So you just woke up after a Skol/Natty Light binge (shout out to Heritage Grove), and you have to do the day after mental checklist: Phone… Wallet… Where the hell are my keys! Skip the post-party-panic this weekend by remembering these eight simple steps for balancing beer and responsibility.
1. Stay Hydrated
It’s no secret that one too many drinks can leave you in a fog the next day; no one wants a throbbing headache to hinder precious weekend time. Drinking several glasses of water throughout the night is an easy way to dodge the hangover bullet. Rule of Thumb: For every alcoholic drink, pour yourself some H20. Grant Harris, a nutrition educator at Florida State University’s Wellness Center, said, “Nutritionally, alcohol is a toxin to the body and will cause anyone’s body to react in sickness, vomiting and later, a hangover. Part of this is due to the fact that drinking alcohol causes severe dehydration to the body.” Harris warned that because alcohol is a diuretic, only a third to half of the water will be retained when drinking. Harris said that rehydrating in conjunction with replenishing the body’s electrolytes is one way to counter the effects of alcohol.
2. Stick to Cash
I, too, have fallen victim to overspending with a credit card. Three “This round’s on me’s” later and you’ve made a major dent in your account. Or worse—you’ve lost your card altogether. Learn from my mistake and hit the ATM before you hit the club. This way, you can spend a predetermined amount of money instead of going swipe-crazy. Plus, if you lose your cash, it’s still better than filing a claim for fraudulent charges with your bank.
3. Let Uber Do the Driving
If your judgment is so shot that you can’t tell how attractive the bartender is, the last thing you should be doing is getting behind the wheel. Uber is a lifesaver in a college community when no one feels like being the DD. When you download the app on your phone, it saves your card information for future rides. No need to fumble with crumpled dollar bills while you wait for this cab. If it’s your first time using Uber, make sure to snag a promo code from a friend; first-time riders don’t pay!
4. Don’t Call Your Ex
Sober-You might be reading this and thinking to yourself, “Why the hell would I want to do that?” Give it time, young grasshopper. Once Uber drops you off at your destination and you’re finally feeling the pregame shots, there’s no telling who’s hotline you’ll make bling. Do yourself a favor and download Drunk Mode; keep your ex’s phone number hidden with this stroke of genius.
5. Where TF is My Phone?
Most smartphones come equipped with GPS to prevent just the kind of shenanigans you get into when you’re intoxicated. Before you actually lose your phone, make sure the location settings are enabled for this feature, and you’ll be able to track down your device should it ever fall out of your drunken grip. The Find My iPhone app for iPhone users can be accessed via iCloud to turn on “Lost Mode,” which will lock your phone and flash a customizable message (such as how to contact the owner) on the phone screen. Google’s Android Device Manager is a similar app for Android phone users. Once activated, it will project your phone’s location on a live map that provides driving directions. These apps are password protected, so don’t forget to keep the login info in a safe place.
6. Pack the Essentials
You know the morning after scenario: rough hairdo and dry eyes. Good morning, sleeping beauty! The solution? A morning after kit. There are probably places you’ll have to stop once you wake up before heading home, like the nearest Waffle House and Publix to buy tonight’s pregame ingredients (Hey, it’s only Saturday). Avoid the obvious I-Was-Out-Last-Night getup by bringing a change of clothes if possible; anything sans heels and glitter works in a pinch. Don’t forget a pair of shades, so you can hide the bags under your eyes when you head out to 1 p.m. hangover breakfast.
7. Give in to the Drunk Munchies
There’s no magic spell for instant sobriety, but pizza and Taco Bell are tied for second. Making the mistake of drinking on an empty stomach will come back to bite you in the ass later. Greasy foods that are high in carbs absorb alcohol and make it easier on your body to metabolize. Try using GrubHub for food deliveries and skip the McDonald’s walk of shame; you know, barefoot with high heels in hand. Stuff your face in the comfort of your own home.
8. Find the Bonnie to Your Clyde
Besides standing next to you in the godforsaken line to the women’s bathroom, your friend is essential for embarrassing dance move duos and wingman-ship. Nothing makes group photos or midnight adventures quite as memorable as someone to share the moment with. Your best friend always remembers all your drunk antics, and reminds you why you’re missing your left shoe and have three missed calls from Hungry Howie’s. You can make a toast to the night with morning after Alka-Seltzer and Ibuprofen. Cheers!