If drinking were an Olympic sport, here’s how you’d win a gold medal

Takeaway: Five rules to follow the next time you have a drink or three: eat more protein, hydrate way more, move a lot, try to stick to your regular sleep schedule, and fight the inflammation that alcohol causes by consuming more antioxidants.

Estimated Reading Time: 1 minutes, 54s.

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Adam Kreek is a gold medal winning Olympian, a speaker, and an all around nice guy. So when he writes about a topic, I immediately listen up.

Recently, Adam published a piece on the CBC about the fives rules he follows to drink alcohol more productively. In my view, drinking alcohol is a way of borrowing energy (and happiness) from the next day. It can be fun to consume—but the costs to your energy, productivity, and happiness can add up if you’re not careful. Like caffeine, alcohol is worth drinking deliberately, instead of habitually.

If you’re going to have a pint or three, these five rules should help!

  1. Eat more protein. Your stomach metabolizes alcohol slower than your intestines, and when you eat at the same time or before you have a few drinks, you prevent too much alcohol from entering your bloodstream at once. Since most alcohol is metabolized by your liver, “a stomach full of eggs, steak and spinach will stimulate blood flow to the liver and increases the production of liver enzymes that help to break down alcohol.”
  2. Hydrate more. “Water helps to metabolize and eliminate alcohol from your body.” And while dehydration isn’t the main cause of a hangover, drinking more water helps treat symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and dry mouth.
  3. Move more. Your body eliminates toxins three main ways, and sweat is one of them (the other two: breathing, and urinating). Adam recommends finding “different ways to be physically active before, during and after your bender.”
  4. Stick to your regular sleep schedule, if you can. There’s no way around it: drinking alcohol compromises your sleep quality. So does staying up too late. It’s worth planning ahead so you can get a decent amount of sleep if you plan on having a few drinks.
  5. Fight inflammation with antioxidants. Drinking too much alcohol causes inflammation, and “many hangover symptoms are believed to be caused by low-grade inflammation.” Antioxidants, like green tea, fish, nuts, and leafy greens will help you combat this.

Of course, the best way to not suffer the adverse effects of alcohol is to not drink in the first place. But if you plan on indulging in a few drinks, these rules will help! The full article is definitely worth a read.

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