Drinking too much is no longer an excuse for skipping a workout.
That last round of margaritas probably seemed like a good idea at the time—and judging from the Instastory evidence you discover the next day, it most definitely was—but come the next morning when your alarm is blaring a reminder that you’ve planned a workout, drinking seems like your worst enemy.
Yes, there are times when you really should opt for your bed over the gym, but assuming you haven’t gone too far, your body might actually benefit from a hearty workout.
To help make this a little easier (yes, it will be work!), we chatted with Aaptiv trainer Meghan Takacs to get her expert tips for working out and working through a hangover.
First thing’s first, you need to understand what happens to your body when you’re drinking. Other than getting a little bit giggly or Snapchat happy, your body responds to that shot of tequila by triggering an inflammatory response from your immune system. This can lead to a decreased appetite (rookie mistake, always snack!) and a cloudy head, according to the Mayo Clinic. In addition, a night of drinking can leave you severely dehydrated. Alcohol is a diuretic after all, meaning it causes you to frequent the restroom more than normal. To replenish all that you, ahem, expelled last night, drink water like it’s your job before bed and as soon as you wake up.
In the morning, before you even think about hitting the gym or taking a run, Takacs suggests making sure your body has the fuel it needs to recover properly. If you have the mind to plan for the next morning, she suggests drinking two bottles of water before bed, taking one teaspoon of Glutamine (an amino acid), and two Ibuprofen*. If you hit the hay without thinking much about the next morning (hey, it happens), Takacs recommends consuming amino acids and a banana before your workout. Amino acids can be found in hearty, protein-rich foods like eggs whereas the potassium found in bananas helps replenish the electrolytes lost during a night of fun.
Work Out in the Morning
You might not feel like moving, but Takacs assures us that the endorphins released in a sweat sesh might be the answer to it all. She explains that alcohol is a depressant and depletes the body of serotonin. When you wake up the next morning, you’ll be chock full of cravings, especially ones “in the form of McDonald’s, naps, and sugary drinks.” However, she warns these are just temporary fixes and could have negative, long term consequences—especially if you have fitness goals you’re hoping to achieve.
“Working out helps produce the endorphins necessary to curb sugar and salt cravings throughout your day, helps you to avoid moodiness, and increase your ability to focus and to make better decisions,” she says. And if you’re wondering, yeah, it is best to workout first thing. Takacs suggests working out in the morning or late morning to help you avoid falling into a day full of naps and Netflix and cold pizza binges.
Looking for good morning workouts? Check out these workout samples from Aaptiv that can easily fit into your lifestyle.
Accept the Mental Challenge.
Takacs tells us like it is with this one: You aren’t going to feel great being active after a night of drinking. “The trick I like to try is giving it a 10-minute rule to whether or not you can make this workout a good one or a not so good one,” she says. For example, Takacs says start with a ten-minute warm-up run. During that run you will either feel like you can do active recovery intervals or you’ll realize you need to go long and steady.
“Working out helps produce the endorphins necessary to curb sugar and salt cravings throughout your day.”
The most important thing is just don’t give up. “You already feel bad, now don’t blow your own confidence, too!” she says. Her second mental strategy for making it through the workout is to turn it into something positive. “Understand that life is all about balance, and be proud of the fact that you have an interest in still maintaining your fitness even when you feel like death,” she explains. So even if it takes you twice the time or you have to take plenty of water or walking breaks, it’s OK. Just finish the drill. “That my friends, is mental and physical strength,” she adds.
Think of it this way: The sooner you finish, the sooner you can go home and resume your horizontal position.
Only had a couple drinks and wondering if you should still hit the gym? We’ve got the answer, here.
New to Aaptiv? Take our free fitness quiz and find out which workouts are right for you.
*check with your doctor before adding supplements to your diet
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After a night out of drinking and partying, you may not be feeling too hot the next morning. After laying around for half the morning, you want to move around and make yourself feel better, without pushing yourself too hard. Turns out exercising while hung over is similar to exercising while sick, which comes with some guidelines.
“Probably the top two detractors from physical performance the day after alcohol consumption are dehydration and feeling terrible,” says Alex Harrison, PhD, doctor of sports physiology with Renaissance Periodization. Besides the dehydrations, you may feel nauseous or have a headache.
“You need a certain amount of hydration for things to work well, and research has shown that even by reducing your hydration by [even one or] two percent of your body weight, it can really, drastically effect your athletic performance,” says Rand McClain, DO, chief medical officer of LCR Health. Your level of dehydration, or other discomforts, can have an effect on your next-day workout.
“Dehydration doesn’t affect strength training very much at all, and you’re more likely to become rehydrated sufficiently by the time you work out the next day to not have any serious deleterious effects hinder your strength performance,” Harrison says. “It definitely affects endurance performance, though.”
This is because even low amounts of dehydration—“which is common 24 hours after drinking more than a couple beverages,” he says—can cause a slightly increased heart rate. Harrison explains that it’s also harder for your body to absorb hydration to make up for the water loss. “It’s a good idea to rehydrate aggressively with salt and water, like with sodium citrate, to help your body fight the diuretic effects of the alcohol and hang onto more of your water.”
If you’re feeling super thirsty, keep the workouts short. “You’re more likely to lose more water [doing] long distance on a bike or [going on] a long run than with a 40-minute long weight workout,” says Dr. McClain, who cautions that doing endurance-type workouts with minimum fluid in your system can lead to you feeling faint on top of a not-so-peak performance. Harrison also suggests easy cardio, as long as it’s not in a hot environment (heat would further dehydrate you). “Spinning, walking, or easy rowing at a conversational pace for less than 60 minutes would be minimally impacted by alcohol-induced dehydration,” he says.
If your hangover causes less dehydration and more nausea, upper body-focused workouts may be the answer. “This would help if you’re having gut issues or a pounding head, since there is less trunk compression and bracing required for moves like a bench press, overhead press, and lat pulldowns compared to squatting or deadlifting,” he says. “The best exercise is one that is rhythmic, repetitive, and one that you can set the level of intensity,” adds Brian Hoke, a sports physical therapist with Vionic Innovation Labs.
No matter which type of workout you choose, be sure to take it easy. “You’re much less likely to be pushing yourself as hard in training,” says Harrison.
Alcohol is removed from the blood at the rate of about one unit an hour – but this varies from person to person
- 8:30, 12 Jul 2021
- Updated : 8:39, 12 Jul 2021
YOU wouldn’t consider getting behind the wheel after having a few beers – but what about the next morning?
Alcohol is removed from the blood at the rate of about one unit an hour, and this varies from person to person.
How long should you wait to drive after drinking alcohol the night before?
Drinkaware’s Chief Medical Adviser Dr Paul Wallace commented: “The amount of alcohol in your bloodstream depends on three things; the amount you take in, over what period of time and the speed at which your body gets rid of it.”
Alcohol is removed from the blood at the rate of about one unit an hour – but this varies from person to person.
The speed at which your body processes booze can depend on your size and gender (as men tend to process alcohol quicker than women), the state of your liver, your metabolism, your age, whether you’re taking any medication and the strength of the alcohol you have consumed.
How many units does an alcoholic drink contain?
- 175ml glass of wine of average strength (12%) – 2.1 units
- 250ml glass of wine of average strength (12%) – 3 units
- One pint of low-strength lager, beer or cider (3.6%) – 2 units
- One pint of high-strength lager, beer or cider (5.2%) – 3 units
- One single measure of spirits – 1 unit
To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level if you drink most weeks:
- Men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis
- Spread your drinking over three or more days if you regularly drink as much as 14 units a week
- If you want to cut down, try to have several drink-free days each week
“Imagine you’re drinking until three or four in the morning and you wake up at 8am,” says Dr Wallace.
“If you’ve had six or seven units, you could still have several units of alcohol in your body when you start your day.
“This is because your body can only process around one unit an hour.
“With several units of alcohol still in your body you would still be over the drink drive limit.”
Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing you can do to speed up the rate alcohol leaves your system.
“Having a cup of coffee or a cold shower won’t do anything at all to get rid of the alcohol,” says Dr Wallace.
“They may make you feel slightly different, but they haven’t eliminated the alcohol in any way.”
You need to be patient and wait it out, or use a different method of travel.
By Robert Parkinson, MSW
You made it through recovery treatment. You were doing well staying stopped on your drinking. And then one night, a coworker asks you to grab a drink after work. “Just one drink.” It can’t hurt, you tell yourself. That’s the last thing you remember when you wake up in the hospital the next morning.
A relapse (“lapse,” “slip,” “setback”) is one of the most frustrating, humiliating experiences you can face in recovery from any problem habit. It leaves you feeling guilty, ashamed and tempted to throw in the towel and just keep acting out on the addiction. Unfortunately, relapse is also common. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 40 to 60 percent of people who go through addiction treatment programs go on to slip at least once. In fact, many people have multiple setbacks before finally achieving a full recovery.
You can take some comfort in knowing relapse is common. But how do you handle it? Here are some tips:
Brace yourself. For many after a setback, a person’s guilt, shame and humiliation come back tenfold. Prepare yourself for these feelings. Commit to use them as motivation to get back on track rather than as an excuse to hide away in disgrace, if you do slip.
Get support. Whether you just sobered up after a brief lapse or you are in the middle of a longer relapse, you should consider contacting your addiction counselor, recovery coach, or other recovery accountability supporter to schedule a face-to-face meeting. Prepare yourself for a difficult conversation; admitting you slipped up will be difficult and humbling. If you can’t bring yourself to meet in person, make a phone call or send an email or text. The important part is to reestablish contact and let them know you’re struggling.
Call on loved ones. This step may be particularly tough, especially if you’ve hurt your friends and family members with your addiction in the past. But support from the most important people in your life is critically important if you want to recover for good. When you approach loved ones, do so honestly and make sure you intend to go through with whatever you promise to do.
Consider returning to treatment. Whether or not you should return to treatment will depend on the severity of your lapse and the circumstances surrounding it. If the relapse consisted of a few hours or a few days, you may be able to veer back to your recovery path somewhat seamlessly. If you went on a multiple week-long bender, another round of treatment may be in order. Just like every addiction story is different, so is the path to recovery. Some treatment providers and facilities offer aftercare services as part of the original treatment plan, or free counseling for a period following the initial treatment time.
Think of relapse as a stepping stone. Instead of viewing your slip as a step backward, think of it as a progression on your road to recovery. Many people lapse or relapse, and if you think of each attempt at sobriety as a means of getting closer to your end goal — a lesson in your cumulative recovery learning, so to speak — this setback won’t be in vain.
But try not to get trapped in a revolving door. While recovering from addictive behavior, some people get caught in a pattern of repeated relapse and rehab, a phenomenon sometimes called “revolving door syndrome.” In most cases of revolving door syndrome, the person isn’t fully (or consistently) committed to a sober life, which makes going back to the substance or behavior of choice seem too tempting to resist. This cycle of repeated relapse is dangerous because it takes a toll on the individual’s health (physical and mental), sense of self-worth, and whatever healthy, positive relationships remain in his or her life. Although repeated slips can be a normal part of recovery for some, ongoing relapse and rehab can become a compulsive pattern of its own and make it even more difficult to successfully stay sober long-term.
Look on the bright side. A slip may feel like the end of the world, but really, it’s an opportunity for growth and reinforcing basic life skills that need more work. Many people emerge from relapse with a fresh scare regarding what they are up against, as well as a deeper commitment to becoming sober. This renewed motivation can help you come back from a relapse even stronger than you were before.
Looking for More Information?
If you’d like to read more about creating a relapse prevention plan, please continue reading this article: How to Deal with Backsliding. Once you’ve finished reading, we encourage you to search for a meeting near you and/or join our online community where we have daily online meetings and 24×7 message boards and chat rooms.
This article was co-authored by Alex Dimitriu, MD. Alex Dimitriu, MD is the Owner of Menlo Park Psychiatry and Sleep Medicine, a clinic based in the San Francisco Bay Area with expertise in psychiatry, sleep, and transformational therapy. Alex earned his Doctor of Medicine from Stony Brook University in 2005 and graduated from the Stanford University School of Medicine’s Sleep Medicine Residency Program in 2010. Professionally, Alex has dual board certification in psychiatry and sleep medicine.
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Whether you pulled an all-nighter to study for a test or you’re just a regular night owl, you may be wondering how you can make it through the day on little or no sleep. It’ll be hard to stay awake without dozing off, but not impossible. These tips will help you make the most of your day after staying up all night.
Alex Dimitriu, MD
Sleep Specialist Expert Interview. 16 October 2019. And drinking coffee or tea can bring plenty of health benefits, too. These naturally caffeinated beverages are chock full of antioxidants  X Trustworthy Source Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School’s Educational Site for the Public Go to source , and recent studies suggest that drinking coffee can even decrease your risk of developing depression.  X Research source
- Don’t drink too much! Excessive caffeine consumption can cause anxiousness and irritability. Drinking too much coffee can also interfere with your ability to have a good night of sleep after you make it through the day.  X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world’s leading hospitals Go to source
- Opt for coffee over energy drinks. An 8 oz. cup of coffee typically contains more caffeine than the same serving size of most energy drinks.  X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world’s leading hospitals Go to source
- How to Get Rid of Hangover Shakes
- Drinking Liquor With Crohn’s
- Does Dry Red Wine Affect Glucose Levels?
- The Calories in Skyy Vodka
- Heart Racing & Dizziness After Eating
What does fact checked mean?
At Healthfully, we strive to deliver objective content that is accurate and up-to-date. Our team periodically reviews articles in order to ensure content quality. The sources cited below consist of evidence from peer-reviewed journals, prominent medical organizations, academic associations, and government data.
The information contained on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a professional health care provider. Please check with the appropriate physician regarding health questions and concerns. Although we strive to deliver accurate and up-to-date information, no guarantee to that effect is made.
- Alcohol’s Direct Effects
- Low Blood Sugar
- Prevention Is Key
Drinking in moderation can have certain health benefits, but if you overdo it, you can experience some unpleasant effects, including dizziness. There are two main causes of dizziness after drinking: the immediate effects of alcohol on your brain, and the aftereffects the next day, which can cause dizziness from dehydration and low blood sugar. Getting rid of the dizziness depends on the cause of the problem.
Alcohol’s Direct Effects
Many people know that alcohol affects the brain — for example, if you drink to excess, sometimes you can’t remember everything that happened during that time. The portion of your brain responsible for balance, the cerebellum, is also affected when you drink alcohol to excess. These effects can include problems in judging heights or distances — for instance, you might fall off a curb — as well as problems with coordination and feeling dizzy. The way to get rid of this kind of dizziness is to wait it out until your body finishes metabolizing the alcohol — preferably someplace where you are safe from potential injury and don’t need to move around a lot.
- Many people know that alcohol affects the brain — for example, if you drink to excess, sometimes you can’t remember everything that happened during that time.
How to Get Rid of Hangover Shakes
Alcohol temporarily suppresses the body’s production of anti-diuretic hormone, or ADH, which causes the kidneys to make more urine than they usually would, sometimes even to the point that, by the next day, you’ve become dehydrated. You may then experience many associated symptoms, including dizziness, especially if you stand up quickly from a seated position. The key to getting rid of this type of dizziness is to keep yourself well-hydrated. Drinking water is a good way to replenish lost fluids, as is drinking clear broth, which has the added bonus of restoring some lost electrolytes.
- Alcohol temporarily suppresses the body’s production of anti-diuretic hormone, or ADH, which causes the kidneys to make more urine than they usually would, sometimes even to the point that, by the next day, you’ve become dehydrated.
- You may then experience many associated symptoms, including dizziness, especially if you stand up quickly from a seated position.
Low Blood Sugar
Alcohol is a type of carbohydrate, and if you take in a lot of carbohydrate all at once, your body produces a lot of insulin to move it out of your bloodstream and into your cells 1. Oftentimes, your body overdoes it on the insulin, so much so that your blood sugar gets a bit low the next day, resulting in some of the familiar hangover symptoms of fatigue, shakiness, hunger and dizziness. To bring your blood sugar back into balance without starting the high-carb-high-insulin cycle all over again, eat a balanced meal that includes protein, fats and complex carbs — but no sugar or alcohol. That should help the dizziness pass.
- Alcohol is a type of carbohydrate, and if you take in a lot of carbohydrate all at once, your body produces a lot of insulin to move it out of your bloodstream and into your cells 1.
- Oftentimes, your body overdoes it on the insulin, so much so that your blood sugar gets a bit low the next day, resulting in some of the familiar hangover symptoms of fatigue, shakiness, hunger and dizziness.
Prevention Is Key
Drinking Liquor With Crohn’s
Regardless of the specific cause of your alcohol-related dizziness, you can most likely prevent it in one way: by avoiding drinking alcohol to excess. Moderate drinking — that is, about two drinks per day for men, and about one drink for women — has been linked to a lower risk of developing heart disease. Drinking to the point that you’re dizzy, however, is a sign that you’ve had too much to drink; long-term overindulging is linked to many health risks, from liver disease to accidental death to fetal alcohol syndrome. If you are concerned about the amount you’re drinking or its effects on you or a loved one, ask a doctor for advice.
Did you pull an all-nighter because you were finishing a presentation? Or did your neighbor keep on shrieking into that microphone until 3 a.m.? Whatever it was, you couldn’t get enough sleep, and now you’re wondering how you’re going to make it out aliveВ for the rest of the day at the office. If it can’t be avoided, there are still ways to stay awake and alert in the office, at least for that day alone.
Just like going into a battlefield, in order for you to survive, you need a good strategy. Here are 10 ways you can amplify your energy and boost your brain power. Just follow these easy steps. (But of course, we don’t recommend that you do this all the time)
1. Stay Hydrated
One way to keep those eyes from shutting is to keep yourself hydrated. Meaning drink lots of water, ideally, 8 glasses throughout the day. Being dehydrated adds to your fatigue and makes you sleepy.
However, don’t drink energy drinks! They might get you a quick fix to stay awake, but as soon as the high (and the buzz) dies off, you’ll feel the crash and be more tired than you were in the first place.
2. Eat Well (And Don’t Binge On Sugar!)
While you might think stacking your system up with sugar will keep you awake the whole day, it doesn’t. It will only give you a momentary boost, but like energy drinks, as soon as it dies down, you will feel sluggish, more tired, and sleepy. It’s best to eat energy-boosting food like eggs, fish, leafy greens, beans and nuts.
3. Drink Coffee
Before you head out to work and whenВ you arrive in the office, drink your daily dose of steaming hot brew. Caffeine can help kick-start your energy, and boost your memory too! Don’t overload on it though because it might give you a headache, and if you drink to much, you’ll suffer from a caffeine crash.
Also, don’t drink coffee late in the afternoon if you’re planning on sleeping early that night. Caffeine stays in your body for about 5 hours, and if you’re body is still brimming with energy because of the caffeine by bedtime, you’re not going to get the restful sleep you need. There are many alternative to coffee which you can consume for the healthy energy boost but without the side effects of caffeine.
4. Turn up the AC
A warm stuffy environment will accelerate mental fatigue, so putting the air-conditioning on high will help you from shutting your eyes.
The reason why the cold helps us stay awake is that our body responds to it and is working to keep us warm. It will do everything in its might to regulate the body temperature so to keep our internal organs functioning.
6. Listen to music
Spotify playlist on set. Headphones plugged. Press play.
Listening to your favorite tunes helps stimulate your brain making you feel more alive. You can either hum, sing along, or maybe dance to the beat. Don’t worry if you’re out of tune вЂ” your officemates will understand. Well, maybe.
7. Get a little sunlight
Trick your body into believing it should be awake when it feels tired by soaking yourself in the sun. Not only that, the sun will help get your circulation going and help you feel more energized throughout the day. Go for a quick walk outside, get some air, and just savor the heat after being chilled inside the office.
8. Take a power nap
Big companies like Google, Procter & Gamble, and Huffington Post allow their employees to get a little shuteye while in the office (they even have sleeping pods!). This is because a 15-20 minute rest can actually increase your alertness by a mile!
Take a nap during your lunch break or sometime between 1 to 3 in the afternoon. You’ll feel fully alive afterwards.
9. Get moving
All you have to do here is get your body to move. You can walk around, do some wall push-ups, or perhaps a little bit of jumping jacks. You’d be surprised how many mini-workouts you can do at the office. The important thing is just to get your blood flowing, and give your brain some oxygen.
10. Sleep early
So you’ve made it through the day alive! You must be so proud. Now, the next step is to sleep early to make up for the lack of sleep you had the night before.
Bonus: take a warm shower an hour before dozing off. The rise in temperature and cooling off will quickly knock you out. Or if not, a hot shower just sounds like a good idea.
Contributed by-Dr. Pooja Chaudhary
Can I drink alcohol the night before a blood test?
This one question perplexes many minds. Though we all want to adhere to what our doctor advises us but when the question of alcohol arises, many want to escape regular health screening for the love of their drinks. This, in the long run, can have detrimental consequences.
Blood tests check the blood for abnormalities. These tests may seem very structured, but they are very easy to tilt. This mostly depends on the type of blood test a person is going to have. Most of the times a patient can eat and drink normally before the tests, whereas there are cases when you will be instructed not to eat or drink before the test. Alcohol is one of these restrictions.
Patients are advised to avoid alcohol intake a night before any medical test or procedure. Those who have recently already consumed alcohol prior to a blood test are advised to discuss the matter with their physician to determine if the test should be postponed.
Alcoholic beverages contain the psychoactive substance “ethanol,” which is known to temporarily improve mood, increase self-confidence, decrease anxiety, and promote socialization, so they must be avoided before any blood test as ethanol has the power to tilt blood test results.
HOW LONG DOES ALCOHOL STAY IN YOUR SYSTEM?
Alcohol has a noticeable effect on the body, even when consumed in small amounts. Our body continues to break down alcohol at a steady rate after drinking. Trace amounts of alcohol may remain in the blood several days also after its consumption. Alcohol is metabolized at a relatively predictable rate. Most of the people can expect blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) to drop at a rate of 0.015 per hour. This means that following last alcoholic drink of the night, the alcohol present in the body is being metabolized and eliminated at a rate of 0.015.
On an average to flush the impact of alcohol, the human body needs anything between 7 to 10 hours. This is totally dependent on the quantity of alcohol consumed. The thumb rule is the more you drink, the longer you should expect it to take for alcohol to clear from your body.
CAN ALCOHOL AFFECT BLOOD TEST?
Patients are advised to abstain from drinking alcohol before fasting blood test as it may affect the blood results, causing irregular enzyme levels. Blood tests specifically prohibiting alcohol consumption prior to the administration include the triglyceride test and the gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT) test. It will lead to an elevated level of LFT’s (Liver Function Tests).
Those who have recently consumed alcohol prior to a blood test are advised to discuss the matter with their physician to determine if the test should be postponed. Each blood test is independent, so it is important to ask the doctor if you should fast before the test or take any other precaution (many tests require a patient to avoid a certain type of foods even 5-7 days before a test is conducted). So, fasting may be important because what you eat and drink may change test results.
Blood tests also can help find potential problems at an initial stage, when treatments or lifestyle changes may work best. Hence, if your doctor has advised you not to consume alcohol before the test, then the instructions should not be ignored.
Remember, love your drink but love yourself more!
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Contributed by- Dr. Dhrity Vats Blood tests are the most common investigations recommended by doctors…
What and when a patient eats the night before can have an effect on their…
Contributed By- Dr. Snehal Singh Does your blood sugar go up and down rapidly? If…
ONE WHO CAN NOT AVOID DRINK FOR 1 DAY NEED NOT TO DO ANY HEALTH TEST. HE KNOWS HIS RESULTS
Thanks so much for sharing all of this health information and your through research. Glutamyl Transferase Test is used to evaluate the functioning of liver, bile duct and pancreas. It is widely used for the diagnosis of any kind of liver damage. Screening of this enzyme, along with some other (Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT), provides information about the status of liver function.
My daughter had a lot to drink on Sunday night and felt bad all last week. She went to an urgent care on Friday and had labs drawn. She received a call today that her AST was 175 norm (0-40) and ALT 531 (0-32). She does not normally drink to excess or frequently. She is 27 yo. Would the alcohol still be in her system enough after 5 day to result in such an elevated level? They are doing an US of the liver in the morning.
Sure, you might crash hard after a night of drinking-but you may also find yourself waking up bright and early (too bright, too early) come Sunday morning, even if your body needs sleep more than ever. So, what gives? First, let’s look at the effects of alcohol on the body and how it connects to your sleep.
How Drinking Messes with Your Body
“Alcohol introduces toxins into the body, which can cause short- and long-term damage,” explains John Mansour, pharmacist and founder of B4, a vitamin supplement designed to help combat hangovers. Your body responds by diluting the toxins, breaking them down, and trying to get them out of your body, stat. But if you’re drinking continuously over a longer period (we’ve all been there), your body can’t get rid of the toxins as quickly or efficiently.
Then, when you wake up at the crack of dawn, you’re probably dealing with a wicked hangover. “Side effects include dehydration, dry mouth, headache, light and sound sensitivity, upset stomach, lethargy, sleep deprivation, dizziness, muscle cramps, and general malaise,” he says. These symptoms surface because your body is using its stored supply of vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and other essentials, to help fight the toxins that have entered your body from drinking.
Severe dehydration and heavy alcohol consumption actually cause your brain to shrink temporarily (!!), which can pull on the nerves attached to your skull and result in a pounding headache, Mansour says. Plus, frequent urination expels sodium, potassium, and other elements and minerals needed for proper nerve, muscle, and general cell function, he adds.
So Why Do You Wake Up So Damn Early?
There are a few reasons you can’t sleep in as late as you’d like. For one, your sleep cycle gets messed up. “You have two types of sleep: non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM),” says Mansour. REM sleep is where you go into a lighter, dreaming state, and these short intervals are mixed in between deeper, NREM sleep, which restores the mind and body and repairs muscles. Your body goes through cycles of the two types during the night, and each time you go into REM sleep, the interval gets longer (the first can be just 10 minutes, the last can be almost an hour).
“When you drink, you actually fall asleep faster and go into deep sleep faster,” he says, so your initial bit of sleep might feel
. But disruptions to your sleep cycles (keep reading to understand why those happen) ruin the natural transition between REM and NREM, and as a result, you don’t get as much REM sleep. And, actually, studies show that disrupted sleep actually makes you feel worse in the AM versus just not getting enough sleep.
While your sober sleep may be disrupted by the occasional bathroom run, your drunk shut-eye has even more potential interruptions, thanks to your body’s attempts to process the alcohol while you’re asleep: For one, a chemical process called glutamine rebound can stimulate your body and wake you up, says Mansour.
What’s glutamine, you ask? It’s the most abundant amino acid in the body and plays a part in a variety of bodily functions, including intestinal health, immune function, and stress management. “After surgery, for example, glutamine is administered to improve the healing process by boosting immune function and reducing inflammation,” says Mansour.
“When you drink, your body stops producing glutamine but doesn’t stop using it. When the alcohol is cleared, your body realizes it’s lacking glutamine in a major way, and this causes your body to quickly produce and distribute glutamine through the body to make up for the imbalance,” he says. This glutamine rush has a stimulatory effect and can wake you up.
Then, there’s your bladder: “Your bladder is trying to remove your toxins from the system,” he says. So, even though you may be dehydrated, your body might wake you up for several bathroom runs during the night and early in the AM in an attempt to flush out all the yuck.
Interestingly enough, you could find yourself snoring or having respiratory problems, too, which can wake you up: “The sedative properties of ethanol cause the upper airway to relax, making it more likely a person will snore or even have sleep apnea. This can frequently disrupt sleep, particularly in the early morning hours,” explains Dr. Jeffrey Ellenbogen, M.D., a neurologist and sleep specialist.
Are All Alcohols Equal?
All types of drinking alcohol are fundamentally made from ethanol, and the body breaks that down the same way, regardless of whether it’s vodka, beer, or bourbon-so your plans to sleep late can be foiled no matter what your drink of choice.
That said, darker alcohols contain contaminants, or congeners, which are produced during the alcohol fermentation process that can contribute to the sucky aftereffects of drinking alcohol. Some congeners include methanol, acetone, and tannins. These congeners give alcohol a darker color, which is why clear alcohols tend to be purer, says Mansour. (Try these healthier alcohols to avoid horrible hangovers.)
“These contaminants give your body more to process while it is already under stress, so darker alcohols may worsen the aftereffects of drinking (including disrupting your sleep),” he says. Stick with lighter, clearer liquors if you’re having trouble (or particularly wicked hangovers) come morning.
Tips to Snooze (When You’re Not Sober)
The best way to have longer, more restful sleep after drinking is to prepare your body in advance. That means giving it the crucial vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, and other essentials to help combat the incoming toxins. “This gives the body what it will need to process and remove alcohol from the system, as well as what will be depleted during the process,” says Mansour. (He created his product, B4, with ingredient levels specifically formulated to help your body efficiently process alcohol out of your system.) “Because hydration is such an issue, we not only added the fluid your body needs, we also added a sodium-potassium blend based on rehydration salt, which helps the body keep more fluid versus flushing it out,” he explains.
You can also grab a sports drink or other electrolyte beverage (try: coconut water) to stock up on electrolytes to fight dehydration and provide the body with nutrients. Keep in mind it’s important to hydrate before, during, and after drinking alcohol, he says. Aim for a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage.
The goal is to prepare and protect your body in advance, so you can enjoy a few drinks and wake up feeling better in the morning and with longer sleep. And try to stop drinking about two or three hours before bed, so your body can get a head start on flushing out all that alcohol.
There is no other way to relax and unwind like hanging out with friends. Having a couple of drinks and letting your hair down for some time seems like a lot of fun. When the party is in full swing you need to be careful about how much you drink. The last thing you need at a party is alcohol breath. Here are a few tips on how not to smell like alcohol after drinking.
How to Not Smell Like Alcohol after Drinking
1. Eat Some Onion and Garlic
The strong aroma of onion and garlic can mask the odor of alcohol. If you eat a little bit of garlic or some red onion with your food, they can mask the smell of alcohol for some time. When you are out drinking with friends order some garlic flavored food along with your drinks. You can have some garlic bread or garlic fries. Or you can add some red onions to salads, steak or burgers. You can chew some raw onion or garlic but be careful as these have a very strong flavor and they give a very strong smell to your breath. For some people this strong flavor and smell is not acceptable.
2. Try Chewing Gum
A great way on how not to smell like alcohol after drinking is to chew some strong flavored chewing gum. This can act as a mouth freshener and chewing also increases salivation which helps to eliminate the smell of alcohol from your breath. Mint gums are very effective and popular. Sour flavored gums are also good as chewing them increases salivation more than sweet gums.
3. Do Brush Your Teeth
If you are really worried that your breath smells too bad, brush your teeth with strong flavored toothpaste. This will help to eliminate the odor of alcohol from your mouth. Do brush for a couple of minutes and rinse your mouth thoroughly to eliminate the smell of alcohol. It is also a good idea to floss your teeth at the same time because the food residue stuck between your teeth is soaked with alcohol and this can produce a foul smell even after brushing.
4. Use a Good Mouth Wash
If you are still concerned about the alcohol on your breath after brushing and flossing your teeth, rinse your mouth with a strong mouth wash. There are certain mouth washes available in the market, which are specifically designed to eliminate the bad odor of alcohol. Swish the mouth wash in your mouth and keep it in for about half a minute. Then rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.
5. Drink Plenty of Water
Alcohol can dehydrate you and this dehydration can make the smell of alcohol stronger. Drink plenty of water if you are on a night out to prevent getting dehydrated. Try to drink half glass of water after every drink. This way you will drink less alcohol and your body will stay hydrated.
6. Take a Shower
Another very effective way for how not to smell like alcohol after drinking is to take a shower. When you drink a lot of alcohol it can seep out from your pores and your body can smell like it. To get rid of this strong smell, take a shower. Wash yourself really well to remove the stink. Use some fresh smelling body wash to have a pleasant effect.
7. Grab a Cup of Coffee
Having a strong cup of coffee is also a great idea. It will wake you up and the strong smell of coffee will mask alcohol breath. Try to have black coffee for better results. If you will add milk or cream to it, the smell of coffee will not be strong enough to mask bad breath. Keep it in your mouth for a couple of seconds to get maximum effect. Don’t forget to brush your teeth afterwards.
8. Eat Some Spicy Food
Spicy foods are good to boost the metabolism. Which means your body will get rid of alcohol more effectively. Most of the spicy foods contain plenty of garlic and onions and these are also helpful to conceal the odor of alcohol. Though the smell of spicy food is pretty strong, it is better than the stink of alcohol.
9. Use a Good Perfume
After a wild night out, you can use some perfume in the morning to smell fresh. Many people over use perfumes and colognes while out drinking and since the sense of smell does get a bit dim after having a lot of alcohol, the smell of perfume can become too strong. However, do apply a little bit of perfume on your wrists, behind your ears, between your breasts and under your belly button in the morning. You won’t smell like alcohol by doing so.
Why Would Alcohol Make You Smell Bad?
Alcohol can make you smell bad in the following three ways:
- The smell of the drink: Alcohol has a very strong odor and when you drink it, the smell stays in your mouth. This can lead to foul smelling breath. The smell gets worse when it mixes with other food debris and saliva.
- Dehydration: Another reason for alcohol is dehydration. When the mouth gets dry the smell of alcohol gets stronger.
- Fermentation: Alcohol is made after fermentation and it has the ability to ferment food and other cells. Long term drinkers start to smell like the drink they have been consuming for ages.
How to Avoid It
Looking for ways on how not to smell like alcohol after drinking? Try the following:
- Do not mix different drinks: If you are at a party try to stick to one type of alcohol. Every drink has its distinctive odor but if you drink many types, the smell will get mixed up and your breath will be laden with a very strong odor.
- Stay away from aromatic or herb infused drinks: Some drinks are infused with various exotic herbs and spices. If you want to try these, make sure that you limit yourself to a reasonable amount and do not end up smelling like a pub.
- Drink moderately: Be careful and drink only as much as you can handle. Excessive drinking is not good for your health.
Going on a weekend getaway? Here’s how to prep for your next party-filled summer vacay!
Now that summer is in full effect and the days are quickly winding down, it seems as if everyone is trying to make the most of each weekend. Since we are evidently an alcohol-friendly society, a lot of what goes into making our weekend getaways memorable is a great deal of alcohol consumption. Since the first step is acceptance of our communal problem, the second is to deal with it! Also Read – Petrol Price Likely To Come Down By 30%, Liquor 17% Cheaper In Next 2 Days | Full Details Inside
The following steps will help you prepare mentally and physically for your summer vacations, including activities such as lounging in wet bars by the beach, bachelor/bachelorette parties, happy hours that will turn into weekend stumbles, etc. Also Read – Health And Fitness Mistakes Women Need to Stop Making
Your body requires a lot of rest to repair itself of the damage you do to it throughout the day. Since you will probably be staying out till the wee hours of the night you won’t be sleeping at a normal bed time. Alcohol consumption also interferes with your body’s ability to get REM sleep, so even when you do decide to pass out you won’t be getting an adequate amount of rest. Getting consistent rest for a few days before a weekend full of drinking will definitely help your body better prepare. Also Read – Positive News Today: Haryana Bus Conductor Offers Water to All Passengers, Internet Touched by Kind Gesture
This should go without saying, but a majority of people who experience hangovers Sunday morning fail to drink water after partying. If you’re prepping for a week long or a weekend vacation, make sure to drink lots of water in the days leading up to your departure. Then continue to drink more water while you’re on your trip! This will include drinking water before you go out for the night, while you’re out and definitely and most importantly before you head off to sleep (no matter how drunk you may be).
Before you go out, make sure you leave 2 water bottles by your bedside so when you return, distance will not be an issue. Alcohol dehydrates your body—it forces your body to work overtime to absorb and metabolize it. Dehydration is actually what contributes a great deal to hangovers. If you can continue to replenish your body of the water it is losing, you will be able to avoid the feeling of death in the morning! This will also allow you to enjoy your vacation thoroughly, instead of being the casualty that has to stay at the hotel after night one.
For those of you who avoid carbohydrates, you may want to take a detour in your weekly diet if you’re attempting to party hard on your vacation. Drinking on an empty stomach will get you drunk that much faster. While in the moment this may seem like a good idea, you’ll leave your body feeling the ramifications of this decision for days to come. In an attempt to shield your body from adverse effects, eating will help slow your body’s absorption of alcohol. Eating will also help metabolize the alcohol. You should be eating meals full of breads, meat, cheese, pasta, milk a few days ahead of time as well as the day of. These foods can be digested slowly and are extremely high in protein.
Moreover, if you continue to eat protein while you’re drinking it will slow down the rate which your body absorbs alcohol. So for a weekend of drinking make sure to glance over the bar menu and find anything with some chicken and steak. Trust me, your morning-self will thank you!
While you should be taking your vitamins and minerals according to your daily/weekly regiment, this is especially essential for the week before your trip as well as during your trip. Drinking heavily rids your body of essential nutrients that vitamins and minerals provide to your system. Therefore grab an extra few multivitamins for your trip to ensure your body is given the necessary tools to combat a few days of binge drinking.
5. Resist Mixing
Do not mix different types of alcohol. Switching back and forth between dark and light is extremely hard for your stomach to digest, not to mention your hangover the next morning will be a doozy. Pick your drink of choice and then stick with it for the rest of the night—and even the entire weekend, if possible.
6. Avoid Sugar
While rum and cokes may be your favorite drink, you really should avoid this combination. Drinks with high fructose corn syrup and energy drinks such as red bull are extremely hard for your body to process, just as difficult as alcohol itself. When going through hours of drinking as is the reality for vacation days, it is necessary to pick a mixer that will not be a contributing factor to a hangover. Attempt to use just ice or water, seltzer, or even fresh juice that has no additional sugar.
If you’re prepping your body to drink make sure you also make preparations to ensure your safety. Arrange for transportation that doesn’t require you to drink and drive. If you’re on vacation plan on using UBER, have your app ready. If that doesn’t work, make sure to have cab numbers ready to go or even briefly stare at google maps for a few mins to figure out how the city’s public transportation system works.
8. Leave Valuables at Home
If you can’t afford to lose it, do not wear/bring it out. This is especially true when on vacation. Leave passports at home! You do not want to end up in another country without your passport because you lost it when you were drunk. Alcohol is known to impair your judgment and short-term memory. Leave your credit cards at home, this will help you in many ways. Withdraw the amount of cash you expect to be using that night. This will not only prevent you from losing your credit cards but it will also help you stick to a budget because we’re all too familiar with our drunken alter ego’s that swear money is not an issue. Believe me, your bank account will think it’s an issue the next morning.
So if you are bringing your essentials, phone/cash/ID keep an extremely close eye on it. For the ladies, use a wristlet, cross body bag or a small wallet that will you on your body at all times so you don’t have to worry about leaving it somewhere
9. Plan Ahead
A night/nights of drinking may disrupt your capability to problem solve, focus and prevent you from undertaking complex tasks. It’s seen that five or more days of drinking can affect your brain and body for roughly about three days. Therefore, if you know you have a major presentation at work the day after your vacation, try to postpone that presentation or hand it off to someone else because you know you won’t be at your best after a week full of sun and margaritas. Or the more obvious choice would be to drink a lot less and prioritize work over Bahama-mama’s!
First things first…
Let’s make one thing absolutely clear at the outset – this calculator is not intended to help you work out how much you can drink on a night out before driving home.
If you are drinking any amount of alcohol on a night out – even one drink – you should leave the car at home and make alternative arrangements.
And the calculator won’t help you if you are arrested for drink driving.
What it will do is enable you to calculate roughly when it will be safe for you to drive the morning after drinking alcohol. And it can help you calculate when to stop drinking alcohol if you have to drive the following morning.
How the ‘Morning After Calculator’ works
The calculator allows one hour for each unit of alcohol, plus an additional hour for the first drink to allow for the alcohol to enter the bloodstream. It then rounds up the calculation to the nearest half hour.
The calculator bases its calculation from the time you stop, not when you start drinking. Some people say this is over-cautious, but we’d rather be safe than sorry.
The ‘hours before driving’ calculation is not based on any drink drive limit – it is the length of time when the alcohol in the drinks you’ve consumed is likely to have passed through your body. This is when we suggest you will be ‘safe to drive’.
How to use the calculator
Simply tot up the drinks you consumed the night before – or better still, use the calculator smartphone app to keep track of what you’re drinking while you’re out – and the calculator will store them and give you a rough calculation of when you will be safe to drive.
We’ve included a fair number of drinks, but if you can’t find the exact drink you consumed there may be something of similar alcoholic content (ABV).
Sorry, this browser can’t display the calculator.
I am a 23 year old female who enjoys a few glasses of wine but, in my opinion, doesn’t drink more than the average college student. A few weeks ago, I had quite a bit to drink and haven’t felt the same since. I am dizzy, forgetful, confused and my liver is very tender to the touch. I have continued to have a few glasses of wine a couple nights out of the week and it seems to be the only thing that gets me back to feeling “normal.” Is this a normal way to feel or should I be concerned?
Dear Social Drinker,
Alcohol is often a ubiquitous part of the social scene on college campuses, making it difficult to distinguish occasional or “social drinking” from higher-risk drinking. Even what seems to be a modest amount of alcohol or “average” level of drinking can lead to serious health problems, including alcohol addiction. It’s unclear how much you’ve been drinking, and each person’s alcohol tolerance is different. However, anytime you experience lasting pain or mental confusion, those are red flags that something is not right. Trust your instincts, and make an appointment with a health care provider or counselor to talk about your drinking habits.
The liver tenderness you mentioned can have a variety of causes including hepatitis, mononucleosis, cancer, fatty liver disease, and alcohol abuse. Just one alcohol binge or even moderate repeated drinking can lead to alcoholic hepatitis, a condition that causes the liver to become painfully enlarged. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of alcoholic hepatitis include:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain and tenderness
- Nausea and vomiting, sometimes with blood
- Paleness or yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
- Abdominal swelling due to fluid accumulation
- Mental confusion
- Dry mouth or unusual thirst
- Unexpected, rapid weight gain
These symptoms may worsen after a bout of heavy drinking, which may explain why you haven’t felt the same since your last bender. Although it can be difficult to stop drinking for a variety of reasons, the most effective treatment for alcoholic hepatitis is complete abstinence from alcohol. Without treatment, this condition will often progress to cirrhosis of the liver. Severe liver damage is irreversible, so it’s important to seek medical attention right away.
You mentioned that having a few glasses of wine seems to be the only way to ease your symptoms and help you feel “normal.” These are signs of alcohol dependence, or the body’s chemical addiction to alcohol. Physical dependence on alcohol develops gradually. Drinking alcohol affects several chemicals in the brain including: gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA, which limits impulsiveness; glutamate, which excites the nervous system; and dopamine, a pleasure chemical. Over time, heavy drinking can upset the balance of these chemicals. In turn, the body craves alcohol to restore good feelings or avoid negative ones. People with alcohol dependence may experience withdrawal symptoms like tremors, insomnia, nausea, and anxiety if they drink less than usual or stop drinking altogether.
For people who are addicted to alcohol or just enjoy drinking socially, it can be tough to drink less or stop completely. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if and how much you want to drink. Many people benefit from reflecting on the role of alcohol in her/his life either through self-exploration or through discussions with a neutral party (counselor, health care professional, spiritual advisor, family member, etc).
There are also a variety of resources off-campus. To start, you may want to read Alcohol withdrawal symptoms? in the Go Ask Alice! archives for more information about alcohol dependence and recovery and a list of helpful organizations for people struggling with alcohol use. Changing your drinking habits is not easy, but you’ve already taken the first step by writing. By reaching out a bit further to friends and health professionals, you can gather support to help you take control of your drinking and stay healthy. Good luck!
You knew binge drinking was bad for you. But you didn’t know it was this bad
You hit it hard last night, and you feel like a pile of dog crap this morning. Normally you’d take it easy tonight and have a few beers with your buddies, or at most, enjoy a night in front of the TV. But you’ve got a hard-partying brother in town, or you’re supposed to do a friend’s birthday bar crawl, or you’re on a bachelor party in Cancun. Either way, there’s no way you can avoid drinking again tonight.
We hate to break it to you, but consecutive nights of heavy drinking are bad news for your brain and body, experts warn.
“We did this study in mice where we compared the effects of 7 days of moderate drinking to 2 consecutive days of binge drinking,” says John P. Cullen, Ph.D., a research associate professor of clinical and translational research at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Cullen defines “moderate” drinking as the equivalent of two drinks, and binge drinking as seven. The mice in the study were consuming the same amount of alcohol over the course of a week, but they were placed into two groups: one group that drank for a few consecutive nights, and one group that took breaks in between binges.
Cullen’s team observed increased rates of atherosclerosis—or clogged arteries—in the binge-drinking mice, while the mice who drank moderately did not have as many clogged arteries.
Why This Matters For Your Weekend Plans
Cullen says it’s not exactly the alcohol that poses the problem when you drink a lot. The real problem seems to be acetaldehyde and the other byproducts your liver pumps out after breaking down the alcohol.
While your liver is able to process modest amounts of alcohol without allowing much acetaldehyde to escape into your bloodstream, heavy drinking overburdens it.
The specifics of just what causes a hangover remain surprisingly murky. (Cullen says mapping the results of heavy drinking in the human body is “very difficult.”) But acetaldehyde is a likely contributor.
“Acetaldehyde is very potent,” he says. “The first time we opened a bottle of it in the lab, it vaporized very quickly, and we all had hangovers from inhaling the fumes.”
How To Cure A Hangover:
When you drink heavily, excess acetaldehyde slips past your liver and travels via your blood to your brain, heart, and stomach, where it promotes inflammation and likely plays a role in your headache, nausea, racing heart, and other hangover symptoms (though you can always try working out to cure it).
“We’ve shown that pure alcohol prevents white blood cells from sticking to blood vessel walls, which is the starting point of atherosclerosis,” Cullen explains. “But acetaldehyde causes the white blood cells to stick.”
He says there seems to be a “fine balance” between how much alcohol you can swallow before the artery-clogging effects of acetaldehyde out-muscle the artery-slicking perks of pure alcohol. “It’s kind of a see-saw between the two, where low amounts of alcohol provide a benefit, but too much is harmful,” he says.
This is where multiple nights of heavy drinking come into play.
Not A Fair Fight
It takes a while—days, in some cases—for your system to clear away the acetaldehyde and other byproducts that accumulate after a big night of drinking.
When you get hammered a second night in a row, the effect is akin to punching a bewildered boxer who’s still on one knee and struggling to get back up after a KO. Your liver is trying to recover from the night before. Confronted with a lot more booze, the trickle of acetaldehyde and other harmful byproducts your liver releases can turn into a flood.
The immediate effect of that will be yet another, much worse hangover. Cullen says it’s tough to say just how much damage you could do after a single big weekend, but it’s possible to do real damage to your brain, liver, and heart.
Your judgment and ability to keep yourself out of trouble may also be severely impaired, says George F. Koob, Ph.D., director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
“Alcohol impairs cognitive functions such as planning, decision making, attention and memory,” Koob says. “A second day or night of heavy drinking could compound those problems and increase the chances of negative outcomes.” (Think blacking out and doing something you’ll really, REALLY regret.)
Both he and Cullen say there’s also evidence that, over the long term, consecutive nights of heavy drinking on a regular basis—like partying hard every Friday and Saturday night—could increase your risks for liver disease, heart disease, stroke, and other health issues. Going hard 2 days in a row every week is eventually going to catch up with you, he says.
“I don’t ever recommend binge drinking, let along doing it two nights in a row,” he says. “But if you do that once every blue moon, like for a bachelor party, you probably don’t have to beat yourself up about it.”
How long after drinking alcohol can we detect it with a breath alcohol tester?
How long after drinking alcohol can we detect it with a breath alcohol tester? It depends on how much the person had to drink, and how long ago they drank. Alcohol is eliminated at the constant rate of about .015% BAC per hour, which is about one drink an hour. If a person had only one drink, the maximum intoxication they might have would be about .02%. Within one hour, their alcohol level would be about zero.
On the other hand, if a person had an alcohol level of .20%, twice the legal limit for drunk driving in most states, it would take over 13 hours for their alcohol level to reach zero after they stopped drinking. Any breath test during this 13 hour period would detect the presence of alcohol. However, after approximately 13 hours, when the alcohol was totally eliminated from the body, an alcohol test would give a negative result of .000. A person who has no alcohol in their system is not intoxicated, and a breath alcohol test of that person will give a negative result.
Sometimes people have the mistaken impression that alcohol stays in the system for a long time, as marijuana does. In fact, in comparison to most drugs of abuse, alcohol is eliminated very quickly from the body.
CheckPoint crush and blow breath testing devices are easy to use and can detect intoxication levels at a variety of cut off levels (.02, .04 and .08). Avoid driving impaired and the legal consequences by taking this simple breath test before getting behind the wheel.
Since 1982, AlcoPro has supplied and manufactured the most accurate drug and alcohol testing instruments, kits, and supplies for professional use. We take pride in maintaining our industry-wide reputation for accuracy and quality as we help you—our top priority—perform alcohol and drug screenings and tests with greater precision and confidence.
On Assignment For HuffPost
There’s a lot of evidence that drinking before bed is doing you no favors in the sleep department. Most experts ― including the National Sleep Foundation ― put avoiding alcohol in the evening on the list of things to do to improve your slumber.
But as the temperatures start to fall and red wine season begins, is a little vino before bed really going to wreck our rest?
“Initially you might feel sleepy and fall asleep easily, but you end up awakening more often in the middle of the night and the alcohol has a disruptive effect on sleep,” Timothy Roehrs, director of research at the Sleep Disorders and Research Center of Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital, told The Huffington Post.
Cabernet lovers everywhere, take note: That doesn’t mean one nightcap will guarantee a night of tossing and turning. “Usually it takes more than one drink to have any disruptive effects on sleep,” Roehrs said.
Here’s everything you need to know about drinking before bed:
Why alcohol is so bad for your sleep
Alcohol knocks you out.
At first alcohol does make you drowsy, which should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever indulged in a glass of wine at the end of a long day.
Studies that compared brain activity in individuals after drinking with brain activity when the same people were sober show that our brains actually “turn off” quicker (and subsequently we fall asleep faster) after imbibing. The same sleep-inducing effect happens after drinking during the day, Roehrs said.
Unfortunately for our sleep, that’s not the end of the story.
As we move through our first cycle of sleep ― and sometimes the second cycle of sleep, depending on how many drinks we’ve had ― alcohol actually suppresses rapid eye movement sleep, Roehrs explained. REM is our lightest stage of sleep, when we dream and when a key part of the learning process happens that makes long-term memories “stick.”
You’ll be tired and irritable the next day.
Instead during those first cycles of sleep, we fall (and stay) in the deepest and most restorative stage of sleep: slow wave sleep.
This sounds good, but research suggests after drinking, the quality of that deep sleep isn’t quite the same caliber our bodies tend to hit on nights we don’t imbibe ― and this lack of quality is linked to daytime drowsiness, headaches and irritability the next day.
You’ll wake up in the middle of the night.
What’s more, as our bodies metabolize the alcohol (i.e., as blood alcohol concentration returns to 0), our sleep experiences a rebound effect, Roehrs said. During that second half of the night, our bodies ― in an effort to make up for what was lost earlier in the night ― spend more time in REM sleep.
“The effect of consolidating sleep in the first half of the night is offset by having more disrupted sleep in the second half of the night.”
The problem is REM sleep is when we are most likely to be awakened.
“The effect of consolidating sleep in the first half of the night is offset by having more disrupted sleep in the second half of the night,” Irshaad Ebrahim, medical director at The London Sleep Centre, previously said in a statement.
In a review of 153 studies that investigated the effect of alcohol on sleep, Ebrahim and his colleagues found alcohol consistently caused an increase in sleep disruption in the second half of a night’s sleep.
One study that tracked brain activity in individuals after a night of drinking showed that they woke up roughly twice as often as they did after a night spent without drinking alcohol.
How to get smart about drinking before bed
How much and whether or not alcohol affects sleep depends on your blood alcohol content when you go to bed, Roehrs explained. His research has shown that a BAC equivalent to about 0.04 is the threshold at which sleep starts to be disrupted.
Step 1: Stop after the second round.
For an average 150-pound man, it would take about two drinks to raise a BAC to this sleep-disrupting level. And it would probably take closer to a drink and a half for a woman of the same weight to reach the same BAC.
Alcohol affects women differently than men, because women have fewer of the gut enzymes that metabolize alcohol than men do. And pound-for-pound, women have less water in their bodies than men do. That means more of the alcohol women drink goes directly into the blood compared with how the same quantity of alcohol would affect men, because in a man more of the alcohol ends up in body water.
Step 2: End with a snack
Here’s one easy thing you can do to lessen the effect alcohol has on your BAC (and therefor your sleep): Eat something. Food delays how quickly you absorb alcohol, which can help lower your BAC.
Step 3: Consider happy hour
Timing matters. Adults typically metabolize alcohol at a rate that decreases BAC by about 0.01 to 0.02 per hour. And, in theory, if you drink earlier enough in the evening ― happy hour, anyone? ― your BAC has time to drop below the 0.04 threshold before bed.
That means if your BAC is 0.08, it could take as long as four hours once you stop drinking for it to return to 0.04 ― though this depends on things like gender and weight, too.
The bottom line: Alcohol will disrupt sleep, but drinking in moderate amounts and long enough before bedtime can still let you snooze easy.
One in five drive the morning after the night before, but you could still be over the limit
- 14:25, 22 Dec 2018
- Updated 15:17, 28 May 2020
A shocking 20 per cent of British motorists admit driving the morning after drinking heavily – when they are still intoxicated with alcohol.
But what is the legal limit and how long do you need to wait before getting behind the wheel?
Road safety charity Brake found that one in five motorists confessed to hitting the road first thing following a boozy bender just hours earlier.
Some believe that if they have been to sleep, that means they are all right to drive – but in fact, you could wake up still over the limit.
Drinkaware’s Chief Medical Adviser Dr Paul Wallace said: “The amount of alcohol in your bloodstream depends on three things; the amount you take in, over what period of time and the speed at which your body gets rid of it.”
Here’s what you need to know:
What is the legal drink driving limit?
In England and Wales the limit is 80mg of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath or 107mg per 100 millilitres of urine. This limit was imposed in 1966 when the Road Safety Bill was introduced. In 1967 the breathalyser was introduced as a way of testing a person’s blood alcohol level.
In Scotland the limit was reduced in 2014 too 50mg of alcohol in every 100 millilitres of blood. The breath alcohol equivalent was reduced to 22 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.
In most other European countries, the limit is less, usually 50 milligrammes per 100 millilitres of blood.
In America the nationwide limit is 80mg but the “driving under the influence” or DUI offence does not require someone to be over a specific blood alcohol level.
Australia has a a nationwide limit of 50mg for older drivers but a zero-tolerance policy for inexperienced drivers in most states.
Most European countries have a limit of 50mg, which is lowered to 20mg or 30mg for drivers who have held licences for under two years.
Some countries in Africa including Ethiopia and Malawi have no legal drink drive limit, but other nations have a zero tolerance approach.
How long you need to wait before driving after drinking the night before – based on rough estimates
– 8 pints of beer = 17 hours before driving from when you’ve stopped drinking
– One bottle of wine = 11 hours before driving from when you’ve stopped drinking
– Two mojitos, a margarita and a pina colada = 10 and a half hours before driving from when you’ve stopped drinking
– Three single gins and a Jagermeister = 6 and a half hours before driving from when you’ve stopped drinking
– 2 pints of lager and 2 ciders = 12 hours before driving from when you’ve stopped drinking.
N.B. The Morning After calculator is only a rough estimate of when it is safe to drive the morning after you have stopped drinking and will not help you if you are arrested.
The figures above are estimates and vary depending on the individual.
So how much can I drink and still be under the limit?
The amount of alcohol you can drink before you’re considered over the limit varies from person to person. It depends on:
- Your weight, age, sex and metabolism (the rate your body uses energy)
- The type and amount of alcohol you’re drinking
- Your stress levels
- What you’ve eaten
One alcohol unit is measured as 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol.
A typical pint contains around one to two units. A glass of wine can be between one and a half to three units, depending on the strength and the size of the glass.
Some people could be okay to drive after one or two drinks while some may find themselves over the limit after just one.
How quickly is alcohol removed from the body?
Alcohol is removed from the blood at the rate of about one unit an hour – but this varies from person to person.
According to the NHS, the speed at which your body processes alcohol can depend on your size, gender, age, the state of your liver, your metabolism, how much food you have eaten, the type and strength of the alcohol you’ve consumed and whether you’re taking medication.
Can you speed up the process?
No. Drinking lots of water, or eating a big breakfast might help ‘sober you up’, but it won’t actually quicken the speed at which alcohol leaves the body, according to Dr Wallace.
You just need to be patient and wait it out, or use a different method of travel.
What to do if you need to drive the next day
Drinkaware suggests the following:
- Opt for lower strength drinks – that’s 4% ABV or lower beer and 12% ABV or lower wine.
- Choose single measures instead of doubles.
- Make every other drink a soft drink.
- Stop drinking before the end of the night, so your body has time to process the alcohol before the morning.
What will happen if I’m caught drink driving?
Drink driving is a criminal offence and you can be fined, banned from driving or even face jail depending on the seriousness of the offence.
If you are found to be in charge of of a vehicle while above the legal limit or unfit through drink you could face up to three months’ imprisonment, up to a £2,500 fine and a possible driving ban. This means you don’t even have to be driving to face punishment you could just be sat in your car with, for example, your keys in the ignition.
If you are caught driving or attempting to drive while over the limit you could face six months’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine or a driving ban for at least one year (three years if convicted twice in 10 years).
You can’t escape justice by refusing to provide a breath specimen or blood or urine. If you refuse to do this it could lead to six months’ jail, an unlimited fine or a ban from driving for at least a year.
Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink could result in 14 years’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, a ban from driving for at least two years or an extended driving test before your licence is returned.
How do I report a suspected drink driver?
If you see someone who you suspect is over the limit or a danger on the road call 999 and report it after making a note of the vehicle’s registration number and a description (including colour and make) and a description of the drink driver and their name and address if you know it.
If you want to report a drink driver after the drink driving has taken place, you can call the police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Remember, someone can still be over the legal alcohol limit the day after drinking
How many units does a drink contain?
There is still confusion over this, but the NHS says there is roughly:
175ml glass of wine of average strength (12%) – 2.1 units
250ml glass of wine of average strength (12%) – 3 units
One pint of low-strength lager, beer or cider (3.6%) – 2 units
One pint of high-strength lager, beer or cider (5.2%) – 3 units
One single measure of spirits – 1 unit
You can check if you are over the limit with a Digital Breath Analyzer of your own at £12.99 from Amazon.
Due to the nature of working in the NHS, there may be periods of time where you are working night shifts. Whether your job is a Nurse, Porter or Admin, and whether you are a night owl or early riser you will benefit from these seven life hacks that will help you cope with night shifts.
NHS Professionals strongly believe in having a work-life balance for wellbeing, working for the NHS through the bank is a fantastic way to ensure that you can pick the hours and shifts that suit your lifestyle. Remember to look after yourself as well as you do your patients!
The key to not just surviving but thriving on the night shift is to get adequate rest. Sleeping well during the day is essential.
1. Take a 30 minute nap *
Before your shift begins and, if possible, try to get in a 10-20 minute nap during your break. Short periods of rest will help keep your energy high but be sure not to sleep too long or you’ll risk making yourself groggy.
2. Eat small portions throughout the shift
Instead of eating a giant meal right before your 12 hours on the ward, pack healthy snacks to eat throughout the night. Eating small snacks throughout your working “night” will help keep your energy up. Avoid fried, spicy or processed food as these are harder to digest and can leave you feeling lethargic. Instead, fill up on fruit, veg and slow release carbohydrates such as potatoes or pasta.
3. Limit your caffeine intake
Having a caffeinated drink before you begin your shift or earlier on into the night can give you a much-needed boost and help you to stay alert and awake. However, avoid drinking coffee, tea or fizzy drinks that contain caffeine later on in your shift, as they can make it difficult for you to fall asleep when you get home – thereby interrupting your sleep cycle.
4. Stay hydrated
Dehydration can leave you feeling fatigued because it affects the flow of oxygen to the brain and results in your heart having to work harder to then pump the oxygen around your body. This leaves you feeling more tired and a lot less alert. Drinking plenty of water throughout your shift will help you keep alert and energised.
5. Keep busy
While night shifts can typically be slower, Keeping your body moving will keep your blood flowing and mind awake. Try not clock-watch, as this can increase fatigue and make the night feel longer.
6. Talk with your co-workers
Who better to get you through your night shift than fellow night shifters? Not only will this help break up the shift and help keep you alert, but it’s also a great way to share your knowledge and tips for surviving a night shift. get tips for survival from night veterans and share some of your own too! Remember you’re all in this together and part of the NHS family!
7. Sleep well
In order to function properly after a night shift, you ideally need 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Try and set aside this time during the day to help with your recovery. Put your phone on silent, draw the curtains to make the room as dark and as quiet as possible to mimic night-time, and have a quick drink and snack before you hit the sack.
How long after drinking can I drive?
The answer is it depends on how much alcohol you have drank and the strength of the alcohol consumed.
According to the NHS, on average, it takes approximately 1 hour for a person’s body to break down 1 unit of alcohol.
1 unit of alcohol is equal to 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol (ethanol).
Calculating alcohol units
The number of units in an alcoholic drink can be calculated by multiplying the volume of the alcoholic drink (in ml) by the alcoholic strength by volume (ABV) and dividing the answer by 1000.
To work out the number of units in a standard can of fosters lager you would multiply the amount contained within the can (in this case 440ml) by the alcoholic strength by volume (in this case 4.0% ABV) and divide the result by 1000.
440 x 4 / 1000 = 1.76 units
- A 440ml can of fosters has 1.76 units of alcohol
- On average a person will break down 1 unit of alcohol per hour
This means the alcohol contained within a 440ml can of fosters will take about 1 hour and 46 minutes to be broken down and eliminated from a person’s body.
A lot longer than most people realise!!
Does everybody eliminate alcohol at the same rate?
Not everyone will break down and eliminate alcohol at the same rate!
The rate at which alcohol is absorbed then broken down and eliminated from an individuals body depends on several factors including:
- Whether they are male or female
- Their age
- Their weight
- Amount of food they have eaten
- Whether or not they have taken any medication
- The rate at which their bodies turn food into energy (their metabolism)
- Whether or not their liver is healthy
There are multiple factors that determine the exact rate an individuals body will break down and eliminate alcohol.
The best way to make sure you do not drive while exceeding the legal limit or while unfit to do so through alcohol is to make sure enough time has passed since you last had an alcoholic drink.
If in doubt. DO NOT DRIVE!!
Cold showers sober you up
FALSE . A cold shower may make you feel fresher and more alert but has no effect what so ever on how fast or slow your internal organs process and eliminate alcohol.
Drinking coffee will sober you up quicker
FALSE. Caffeine which can also be found in tea and energy drinks is a stimulant. It can make you feel more alert and helps combat tiredness but it does not help your body eliminate alcohol any quicker.
A big fry up in the morning will soak up the alcohol
FALSE. The only thing food does is possibly slow down the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into the body. It has no effect at all on the rate at which a body will break down and eliminate alcohol.
A cold shower, a mug of coffee and a big fry up the morning after the night before might make you feel a lot better but will have no effect what so ever on the amount of alcohol in your body or the rate at which your body breaks down and eliminates alcohol.
Caffeine Ruining Your Sleep? Jot These Tips Down
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You probably know that coffee helps to keep us awake, but do you know how it works?
The active ingredient in coffee is caffeine, and in high enough doses, caffeine changes our brain chemistry by blocking an important neuroreceptor that ordinarily signals to our bodies that we are tired and should start preparing for sleep. The chemical that causes that reaction is adenosine, and the receptors are known as adenosine receptors.
Most of the time, we’re grateful for coffee and for caffeine. In fact, many of us can’t start our days without it! We grab a cup of coffee before work, to help kickstart our day, or we down a cup in the early afternoon, when otherwise we might start to drowse off or lose focus. Coffee is a multi-billion dollar industry for a reason.
But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. What happens if you really need to sleep, but you’re still on a buzz from your last cup of Joe? Are you doomed to toss and turn all night, or can you actually get to sleep? One study put the half-life of caffeine at 5.7 hours, which means that any afternoon coffee you consume could still be impacting your brain chemistry well after sundown.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do to beat the caffeine buzz and get some rest. Here are our tips on how to sleep after coffee:
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
What’s the best way to sleep after drinking coffee? Don’t drink coffee – or at least not in the afternoon. Seriously though, adjusting when you last drink coffee can make it far easier to subvert the effects of caffeine in your system. Caffeine goes into the bloodstream 15 to 20 minutes after it is taken and only half of it is eliminated in six hours. Even if you had coffee just after lunch there would still be some caffeine in your system later that night, keeping you up. In addition, it’s also prudent to avoid consuming caffeine as soon as you wake up, caffeine works best when taken 1 to 2 hours after waking. When we first wake up, our bodies are already in a natural awakening state, they don’t need a supplement. You’re more likely to get more of the positive effects and less of the negative ones by having your coffee a bit later.
Try the Corpse Pose
This yoga position is a staple of the exercise for a reason. The corpse pose helps to completely relax your body and help it to produce serotonin, the neurotransmitter that aids with relaxation and sleep. To execute the pose lie still on your back and feel the weight of your body. Breathe deeply and slowly.
Experiment With Coffee Naps
Coffee? Naps? How does this make sense? Well, it’s scientifically proven.
These two things may seem diametrically opposed, but there are nuances to coffee naps that make it a viable option for anyone hoping to have their cake, or more fittingly their coffee, and eat it too.
Here’s how coffee naps work:
Drinking a cup of coffee followed by a 20-minute rest can give you an effective siesta that fuels your afternoon. When you drink caffeine, it passes to your small intestine and gets absorbed into your bloodstream. It then kickstarts your brain chemistry by blocking receptors normally filled by similar energy transferring molecules of adenosine which causes drowsiness.
The great thing about coffee naps is that sleep naturally clears adenosine from your brain. Thus allowing your body to “use” the caffeine effectively. It’s like a red carpet for coffee. So from the moment you drink your coffee to the moment you metabolize, it is about 20 minutes of pure opportunity to not only rest but to open up those adenosine receptors to the caffeine you just imbibed.
The true benefit here is that you get the most efficient usage of coffee while mitigating the longer-term effects.
Often the anxiety that comes about from laying in bed, staring at the clock and constantly counting how much sleep you can still possibly get that night only further exacerbates an already annoying situation. You have to gain control over your body and your mind, it’s hard at first but over time it will become easier. Here are some general sleep guidelines to follow:
- Avoid bright screens and lights an hour before bed. No scrolling through your ex-girlfriend’s cousin’s trip to Barcelona in 2014. Stop it.
- Keep your room dark, cool and quiet. Invest in proper curtains that keep the room dark, turn off any nightlights.
- If you must stay up then relax by reading a book or taking a shower before bed. Reading is often recognized as a great activity for restless sleepers. Fiction, in particular, can help your mind get into a dream-like state. In the shower, try using calming scents like lavender to get into a relaxed state.
The National Sleep Foundation also recommends some light physical activity that can induce sleep quickly. It’s called progressive muscle relaxation and it consists of slowly tensing and relaxing each muscle in your body.
“In one method of progressive muscle relaxation, you start by tensing and relaxing the muscles in your toes and progressively working your way up to your neck and head. You can also start with your head and neck and work down to your toes. Tense your muscles for about five seconds and then relax for 30 seconds, and repeat.”
Ideally, you’d want to avoid coffee in general but these along with some other tips should help you get the best of both worlds.
Products to Help You Sleep After Coffee
Weekender Ventilated Gel Memory Foam Pillow
If you haven’t upgraded to a gel pillow, you’re missing out. Not only is it hypoallergenic (no feathers), but the gel interior helps regulate the pillow’s temperature, keeping you cool while you sleep.
$29.99 at Amazon.com
The Gro Company Anywhere Blind
One of the big drawbacks to catching a coffee nap is the sunshine streaming through your window, but this portable blind solves that dilemma, attaching to the glass with suction cups and blocking out that distracting sunlight.
$56.26 at Amazon.com
DAVIDs TEA Caffeine-Free Loose Leaf Gift Set
If you’re having trouble weaning yourself off caffeine, this sample tea set from DAVIDs Tea can help. The ingredients are certified organic, and each tea is delicious enough that you might even forget about coffee entirely.
$26 at Amazon.com
Magovel Cotton Sleep Eye Mask
Another option to help you contend with the sunlight is the humble sleeping mask. This option from Magovel is both comfortable and effective, and will help you catch up on some rest even in the brightest of rooms.
$9.98 at Amazon.com
Does anyone remember the days when cocktails were routine office supplies? When lunch consisted of two and a half hours and three martinis?
Drinking in the office is a proud American tradition. Now that work culture is a must-have, many modern workplaces are working in a resurgent age of the “office bar.” In addition to free coffee, the fridge comes with free beer. But when (and how) is it acceptable to drink on the job?
A Brief History of Office Drinking Culture
Not to brag, but Americans kind of kill it at drinking on the job. In the early days of our nation’s founding, craftsmen were sometimes paid in brandy; cowboys and railroad workers frequented saloons. Sure, there was the Prohibition in the ‘20s and ‘30s to prevent day drinking, but cultural acceptance of drinking at work went on until the ‘60s.
If you’ve ever seen Mad Men , you know that the workers of Sterling Cooper (or some iteration of the agency that would change names a dozen more times) drank a lot . As an advertising agency in the drinking era, they practically defined three-martini lunches and were known for wining and dining clients during work.
Though Mad Men is fiction, the office-drinking culture portrayed was real—but it started to decline by 1970. And thanks to a more-than-generous cut in business meal and entertainment tax in 1987 and 1994 , drinking on the job dwindled into a cultural taboo.
In fact, a study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology found that Americans eventually held a “stupidity” bias against those who drank in a professional setting. They were viewed as less intelligent and less hireable than candidates who ordered soda (but those who ordered wine were considered more intelligent in the survey).
The Modern Age of Office Drinking
Our perceptions of office-drinking culture have shifted in the last few years. For many companies—often startups and agency-like firms—drinking on the job is now considered a perk. Bloomberg’s Businessweek reports that Yelp’s headquarters in San Francisco is equipped with “a keg refrigerator” that “supplies its employees with an endless supply of beer.” At the Arnold Worldwide Ad agency in Boston, look no further than the office’s beer vending machine , affectionately called “Arnie.”
Holding happy hour in the office brings after-hours activity into the professional space. It’s both a way to keep employees around longer hours while fostering internal connections. Research has even shown that workers who drink are more productive and can better explore unorthodox solutions .
What Ninjas Had to Say About Drinking at Work
Drinking at work definitely differs company to company, industry to industry, and person to person. Office Ninjas Ambassadors are a great indicator. When the general conversation of drinking at work came up, some were surprised that people drank on-site at all. Others saw it as a perk that’s come to be expected at the end of the day.
However, many Ninjas pointed out that drinking at work can be a liability. Since you’re the gatekeepers of the office in most cases, it’s part of the job to make sure everyone understands the team’s “drinking at work” policy. Some, like Emily B., choose to remind the office with a light-hearted rhyme about staying safe while drinking. Others have left it to employees to use common sense (AKA to not get wasted in the middle of the day).
That said, the actions of one person or one bad outcome can wreck the fun for the rest of the office, making a formal policy necessary. As Ninja Tasha A. said, office managers should work closely with HR departments to outline expectations, regulations, and consequences to keep everyone safe.
“These rules should be communicated during onboarding and put in employee handbooks,” said Tasha. “You may want to establish a cadence for conversations instead of waiting until they’re needed. We’ve grown from 15 to nearly 300 and have a full bar at the office, so I’ve seen a lot.”
Whether you choose to work drinking policies or informal rules into onboarding or leave the call up to your team, the decisions should reflect your company’s culture. However, having a formal policy backed by HR ensures you’re safe, not sorry.
How to Drink At Work (If You’re So Inclined)
- Follow logical rules and safety laws.
- Choose your drink of choice wisely. Most companies that bring in drinks opt for beer, but if your team is different, recall your limit before caps start popping.
- Know your limits. Remember that you’re still in a professional setting, even if it’s a casual one. No one likes a lush. If you’re a lightweight, stick to one small glass of something.
- It’s all about perception. You don’t want to seem too eager to down the drink (no matter how much you need to) because people can and will judge you. Pour less than you would at home or at the bar, and take your time. You’re trying to enjoy it with colleagues, not get hammered.
- One drink per hour. The liver can process one ounce of liquor (or one standard drink) in one hour; more than that, and your body’s system becomes saturated.
- Try not to judge others. Sometimes, people get a little too tipsy. People make mistakes, but if it’s a consistent problem, it may be your place as the resident Ninja to step in or at least alert the appropriate team lead.
What do you think about drinking at work? Are you for it or against? Do you have any best practices to add to the list? Sound off below.
- The Effects of Alcohol on a Marriage
- How to Deal With an Alcoholic Husband
- Chocolate Martini: How Many Calories?
- Do I Need to Break Up With My Boyfriend If He Drinks & I Don’t Like It?
- What to Do When Your Girlfriend Is Partying Too Much
Your husband drinks too much and you are worried about him. His drinking is not only harmful to his health, but negatively impacts your relationship. As drinking gets worse, it takes time away from a couple, creating an emotional distance that is tough to overcome, according to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. You want your husband to seek the help he needs and get your marriage back on track. Confronting him won’t be easy, but being prepared may boost your confidence and help the conversation flow smoothly.
The ideal time to talk to someone with an alcohol problem is soon after an alcohol-related incident, such as a big argument, according to This Emotional Life on PBS.org. Pick a time when your husband hasn’t been drinking. Choose a private location where you can talk uninterrupted, such as your home. Know what you want to say ahead of time. It might be beneficial to gather your thoughts, write them down and look over them as you talk. Tell your husband how you feel and that you are worried about him. Don’t make accusations, lecture or argue. Stay calm, focused and be nonjudgmental. Listen to what he has to say without interrupting.
Your husband may deny having an issue with alcohol. Denial is common among people who drink too much. It is a major obstacle to overcome before help is sought. The desire to drink is often so strong that people rationalize their drinking, even when it is clearly causing issues in their life, according to HelpGuide.org. Your husband may minimize the amount he drinks, make light of the consequences of his drinking or claim you are being dramatic. For example, he may say he only has a few drinks each night to unwind from the stress of his job and that doesn’t equate to a drinking problem. Be prepared to discuss specific alcohol-related incidents and the consequences of his behavior. If he is in denial, don’t give up on him. Let him know that you are there for him if he should decide he wants to seek treatment.
Don’t make excuses for your husband or cover for him. For example, don’t call his boss and tell him your husband is sick when he has a hangover. When you cover for him, he doesn’t suffer the consequences of his drinking and the behavior will continue. You can’t make him quit drinking or fix his problems for him. He has to do it himself. If he decides to seek treatment, be patient. Recovery takes time. If he continues to drink, boundaries need to be set. For example, you might skip social events where he will be drinking.
The rule of thumb that most people use is one hour per unit of alcohol, but this can be misleading and can give false assurances.
Breathalyzer tests use blood alcohol content (BAC) points to show how much alcohol you have in your body. Alcohol breakdown is different from individual to individual, depending on things like age, gender and metabolic rate, but on average alcohol is broken down at a rate of 20 to 30mg/dl per hour. The average rate of alcohol excretion is 0.015 BAC points per hour.
Breathalyzers work by measuring the concentration of alcohol when a person exhales, by using electrochemical fuel cell sensors, semiconductor oxide sensors or infrared spectrophotometers to calculate the percentage of blood alcohol content.
Breathalyzers are able to detect even the smallest amount of alcohol, but for the majority of people, the concern is not that they have taken alcohol, but that they are under the legal limit. In the States, a person’s BAC needs to be under 0.04 to pass the test, while 0.08 is considered to be drunk.
How many hours that must elapse before you will pass a breathalyzer is different for each person, again due to the determining factors already outlined, but as a rule of thumb, take the reading and divide it by the standard (you can get breathalyzer testing kits for your own use). So, if the test gave a BAC reading of 0.150, divide that number by the standard 0.015, which equals 10. That means that it will take 10 hours for the alcohol to get out of your system.
Because they are measuring breath, rather than blood alcohol levels directly, there are sometimes inaccurate readings because of a variety of reasons. The most accurate breathalyzers have been found to be the ones that use semiconductor oxide sensors. Of course, if there is any real doubt, blood tests can be taken.
By Sophie Aubrey
The best part about exercise is getting to the end.
You thought you might never get there, because you’d most definitely just stepped into an alternate universe where 45 minutes stretches to three days. But you made it, like the kick-arse – albeit sweaty and sore – human you know yourself to truly be.
Best stick to water. Credit: istock
Endorphins are pouring through you and, damn, you are feeling great. So great, that you need a reward. Of the boozy variety.
So you dash to the pub with your mates for a cold beer, maybe a G&T, or an Aperol spritz.
It tastes delightful. And yet, it seems utterly incongruous with the hard work you’ve just put in, if not just plain silly.
The human body treats alcohol as a toxin, and in the rush to be rid of it, muscle-building and fat-burning may be put on hold.
Professor Louise Burke
According to the Australian Institute of Sport’s chief of nutrition strategy, Professor Louise Burke, alcohol after exercise certainly won’t have a positive effect, aside from perhaps giving you some fluid.
The problem, she says, is that the human body treats alcohol as a toxin, and in the rush to be rid of it, muscle-building and fat-burning may be put on hold.
“Because our bodies consider alcohol to be a toxin, we need to process it as quickly as possible and so it will take over metabolism in that period and may interfere with other processes you might like to have happened post-exercise,” she says.
Those processes include protein synthesis, which is how your muscles recover and grow.
One 2014 study, published in PLOS One, found that consuming alcohol after a tough workout – even if with a protein shake – negatively impacted the body’s repair process and adaptation to training.
The other process that may be affected is burning fat.
“The change in metabolism that occurs when you have alcohol in your system means you’re temporarily storing fat rather than processing it,” Professor Burke says. “It tends to be stored around your abdomen.”
Also, alcohol is a diuretic, which means it can promote dehydration – not ideal when we should be replacing fluids following a sweat session.
Professor Burke says this is more of a concern if your favourite drink has higher concentrations of alcohol.
One study found that when people consumed drinks containing 4 per cent alcohol after exercise, their urination increased and rate of recovery lowered.
Professor Burke says the cognitive effects of alcohol are another concern, as getting sauced can, of course, lead to poor decisions. For example, she warns you might make bad food choices over properly refuelling.
“The thing with alcohol is it lowers our awareness of what’s going on and our ability to stick to a plan so sometimes we end up doing behaviour that’s counter to our goals because it distracted us from the better course of action.”
If you burn calories in the gym and then go to the pub, have three drinks (and) a burger . you’ve blown your calorie budget for the day.
Professor Burke says people with weight-loss goals should be particularly cautious.
“If you burn calories in the gym and then you go to the pub, have three drinks, then you get into the peanuts and have a burger on the way home, suddenly you’ve blown your calorie budget for the day.”
But she stresses that one beer after a jog isn’t going to send your health goals hurtling backwards. She is more concerned about excessive drinking.
Exercise physiologist Jace Kelly agrees. “If you’re going out after the gym to have two wines with friends over dinner on a Friday night, you’re probably not going to be too negatively impacted,” he says. “But a Friday night binge will certainly impact your body’s ability to recover.”
It’s usually recommended that people refuel within about 45 minutes of exercising, unless they had a pre-workout feed.
Mr Kelly says for most people, about an hour between finishing their workout and their first wine is a good minimum to aim for.
Mr Kelly advises people consider what state they are in prior to exercise (i.e. are they stressed, unfed, dehydrated) and how intense their workout is when deciding how much time to spend refuelling their bodies afterwards, before consuming alcohol.
After a high intensity session like F45 Training, he says “that’s definitely going to require a lot more attention to replenish energy stores and proteins”.
But if you do a 15-minute session on a spin bike? “You’re not going to need to refuel for an hour.”
For most people, about an hour between finishing their workout and their first wine is a good minimum to aim for.
Rather than setting a strict time rule, Professor Burke’s advice is to ensure you tick off whatever it is you need to get done before thinking about grog – that could be having a protein shake, rehydrating, stretching.
“That does two things for you: it looks after your priorities and it slows down the process where you will make a decision about having alcohol,” she says.
“If you’re sitting down and having a meal that’s well chosen, you’ll drink at a more reasonable pace.”
The ideal post-workout feed will depend on what activity you do. Professor Burke says many types of exercise, including circuit work or resistance training, will require a protein source to aid muscle recovery.
Others may also require carbohydrates – particularly if you’re running or swimming – to replace glycogen stores or water and electrolytes to replace fluids lost through sweat.
“In some cases you can get a better return for what you’ve put in by the way you treat the post-exercise period,” Professor Burke says.
Mr Kelly says people should also keep in mind wider problems alcohol is linked to including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, obesity and sleep disturbances.
Sleepless nights happen to the best of us. Maybe you tossed and turned all night long, were up working on an urgent deadline or had a bit too much fun celebrating last night and it ate into your shuteye. Whatever the case, the reality is that you still have to face the next day on little to no sleep and still function at an acceptable level.
“When you don’t get enough sleep, your brain doesn’t function at optimal speed,” says Leigh Winters, a neuroscientist and wellness expert. “Brain imaging research shows that sleep deprivation results in reduced blood flow to areas of the brain, like the prefrontal cortex [that’s] responsible for higher level thought processes like working memory. It’s also likely to make you more irritable and prone to mood swings.”
Getting through the day is bound to be a struggle. That said, it’s still possible to power through, and do it as productively as possible, until you’re finally able to crash into the sweet softness of your mattress.
Sit by a Window or Step Outside
“Nature is one of our most underutilized self-soothers both physiological and psychologically,” notes Winters. “Connecting with nature and being in fresh air can make you feel more awake. Also, getting some natural sunlight helps maintain circadian rhythms, which will help get your sleep schedule back on track.” She added that while blue-wavelength light — like that emitted by our phones and computers — can mimic natural light, actually being in nature can reduce your heart rate and stress levels and mentally invigorate you.
Get a Better Night’s Sleep With This iPhone Trick
Resist Sugar, Carbs and Processed Foods
Your tired body will crave an easily digestible and quick high, but with that high comes a gnarly crash, warned registered dietitian Maya Feller. “Skip the ultra-processed foods and beverages,” she advises. “They may sound good in the moment but will likely provide a rush of unsustained energy that may leave you more tired and hungry. It’s a cycle that your already tired body does not need.”
Prioritize Balanced Meals and Snacks
You should eat balanced meals every day, but doing so becomes doubly important on days when you’re completely wiped. “Create meals that supply all of the macronutrients from whole and minimally processed sources,” says Feller. “A great lunch would be a serving of fish — or really any protein of your choice — with a heaping side of greens topped with nuts and seeds.” An optimal afternoon snack, she adds, could be a slice of traditional dark pumpernickel bread topped with avocado and hummus. “The lunch is providing lean protein along with a boost of phytonutrients from the greens; the snack is providing a fiber-rich whole grain with plant-based fats and vitamins and minerals,” she explains.
Don’t Skip Meals
On that note: Don’t forget to eat altogether. It may slip your already groggy mind, so create an alert on your phone if you have to. “Skipping meals leads to glucose dips and increased moodiness,” notes Feller. Spare your officemate and family the extra dose of crankiness and carve out time to chow down.
Power Nap, If You Must
Sleep better 16 ways to get a better night’s sleep — without popping a pill
“A power nap can be of value when there is an occasional interruption from the normal schedule of sleep,” says Dr. Steven Olmos, who is board certified in sleep-related disorders. “The greatest pressure to sleep is 4 a.m. and 4 p.m., so if you are feeling an afternoon dip in energy, a quick nap can restore the body fatigue that is felt with the previous night’s interrupted sleep.” A power nap is simply 20 minutes of uninterrupted, comfortable sleep — no more, no less.
It may seem counterintuitive to hit the gym when you’re already low on energy, but all three experts say staying active can keep you alert. “Starting the day with your blood pumping is the best formula for energy for the day. Exercise increases your core metabolic rate and will sustain for hours after you stop exercising,” notes Dr. Olmos. Winters adds: “It can be a walk or dancing around — just make sure to move your body. It’s a bonus if you get your fitness on outside.”
Caffeine Is OK, but Don’t Overdo It
“Go easy on the caffeine,” Feller warns. “Yes, it will give you a boost, but for those that are sensitive to the side effects, having too much can lead to the decreased desire for food, the jitters and difficulty sleeping.” Coffee or tea should be your moderated caffeine of choice, she says, adding that you should stay far away from sugar-doused energy drinks because “the additives are more harmful than helpful.”
Press Pause on Big Projects or Decisions
The quote “Don’t push off what you can do today until tomorrow” does not apply when you’re sleep deprived. “If you pulled an all-nighter or have an enormous sleep debt, think twice about making any big decisions or engaging in high-level thought processes, like analyzing, evaluating and planning,” says Winters. “Sleep deprivation not only slows your cognitive speed but also decreases constructive thinking skills and logical reasoning.” So refine your to-do list, push off non-priority tasks until tomorrow and allow yourself an easier day.
READY TO GET MORE ZZZ’S? READ THESE AND REST BETTER
- 7 Ways to Actually Get to Bed An Hour Earlier Tonight
- Why Lack of Sleep Is Costing Us Billions of Dollars
- 8 Sleep Mistakes You Can Fix Tonight
- This Is How to Keep a Sleep Diary to Actually Improve Your Sleep
- “I Ditched the Screens In Bed, But That’s Not the Only Reason I Sleep Better’
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“First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald
I love Sophia Loren. There’s a picture of her in my home looking eternally youthful and refreshed. From what I’ve been told it’s due to her nine to ten hours of sleep each night.
When I look at this picture, I see someone who relishes in the delights of life. Food, laughter, sex, work, motherhood, and self-care. Not long ago I stared at that picture thinking, “How could I admire someone so much and live my life in such a different way from hers?”
Have you heard of the halo effect? It’s when you do the things you know are right for your body, mind, and spirit, and in doing so you begin to exude this powerfully beautiful and enticing energy others can’t get enough of. I now realize my relationship with the daily habit of alcohol was actually diminishing the glow of my halo. It was essentially stealing my joy, time, money, looks, well-being, and especially my slumber.
Who knew that for so long my beauty sleep was being hijacked by alcohol!
Puffy face, dark circles, dry mouth, red eyes, weight gain, and not to mention the headache, elevated heartbeat, anxiety… these are just a few of the lovely side effects I experienced with overindulging in the bottle.
In trying to reduce overwhelm I inadvertently was fueling it through interrupted sleep and the fuzzy feeling the following day.
Do I think alcohol is bad or that drinking is off limits? No.
I do know for myself that the daily two, sometimes three glasses of wine took a toll. It stole any type of focus and motivation the next day to follow through on all the things I said I would accomplish the night before basking in the embrace of my main squeeze Mr. P (Pinot Noir that is.)
My relationship with alcohol was stealing my ability to step into the life I claimed to desire.
I wanted to release weight.
I wanted to make more money.
I wanted to write my book.
Until I released the hold Mr. P had on me, I knew deep down I would never come close to achieving any of those dreams.
Every morning I wake up and ask myself three things:
- How do I want to feel today?
- What is one thing I can do to love myself today?
- What can I give to others today?
My answer to #2 was often…
“Drink more water.”
“Start weight training.”
“Let go of gluten.”
The truth was the one true voice within was quietly and patiently saying day after day, “Take a break from alcohol.”
I just wasn’t ready to listen.
A phone call eventually prompted an experiment in courage.
For ninety days I promised a friend I would join her on a alcohol reset. After I hung up that fateful Sunday, I went to the calendar to mark the ninetieth day. Immediately fear crept in with thoughts like “You’ve tried this before and it didn’t work” and “You won’t even make it through tonight.”
Fortunately, in that moment something other than myself took over. It was if I was whisked into something beyond my own comprehension, because the next 120 days flew by. In fact, after day twenty-one I stopped counting. I no longer was ticking off the calendar to when I could finally have a drink. Why? Probably because I knew in my heart the steady drip of wine each night was simply not serving me, my purpose, my body, or my pocketbook.
Why was this time different? Because I looked at it as something I “got” to do rather than “had” to do. I viewed it as a gift rather than a cleanse.
What is on the other side of a toxic relationship with alcohol? More than I could imagine. Every morning I wake up and think, “I am so lucky.” It’s as though I’ve captured more time in my day and each moment holds a sense of sacredness.
I’ve seen sunrises by candlelight, baked banana bread before bed, and gotten more done by 8am than I ever did after 5pm.
I’ve finished a Netflix show without falling asleep… and actually remembered what I watched.
I’ve released twenty pounds.
I wake up hydrated.
My skin seems to have reversed in time a la Benjamin Button.
The list goes on and on.
The other day my mother gave me a compliment that made me cry… in a good way.
She said, “You know, it’s like your skin, your hair… you look like you used to look when you were younger.”
For so long I was using wine to push down the unwanted feelings of anxiety and overwhelm. While I thought I was “taking the edge off,” I was actually making myself edgy!
These days, I plan my fun based on how I want to feel the next morning. What I’ve discovered is that taking a break from happy hour can literally transform not only the other twenty-four hours of your day, but your life as well.
When you have enough energy and vitality to embrace the day, you start to find little miracles everywhere in the forms of simple pleasures, a pleasant conversation with a friend, or a moment that might have sent you into a tailspin… but now you breathe through it with patience and grace.
People often ask me, “Do you ever have a glass of wine… ever?”
Probably every two weeks or so if I am being social (and socially distancing) with family or friends. Do I enjoy it? Yes and no. In fact, the few times I have had a glass or two it no longer held any energy for me. It’s now a “take it or leave it” kind of thing.
In fact, it’s as if moderation moves you toward abstinence.
Why? Because I am no longer willing to sacrifice how good I feel the next morning for alcohol.
I also revel in the reduction of anxiety! Why would I want to go back to something that was creating the exact experience that was causing me to emotionally suffer?
Yes, there are people who can drink daily and function fine, and there are those who can’t drink at all. And then there are people like me who know alcohol isn’t the kind of friend they want to hang out with every day but perhaps in very small doses every so often.
Drinking is marketed as sexy, elegant, and unifying.
Is slurring your words sexy? Is stumbling out of a restaurant elegant? Is not remembering the conversation you had with a friend unifying?
The reality for me was alcohol made me feel drained, grumpy, and even a wee bit nauseous. How you feel is creating your day and in essence your life. So, if you feel cluttered and haphazard waking up you are creating a cluttered and haphazard day.
I used to wake up and run to the kitchen. Waiting for me was the one thing that would be deciding if I need to beat myself up or pat myself on the back. Like the scale, the opened bottle of wine oftentimes determined if I was “good” or “bad” the previous day.
Only a one-fourth of the bottle left? Bad girl!
Three-quarters left? Good girl!
So much time, energy, and thinking put into the act of drinking!
In the end, bedtime is the best of all.
Four hours of alcohol-free sleep is WAY more rejuvenating than nine hours of alcohol-infused sleep. Waking up feeling your body buzzing (in a good way!) is the best high of all.
If your inner voice is asking for a break, maybe it’s time to listen.
About Meg Daly
Meg Daly is an ICF certified coach, blogger, creator of the “Tranquility Talk” podcast, the Live More Drink Less community, and The 30 Day Reset for people ready to experiment with reevaluating their relationship with alcohol. You can download her “Happy Hour Survival Guide” here.