June 15, 2012

The Other Kind Of Spirit

One of my specialties in my health coaching practice is giving my clients realistic and practical advice for dealing with a less than healthy world out there (that is, thankfully, definitely getting better!), and this especially comes up during the weekends. One majorly controversial topic that rears its head as we head into summer is how to enjoy a cocktail (or two!) and still live a healthy lifestyle . So I’ve come up with five easy-to-follow tips to help you glide through your summer parties without the dreaded next-day hangover.

1. Water water water! This is definitely my personal number one. Whenever I head to a party or arrive at a “watering” hole the first thing I drink is water. Usually this will help fend off dehydration as well as give me some time to warm up to my environment before I reach for a drink. I also recommend that for each drink, have one full glass of water!

2. Ditch the straw! This tip mostly applies for those who prefer mixed drinks. Fact: you will drink your beverage MUCH faster if you are using a straw. Ditch it! You will naturally sip much more slowly.

3. Switch it up! This one might be the less “fun” choice but it definitely helps to curb your alcohol consumption. So you’re at cocktail party and you loooove wine and know that you often drink more than one or two. Switch it up! If you switch to a less favorite drink you’ll be less likely to drink more of it. Wine drinkers, try clear liquor with seltzer and lemon/lime; spirit drinkers, try sipping some wine or a beer for a change. And of course steer clear of those super calorie-laden drinks. Mystery punches and eggnog pack HUGE amounts of unwanted calories.

4. Coconut water! The number one mineral we lose during alcohol consumption is potassium. Not only will coconut water restore your potassium levels (it contains as much potassium as 2 or 3 bananas) but it will help hydrate the same way a sports drink would but in a much more natural and healthier way. Drink one before bed and one again in the morning.

5. Enjoy the night! It’s important to take a moment to check in with yourself and think about your goal for the evening. When we shift the emphasis to spending time with friends, enjoying being out on the town, and dancing up a storm, we take away the power of alcohol. Thinking about how much fun you’ll have with family and friends will help you keep those drinks to a minimum.

I hope you enjoy these five healthy drinking tips for the warm season and beyond!  Feel free to share them with friends.

Disclaimer – Obviously folks, please drink responsibly. In no way am I endorsing overindulging or any form of reckless behavior but rather giving guidance for those who like to enjoy a drink or two responsibly.

[Editor’s Note 09/2015: This post appeared as part of a Summer Series. Get the full recap.]

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