Now that we are heading into a festive period, a lot of crates will be downed and wine and whisky bottles opened. Cocktails will be made and events attended. I cannot tell people not to drink. however, I can show you how to drink responsibly.

Let’s be honest, it is hard to live a healthy lifestyle when all you do is drink. However, it is still possible to drink moderately and still be healthy. In this post, I will take you on a journey to make you change/tweak your drinking habits for your health’s sake.

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There are people who go all out when they drink. We have all seen them dancing on counter tops, behaving inappropriately, sleeping at the back of the car or lying in ditches. They drink like there is no tomorrow and then start nursing crazy hangovers the next day, or worse, the next couple of days. There are people who drink moderately but still have a hard time getting by the next day. Some people in Kenya are in this bracket. However, there are those who drink responsibly through the night and wake up and get on with life like nothing happened. In case you fall in the first or second group, you really need to look at this post I did about How to keep Hangovers at Bay.

This post got a lot of feedback and views because most people found the information helpful. This prompted me to write more articles that talk about health. Prevention is better than cure. Would you rather cause irreparable harm to your body or prevent the harm from happening? Whether you agree/disagree with me, telling people not to drink is like telling people not to have sex. The best thing to teach is protection & better drinking habits. I cannot overemphasize on this without writing more articles about the issue. Here is what you need to do to be a Responsible drinker in Kenya. You can enjoy your drink while still being healthy.

You need to understand how alcohol works when it gets into your body. So Jade (*Random name) is downing drinks at a party. She is taking whiskey on the rocks and doing shots with her friends. The alcohol (ethanol) makes its way to Jade’s stomach where around 20-25% of it gets absorbed into her bloodstream at once. As she continues to show her friends that she can handle herself,  the alcohol goes to her small intestines where it is absorbed in the bloodstream. Once it’s in her bloodstream, the alcohol slowly heads toward to her liver for metabolism. Her liver continues taking it weekend after weekend, month after month. This is her life.

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Surprising Facts That Jade Doesn’t Know

1. Alcohol use can be a slippery slope. Moderate drinking can offer some health benefits. But heavy drinking can have serious consequences.

2. A standard liver breaks down alcohol at the rate of about one ounce every 90 minutes. An ounce is equal to one shot, a normal beer, a regular sized glass of wine. Jade is taking 5 shots in two hours.

3. Women metabolize alcohol slower than men.  Jade is doing shots with the boys. Lady, don’t try to keep up with the guys. Don’t.

4. If your liver is too overwhelmed, the alcohol remains in your body until your liver can metabolize it all. And Jade wonders why she woke up drunk.

5. Alcohol dehydrates you. Oh, that is why you keep peeing every 30 minutes when you are drinking? Jade doesn’t know that you pee more than you take in so your body dries out slowly. Scary huh?

Studies show that alcohol in moderation is a good antidepressant and it relaxes you. I cannot tell people not to take alcohol because I am no saint but know what works for you. You know your drink of choice. I did a little research from February 2016 to December 2016 and I was asking people why they drink what they drink. I found some responsible drinkers out there and people who know these things. But for Jade… Jade represents any person who cannot handle their drink. I’m not here to judge but I can offer the following solutions because they have worked for me & others.

Health: How To Be a More Responsible Drinker

1. Stay Hydrated.

2. Use Water as a Mixture.

3. Avoid shots and if you must, do one per 2 hrs and then hydrate.

4. If you are a lady, don’t try to keep up with the guys. If you are a guy, don’t force the ladies to keep up with you.

5. Take your time. There is no rush. Stop downing drinks like it’s a competition.

6. Remember, ‘The darker the drink, the worse the hangovers’. Hydrate.

7. Order Light cocktails. If a cocktail has more than one type of liquor beware. Most menus have cocktail ingredients so you can know what is in that fancy cocktail glass.

8. Don’t mix different types of liquors. Stick to Vodka, gin, whiskey, wine etc. In this scenario, having a variety/ mixing up will not do you good.

9. Don’t drink on an empty stomach.

10. Don’t drink if you don’t have to.

Most Importantly DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!!

Be safe.