Think About It
Making the decision to have a swift pint after work or cracking open a bottle of wine when you get home takes a nanosecond. But if we thought about the consequences – and there will be many, from how the alcohol disrupts your blood sugar levels to making those circles around your eyes that little bit darker – we might spend a little longer deciding. The first step towards sensible drinking is simple: do I really want it? If the answer is yes, go to the second step.
Choose Your Night Carefully
Alcohol will affect your concentration, mood and memory. The reason it effects your concentration and recall is because booze plays havoc with your blood sugar levels: they rocket when you’re drinking and crash the next day. In turn, this can lead to mood swings as your energy levels spike with the extra sugar and fall when it’s withdrawn. So, if you have an important meeting, deadline or date set for the following day, don’t drink.
Go Out Later
It probably doesn’t take a PhD to work this one out but the later you go out, the less time you’ll have for drinking. (That’s the theory, anyway.)
Choose Drink Wisely
So, you’re standing at the bar, trying to get the barmaid’s attention, now’s your time to make the most important decision of the evening. What are you going to order? Thinking of a beer? Wrong! Your pint is packed with sugar so your concentration and memory will be shot the next day. Worse, though, beer – more than other tipples – messes with your hormones. It can lower a bloke’s testosterone levels and increase your oestrogen, which manifests itself with man boobs, moobs, man cans, breasticles or whatever you care to call them. So, by the time the barmaid catches your eye, you’ll have decided that either a glass of red wine – which contains the antioxidant resveratrol – or a clear spirit with a squeeze of citrus are preferable.
Nobody Is Safe
Moobs, obviously, are not an issue for girls but that doesn’t mean they’re safe from alcohol’s fatty tentacles. When the blood stream is pumped with sugar it increases insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone which is supposed to regulate the body’s carbohydrate and fat metabolism, but if too much is present, it makes the body convert more food to fat. On women, this can lead to excess weight sticking on the hips, tummy and upper arms. On men it simply goes straight to the belly.
Mix It Up
Another easy one – in theory, at least – but try to drink a glass of water every other round. If that’s a little too goody-two-shoes, then have a water chaser with every other drink.
The second most important decision you’ll make when you’re trying to catch the barmaid’s eye is deciding to eat. If you’re drinking in some of the City’s less salubrious venues, a bag of nuts will suffice. But if you’re somewhere that knows the difference between a Kalamata and an Arbequina, then go for a plate of ham or some hard cheese.
Sleep It Off
Drink plenty of water and try to get as much sleep as your booze-addled body will allow.
The Morning After
Ah, the hangover. You’re tired, thirsty and hungry. Typically, you might go to McDonald’s for a McMuffin and a large cola. Not if you’re an intelligent drinker. Intelligent drinkers are prepared drinkers. They know that they’ll be tempted just to grab easy comfort food the morning after, so they’ll have lots of fresh protein options in the fridge. Eggs are good but can be a bit time consuming. Some smoked salmon, cold meats or avocado will fill the hole and help your body repair. An intelligent drinker has also got a masters degree in detox. They will know that a squeeze of lemon juice in water, baby tomatoes, Brazil nuts and white tea are zinging with antioxidants.
This will literally flush the badness out of you and help your upset liver recover.
Take a Day Off
Ideally, take a few days off the booze. This will give your liver time to restore itself so that it can keep your body clean.
I’m sure some of you will read this and think what a load of rubbish. It’s not. Drink too much and you could end up with cirrhosis or liver cancer. You could also end up with moobs – which is really not a good look.
Tim Drummond Personal Training is a body composition and weight loss specialist. Its ‘Live Lean Body Composition Methodology’ is a highly individualised unique approach to optimum health and wellness. Based in exclusive studios in Belgravia, and The City; 07823 697 605; TimDrummondPT.com