A Healthy 4th of July Celebration: Healthier Ways to Drink Alcohol
Gearing up for an Independence Day celebration? Whether you’re hosting a small outdoor social distancing BBQ, getting out of town for a camping trip with the family, or staying in for a 4th of July themed movie night (and cheering for Bill Pullman fighting those mean aliens), we have the tips to keep you healthy and happy while celebrating this summer holiday.
There are plenty of opportunities to overindulge during the summer months, especially on weekends that include a festive celebration. Alcohol is especially tempting as there seem to be more opportunities to have it around and available. Rather than drinking too many then having to recover from a hangover the next day, take a few of these steps ahead of time to make better choices. You will be grateful for the lack of a headache, and your entire body will thank you!
How to Drink Less Alcohol and Have a Healthy 4th of July
Stick to the lighter stuff.
Dark spirits or alcohols like whiskey, dark rum, and red wine are more likely to lead to a headache in the morning. Congeners are chemicals that end up in alcohol during the fermentation process and they show up in higher quantities in dark alcoholic beverages. Lighter alcohols, such as vodka, gin, or white wine, contain less congeners and in moderation can make processing throughout your body a little easier.
Alternate and hydrate.
Usually the ache in our heads the morning after drinking too much is due to dehydration. When the weather is warm and we’re already sweating it is that much easier to lose water and potentially get a hangover. Every time you finish an alcoholic drink, make it a point to drink 8oz of water before having another. Not only will this help slow down your intake, but it will ensure you’re putting any water you lost right back into your body again. Pro tip: fill your empty beer bottle or wine glass with water after each drink and you won’t feel like you’re missing out!
Mix with water or seltzer.
Include water in your alcoholic drink and you’ll be two steps ahead of the game. Mix vodka or gin with chilled water and garnish with fresh herbs or use frozen berries as fruity ice cubes. Use soda water with wine to make a white wine spritzer! Since alcohol converts to sugar in the body, don’t add any more sugar to your beverages by using tonic water or regular soda as a mixer. You’ll only consume more calories from sugar throughout the day and potentially end up feeling worse tomorrow. Does seltzer or plain water simply not have enough flavor? Add a packet of naturally sugar-free True Lemon for a fresh-squeezed taste, or gently naturally sweetened True Lemon Strawberry Lemonade to your drink.
Snack on water.
When vegetables have a good crunch it means they’re nice and fresh. That crunch also means they are full of water! Hydration is an easy way to counteract the negative effects of alcohol, so throughout the day munch on water-heavy vegetables and fruits (such as cucumber, melon, tomatoes, strawberries, peaches, and lettuce greens). Consuming plenty of juicy and crunchy plants throughout the day will ensure you’re eating your water as well as drinking it.
Substitute with delicious mocktails.
The best way to avoid a hangover completely? Don’t drink alcohol! Create mocktails with any of our deliciously satisfying True Citrus drink packets simply by adding them to seltzer or water. Be sure to drink your mocktail out of a fancy glass as well. It will make you feel like you’re having the real thing without missing out! Try this True Grapefruit-Berry Cocktail recipe and just leave out the vodka.
Independence Day celebrations can be enjoyed with or without alcohol, but either way you can start your weekend right with healthy choices. This is a wonderful time to reconnect with friends and loved ones while toasting to the summer season![Credit: Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D. “Hangover prevention: Do lighter colored drinks help?” Mayo Clinic.]