, despite boasting more phytochemicals and fiber, can top a whopping 225 calories. Just a few of those and you have the calorie equivalent of full course meal.
Strategically Schedule Your Workouts
The Pro: Justin Jacobs, Tier 4 Manager
The Advice: Plan to bookend a festive afternoon with two solid sessions in the gym. The morning of, resistance training or interval cardio work will provide a boost that will help your body more quickly metabolize the alcohol you take in, says Jacobs. The following day, he recommends another workout to aid in more speedily assuaging hangover symptoms.