Doing This One Thing Before Boozing Makes You a “Smarter Drinker,” New Survey Says

No hangover? Tell me more!

In college, hangovers were like donning a badge of honor. Waltzing into your 8 a.m. late with a headache and queasy stomach was weirdly celebrated.

But could you imagine walking into the office hungover now? You might as well pin a scarlet letter to your chest. Hence, the reason it’s all about drinking smarter, not harder, once you’re past your twenties. This is backed by data, too—being a more conscientious drinker isn’t just a trend, it’s science.

According to a new 2,000 person-survey by OnePoll and the brand Casa Azul Tequila Soda, 65% of alcohol consumers know exactly what and how much they can drink in a sitting in order to still feel okay the next day.

Even more interesting, 49% said they limit themselves to about two drinks per hour and nearly 50% avoid mixing different kinds of spirits in one outing. All of these key details and tendencies make up the “smart drinker” complex.

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woman drinking wine at bar with bartender

While helpful, we all know what goes down at happy hour. You and your friends get to chit-chatting about work and dating drama, and before you know it, you’re two, maybe three spicy margaritas deep.

If you know it could be a dicey evening, the best thing you can do before drinking to make you a smarter boozer is eat a meal beforehand. Fifty-three percent of smart drinkers recommend this as food not only helps your body absorb alcohol, but it can help you pace your drinking and curb your hangover, too.

Consuming beverages with a low ABV is another example of how smart drinkers are staying ahead of the hangover curve. In 2020, YPulse found that millennials tend to gravitate toward low-alcohol products over spirits. Among the 21 to 37-year-olds surveyed, 59% preferred wine while 54% favored craft beer. (FWIW, household beer brands like Bud Light and Heineken received more love than popular spirits like Tito’s and Jack Daniels.) If you’ve ever perused the liquor aisle, you’ll know that low ABV drinks also fall lower on the price scale.

It’s fun to let your hair down and party the night away. However, if you plan on making it to brunch the next day, just remember a smart drinker never mixes their liquor and always eats a solid meal beforehand. A snack in between bars might not be a bad idea as well!

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more