Whether you head to a bar for a celebration or just to kick it with a few friends, the evening won't be enjoyable at all if you can't hold your liquor. Nothing wrong with being a lightweight; here are a few precautions to take to ward off vomiting and hangovers.
For most people, drinking too much, too fast is the kiss of death. Inexperienced drinkers often don't know how to drink at a steady pace without overdoing it. As a rule, limit yourself to one alcoholic drink per hour. If this leaves you feeling anxious without a drink in your hand, try alternating between alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks.
To make sure you're regulating your alcohol intake, avoid sweet mixers, which can mask the alcohol and make it hard to know how potent the drink is.
Drink Plenty of Water
Many of the problems that come from drinking—headaches, nausea, hangovers—stem from dehydration. Drink plenty of water on your night out to avoid this. Steer clear of soft drinks, as they can increase the rate at which your body absorbs alcohol. At the end of the night, drink a glass of water before going to bed.
Don't Drink on an Empty Stomach
Make sure you eat before or during your evening of drinking. A hearty meal beforehand slows the rate at which your system absorbs alcohol. Choose a meal that's high in carbohydrates, including rice, pasta or bread, as well as fatty foods like healthy oils or avocados.
Eating while out drinking is a good idea, but bar snacks might not be the best choice; salty food like nuts or chips increase thirst and may prompt you to drink more.
Be Aware of Other Problems
If you're drinking sensibly and still find yourself vomiting, there may be another reason. Alcohol irritates the stomach; if you're already having stomach issues to begin with, drinking may make you throw up more quickly. You could also have an allergy or intolerance to another ingredient in your drink of choice. Certain medications may interact poorly with alcohol and make you feel sick.
No matter the explanation, if you still vomit despite taking all the precautions, consult a health care professional. Drinking might not be for you.
Dr James Holloway has been writing about games, geek culture and whisky since 1995. A former editor of "Archaeological Review from Cambridge," he has also written for Fortean Times, Fantasy Flight Games and The Unspeakable Oath. A graduate of Cambridge University, Holloway runs the blog Gonzo History Gaming.