Drinking for the First Time? Remember These 10 Tips to Have a Good Experience

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You are one of many people who will be drinking for the first time this holiday season. When Christmas and New Year’s come around, the alcohol starts to flow. Drinking can be lots of fun in the right setting, but it can also be very dangerous if you’re uninformed. Remember these 10 tips to enjoy yourself and stay safe when drinking for the first time.

1. Don’t Drink on an Empty Stomach

First and foremost, you should never drink on an empty stomach. Drinking while hungry will get you drunk more quickly, but it also guarantees that you’ll throw up later on. You also won’t be able to pace yourself and might end up getting too drunk. There needs to be food in your stomach so the alcohol doesn’t hit you immediately. 

The best foods to eat before drinking are simple carbohydrates such as oatmeal and crackers. You could also have one of your favorite meals that your body is used to digesting. You want your stomach to be as comfortable as possible before drinking for the first time.

2. Plan Your Transportation in Advance

If you’re drinking somewhere away from home, you need to plan your transportation in advance. Don’t count on somebody to give you a ride home, and don’t even think about getting behind the wheel. Most drunk driving incidents involve 21 to 24-year olds who don’t have much experience with alcohol. 

Worst case scenario, you have to order an expensive Uber or spend the night at a friend’s house. All that matters is you have a safe place to sleep after a night of drinking. You’ll have a much better evening with the knowledge that your transportation is taken care of.

3. Start With a Mixed Drink

There’s an old saying among experienced drinkers — “liquor before beer, and you’re in the clear”. In other words, you should start with liquor first and switch to beer later in the evening. Liquor is lighter and has a higher alcohol content than beer. Have a few cocktails to lay a solid base, then move to the heavier beer drinks when you’re feeling a little tipsy.

Finding the right mixed drink can be tough when you’re drinking for the first time. We recommend you try a famous movie cocktail to make your first experience more exciting. Or you could ask a friend for recommendations. Chances are good that someone in the place knows how to make a few mixed drinks.

4. Track How You Feel

Getting drunk will be a new sensation, so you should carefully track how you feel as the evening progresses. There are five stages of intoxication you might experience during your first time:

  • Subliminal intoxication: after consuming your first drink, your body is already intoxicated. Your mind just hasn’t noticed yet. 
  • Euphoria: this stage is the ideal drinking experience. You start to feel light-headed (in a good way), your brain releases more dopamine and everything feels just right. You’re more confident and conversation feels easy.
  • Excitement: after four or five drinks, you start to become more excited and aggressive. Your speech begins to slur, your motor skills decline and your reaction time gets slower. You’re still self-aware, but you’re close to blacking out.
  • Confusion: now you’re in trouble. You have trouble standing and walking, your vision becomes blurry and you suffer short-term memory loss. You also have a higher pain threshold, so you could injure yourself and not realize it until the day after.
  • Stupor: if you’ve reached this stage, you’re basically unconscious and your friends need to take care of you. Avoid this stage at all costs.

The final two stages of intoxication are coma and death. These stages obviously aren’t ideal. When drinking for the first time, you should stop once you reach the “excitement” stage. You’ll thank yourself later.

5. Stay Hydrated

Alcoholic beverages might quench your thirst temporarily, but they make you dehydrated overtime. In most cases of alcohol poisoning, the victim didn’t drink enough water and the alcohol overwhelmed their body. Remember to drink a cup of water after every few drinks so you stay hydrated.

Having water between drinks will also reset your palette and help you experience the full flavor of each drink. If you keep pounding back the same beverage, you won’t even notice the flavor after a while. Drinking water solves that problem.

6. Pace Yourself

Pacing yourself is the other essential tip to avoiding alcohol poisoning. You can’t drink too much alcohol in a short timeframe. You need to take small sips so your body can keep up with the alcohol intake. Since you’re drinking for the first time, you’ll probably feel drunk after just a few beverages. Take your time with each one and be patient with the results.

7. Know When to Say “No”

Drinking might be fun, but you must be aware of your behavior and your surroundings. If you feel too drunk or don’t want to make a scene, just say “no” to the next drink someone offers you. Peer pressure can be a powerful motivator, but your safety is more important than having another drink and putting yourself in danger.

8. Don’t Take Any Shots

A “shot” is a small glass of liquor that you’re supposed to drink in one gulp as quickly as possible. Even experienced drinkers can have trouble with shots. They taste awful and will probably cause you to throw up. Plus, they’ll get you drunk way too fast. Steer clear of any small shot glasses and stick with cocktails or beers.

9. Stay Away from Other Stimulants

If you’re going to a party, there will probably be nicotine and marijuana nearby. It’s best to stay away from other stimulants when drinking for the first time. Just stick to alcohol and familiarize yourself with the feeling of being drunk. Smoking a cigarette — or anything else — while drunk will give you the spins and make you throw up in no time.

10. Eat Before Going to Bed

Just as you ate before you started drinking, you should also eat something before going to bed. This final step will prevent a nasty hangover by helping your body digest the rest of the alcohol. You might not feel 100% the morning after, but you’ll feel much better with food in your belly instead of having only alcohol in your system.

Enjoy Your First Time Drinking

The holiday season is the perfect time to drink alcohol for the first time. You’ll be surrounded by friends and family who will help you acquaint yourself with different beers and cocktails. This environment is ideal for first-time drinkers to broaden their horizons. Have fun with your first time drinking and remember to enjoy yourself responsibly!

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