How To Actually Drink Responsibly

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Be honest: When was the last time you socialized with friends without a martini or cabernet in-hand? (Don’t worry—us, too.) Whether a boozy brunch or girls’ night out, it’s become almost routine to reach for the drink menu and order a glass of what everyone else is having. And while we may tell ourselves to stop at two, we often wake up the following morning with a parched throat and throbbing headache—and, welp, it’s only Wednesday. And don’t get us started on the health (and beauty) consequences. Fear not: We’re not suggesting you stay home or only order Shirley Temples. Instead, we’ve rounded up a few tips to help you embrace the identity of “responsible adult drinker.”

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Binge-drinking culture is rampant in the US, and the damaging effects of alcohol adversely impact women more than men (of course). If you're concerned for yourself or a loved one, learn more about alcoholism here.

Everyone knows a decent pre-game involves good company and even better liquor. Because you and your girls have already toasted, it's doubly important to determine just how much you plan to drink once you head out the door. Make a mental roster and stick to it—you can even keep track of how many drinks you've had using apps like this one.

Instead of making a beeline for the bartender, try waiting 15 minutes to order. Note your surroundings, listen to the person you're having a conversation with—remember the goal is social interaction, not just funneling drinks.

If we had a dollar for every time someone told us not to drink on an empty stomach, we'd be able to pay off all our debt. But it's true: Eating before you drink can slow the body's absorption of alcohol—even better if you follow each alcoholic beverage with a glass of water to prevent dehydration. An order of cheese fries and good ol' H2O may be all you need to prevent sending your ex that dreaded "You up?" text.

Soda water with lime and a dash of bitters is a great cocktail replacement. It's low on calories, looks like an alcoholic beverage and tastes decent. Find an easy order and pepper it in once you start feeling a little too tipsy. We guarantee you'll be grateful the next morning.

If all else fails, there's certainly strength in numbers. Plus, you'll be able to actually take that Saturday morning yoga class you all already paid for.