Ah, back to campus. The excitement of learning, the crunch of fall leaves, the puddles of puke outside the kegger....
Let's face it, some celebrants of the new academic year are going to make total asses of themselves. So the thing is, if you're going to drink away some of your OSAP money, at least do it with dignity.
To party and booze it up successfully, you need strategy and respect for the effects, both short-term and long-, of imbibed substances.
How are you going to knock it back in a healthy way? And what's your plan for the dreaded morning after?
What the experts say
"Wine, beer and straight liquor are the best choices. Stay away from coolers and alcohol mixed with pop or juice, which add extra empty calories. Drinks made with tomato juice, like Bloody Marys and Bloody Caesars, are high in sodium. Frozen drinks like daiquiris and margaritas are often made with flavour mixes that include a ton of refined sugar, artificial colours and preservatives. If you plan to drink several glasses of alcohol in one evening, try alternating an alcoholic beverage with a glass of water to prevent dehydration."
AVIVA ALLEN, nutritionist, Toronto
"There's no magic bullet for hangovers, but replenishing lost fluids and electrolytes and taking easy-to-use energy (glucose), along with aspirin, works well. Sports drinks or water with toast and honey or jam can help, as well as drinking water or Gatorade before going to sleep. Drinking alcohol to relieve a hangover will make things much worse later. If you drink often, avoid painkillers that contain acetaminophen. There is evidence that at high doses with alcohol it can cause liver damage. Alka-Seltzer has been used for decades to neutralize an over-acidic stomach. Eating greasy foods doesn't work the way people think. However, eating food, greasy or not, does slow the absorption of alcohol."
JOHN BRICK, alcohol research scientist, author of The Doctor's Hangover Handbook: The Intelligent Person's Guide To Curious And Scientific Facts About Alcohol And Hangovers, Yardley, Pennsylvania
"A whisky shot has the same antioxidant effect as the recommended daily dose of vitamin C. Gallic acid [which has anti-viral and anti-fungal properties] occurs in wood. Some gets into whiskies that are aged in oak barrels. Scotch, since it is aged in toasted barrels, will probably have more. But the main antioxidants in whisky and brandy are the copper, manganese and iron ions, which can change their charge. We need all the antioxidants we can get, so by all means drink good whisky and brandy in moderation. ‘Good' means a well-known and respected brand. We recently looked for some metals in gin and found none. I suspect the same is true of vodka."
GORDON TROUP, physicist, Monash University, Victoria, Australia
"Young people should not drink for their health, but for the social effects: feeling better, relating better to people. The diseases that alcohol prevents or reduces the risk of are those that affect older people: heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, diabetes. These aren't what we worry about in 20-year-olds. If you are older, the most important thing is not whether you drink beer or a glass of wine, but that you do it in moderation, a drink or two, and do it every day as a pattern and only when you eat. You get good cholesterol from whisky, and wine has 500 other ingredients other than alcohol, all of them very helpful. But again, any protection young people get is probably minimal."
CURTIS ELLISON, professor of medicine and public health, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston