At Year-End Gatherings, Keep the Water Flowing, as Well as Booze

  • By Lee Kum-sook

    December 10, 2019 11:07

    The year-end season brings a lot of gatherings that involve heavy drinking. To reduce the harm caused by consuming alcohol, drink plenty of water.

    Drinking water before downing alcoholic beverages can prevent excessive drinking by filling the stomach to some degree first. And some amount of food should be consumed as well before drinking.

    "Drinking on an empty stomach speeds up alcohol absorption, and this can more than double your blood alcohol level," said Prof. Park Yong-woo at Samsung Medical Center in Seoul. "You should start drinking only after you've filled your stomach with food and water."

    Also, be sure to drink water frequently while drinking alcohol.

    "I recommend drinking a glass of water between each round of drinks," Park said. "That will dilute the alcohol before it is absorbed."

    Drinking too much alcohol too quickly can make the blood alcohol level surge, damaging the cells and increasing health risks. Drinking water is important after drinking as well.

    "Fluids are essential for breaking down alcohol," said Prof. Jang Jae-young at Soonchunhyang University Hospital. "Alcohol suppresses the secretion of antidiuretic hormone, which makes the kidney reabsorb water, leaving the body dehydrated, so you should replenish fluids by drinking water." 

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