How to Hit Happy Hour and Still Wake Up Refreshed
Weeknight happy hours can be a great way to let off steam, bond with your coworkers, or take out the ladies, but it’s also easy to overstay or over drink and wake up feeling less than enthused about the workday. Here are some things to keep in mind that will allow you to have a great time at happy hour but emerge unscathed.
Drinking excessively will throw your work day off no matter what, but having just a couple drinks won’t…unless you miss out on sleep. A recent Rand Europe Report found that for men having 3 to 4 drinks in the evening had little to no affect on their productivity the next day, but that getting less than 6 hours of sleep did. In fact not getting enough sleep was one of the biggest factors that affected workplace productivity, even over things like general stress.
Eating your dinner at happy hour can help you out in a couple ways. For one thing, eating while you drink can cut down some of intensity of the alcohol and help slow down how quickly it enters your blood stream. Just keep in mind that it’s best to avoid spicy foods, cheesy foods, and processed white flour foods while you’re drinking due to potential acid reflux issues. Also be mindful of the salty foods, which can make you guzzle more booze than you intended. For another thing, you want to avoid eating too late which can lesson your sleep quality since your digestive system doesn’t get the downtime it would prefer.
When you’re enjoying those drinks, try to keep the sugar content to a minimum. Sugary drinks will spike your blood sugar and can actually make it harder for you to fall asleep later. Getting too much sugar in an evening can even cause symptoms that mimic a hangover the next day, such as a foggy brain, headache, and fatigue. Skip the fruity cocktail for something with a lower alcohol content like dry wine, and stick with clear liquors over darker colored ones. Darker liquors contain more congeners from the alcohol making process, and those are toxic chemicals that can make you feel pretty terrible as your body does it’s best to get rid of them.
It’s a lot of liquid to consume when you’re enjoying a few beers, but you absolutely need to drink water as well if you’re planning on waking up feeling refreshed the next day. Alcohol is a diuretic so you’re going to keep peeing out fluids even if you aren’t replenishing them with new and clean ones. Therefor you need to drink more water while you drink than normal to avoid dehydration. Dehydration the morning after drinking can be part of the issue that contributes to headaches, fatigue, dry mouth, etc. A good rule to follow is to alternate each alcoholic drink with a glass of water. If you can’t manage that, be sure and down plenty of water before you hit the hay.
About Kate Ferguson Kate Fergus is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blogs and online magazines. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce.