Day drinking on Independence Day is always risky. Everyone is in the mood to celebrate with friends and family and blow off a little steam as we pay homage to our country, remember how blessed we are and honor those who have fought for our freedom.
With this remembrance, however, comes a full day of sunshine, outdoor activities and day drinking (all things our forefathers would approve of). As always, the cherry on top of a fun day with our loved ones are the various fireworks that take place across the country.
Whether you're gathering together at an outdoor venue or shooting them off in your own backyard, it's a beloved pastime for many as we watch the fireworks light up the night sky. However, there's only one thing between you and the fireworks: eight straight hours of alcohol consumption.
Though it may seem like only rookies would drink too much before the fireworks extravaganza, it's easy to forget how harsh day drinking can be on our bodies. It's imperative we come mentally and physically prepared so we can actually make it to the festivities, rather than having to see it all on Instagram the next morning.
So, here are five ways to get through hours of day drinking and still see stay up for the fireworks:
1. Don't show up with a hangover.
The biggest mistake you can make when you partake in day drinking is entering the situation with a hangover from the night before. Not only will it set the tone for your day as you continue to feel groggy and sluggish, but your stamina for a day of libations will also already be halfway depleted.
If your goal is to make it to the fireworks at least somewhat coherent, you'll need to take it easy the night before and get plenty of sleep so you can wake up feeling refreshed. Sure, you can indulge in a few beers with friends, but if your plan is to crack open a brew by noon the next afternoon and continue doing so for eight straight hours, staying in the night before will make it much easier. Allow yourself to wake up refreshed and with a clear head.
2. Eat a lot.
Skipping any type of meal before drinking, regardless of the time, is strictly for amateurs. Lucky for you, the BBQs will be in full swing this holiday, and there will be no shortage of delicious foods to pick and choose from as you rejoice Independence Day with your loved ones.
Unless you have a stomach made of steel, it's imperative that you eat as often as possible during any phase of drinking, especially if you're going to be indulging in libations for an extended period of time. Hearty, filling foods will help you stay level as you continue forth with your antics.
While it may not prevent a hangover, it will help lessen the morning-after side effects. Burgers, pizza, French fries and any other greasy companion will serve to soften the spins and keep your stomach and endurance in check. Also, it'll give you energy and stamina to make it to the fireworks with a smile on your face, rather than leave you passed out over the porcelain in the bathroom.
3. Pace yourself.
Independence Day shenanigans most often are an all-day event. From noon until about 11 pm (or post-fireworks), it's inevitable you and your friends will be passing the day with alcohol-induced fun. If you must begin at noon, make sure you take into account the fact you'll really need to pace yourself.
Not only is being the first to pass out a party foul, but you'll also have no one to blame but yourself when you wake up Tuesday morning with a migraine and a queasy stomach. Stick to light beverages you know won't make you go from zero to hammered, and will give you a tame buzz throughout the day as you spend time with your friends and family.
You have the entire day to spend time together, and blowing it all within the first few hours does not make for a very memorable Fourth of July.
4. H20 is your bestie.
Water will be your lifeline throughout your entire day of day drinking festivities. It's July, so it's bound to be warm, and filling your body with alcohol at a rapid rate will serve to be detrimental as you continue to get massively dehydrated by the hour.
If you have any hope of making it until 9 pm and “oohing” and “aahing” with friends at the illuminations in the night sky, you'll need to switch out your alcohol for water as often as you can, even if you don't think you're thirsty. Whether that means you alternate every couple of drinks with a bottle of water, or you just switch altogether to water once dinnertime arrives, it will be extremely beneficial for your body, especially if you've spent all day out in the sun.
Keep in mind this doesn't mean you can't hang if you're drinking Poland Spring while your friends drink PBR. But, it does mean you'll be feeling a lot more chipper than they will by the time the fireworks are on display.
5. Hard liquor is your enemy.
Though it may be tempting to have one shot of tequila mixed into your day drinking, it's important to leave the hard liquor in the cupboard where it belongs, especially if you plan on drinking all day. Not only will it dehydrate you at a rapid rate, but it will also fast-track you toward passing out at 3 pm, missing the fireworks and becoming the butt of every joke for the 364 days following the holiday.
Furthermore, if you're skipping the hard stuff, there's a chance you won't drink your alcohol as fast, allowing you to pace yourself throughout the day. A glass of wine is a lot easier to down than a shot of whiskey, and it will possibly lead to better choices as you get closer and closer to the fireworks.
Though shots of liquor may be tempting, like Pringles, it's hard to just have one, and more of them will usually lead to blacking out entirely and having to relive your night through social media the next morning.
It's always enjoyable to spend time with our family and friends and celebrate our nation's holiday. With the remembrance, love and feeling of gratefulness also comes the indulgence of an adult beverage (or six) while the sun is still up.
Though it can be fun to day drink, it's almost inevitable that if you do not pace yourself and stay hydrated, everything around you will come crashing down around 7 pm, while you're getting ready to head to your fireworks destination. Taking it easy on the beverages and listening to your body seems to be the best route as we celebrate the holiday. Make sure to do everything in moderation.
Also, keep in mind that the day after the Fourth, you have to go back to work. A hangover in your cubicle as the alcohol from the previous night seeps through your pores is never a good look, especially if you happen to run into your boss. Happy Independence Day, and happy day drinking.