When going to the pub and drinking for the first time, it’s important to drink moderately. There are many good pubs out there like The Cornershop Bar and it is a great experience going to pubs for the first time and having your first pint but you also probably want some advice as well. The first piece of advice for drinkers of all experience levels is this: know and understand how alcohol affects the human mind and body so that any risks or dangers can be minimized or avoided.
- Stay hydrated. One major effect of alcohol on the human body is dehydration, and dehydration is the cause of many of the negative side effects of drinking, including the hated hangover. So, drinkers should, among other things of course, prepare for and manage this effect before, during, and after drinking.
- Eat first, snack during, eat after. Drinking on an empty stomach means that the alcohol will hit quickly and all at once. However, if the body is digesting food, especially food with a lot of protein, like meat or nuts, the body will take longer to digest the alcohol. To keep the slower digestion going, drinkers should snack while they drink, top their stomachs off before going to bed, and plan to have protein-rich foods available for when they wake up.
- Drink water, drink water, drink water. Drinkers should drink plenty of water on the day they plan to drink, especially during their pre-drinking meal. A good rule of thumb while drinking is to make every third drink a glass of water. Additionally, they should have at least one, if not more, glasses of water before going to bed post-drinking and do the same when they wake up. This should lessen effects like headaches and muscle cramps.
- Stay safe. Drinking alters many things in the human brain and body, including reflexes, emotional regulation, judgement, and impulse control. This means drinkers tend to do things they wouldn’t normally do, and it also means they become vulnerable to the actions and choices of others. So, before drinking, everyone should take steps to avoid these things.
- Have a designated driver. Some drinkers drive to the location at which they plan to drink, thinking they will call a ride service when they plan to leave, but many complications can arise with this plan. Firstly, since drinking impairs judgement, some drinkers end up driving regardless of their plan. Secondly, drinkers may have trouble using their phone to order a ride or drivers may not be available when they are needed. Thirdly, if the drinker can’t drive or order a driving service, they may feel compelled to accept a ride from a stranger or someone they just met, which is never safe.
- Have a designated sober person. This may be the designated driver, if the designated driver stays on location, or it may be a friend they meet at the location who does not plan to drink. The role of this person is to have their own sober fun, but it’s also to serve as a check on the drinker’s impaired judgment, emotional regulation, and impulse control. This may include comforting the drinker if they become emotional, helping the drinker regulate their intake, discouraging the drinker from making unsafe choices, or pointing out possible safety risks from others.