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Pregame Prep For Those Crazy Tailgates

Tailgate traditions run deep, and eating and drinking are core components of a great tailgate. Drinking responsibly should be at the forefront of our conscience.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most important aspects of tailgating is to drink responsibly. Often times you'll see people come to tailgates unprepared and just grab a beer or take a shot and the rest of the day becomes a blur. With a little preparation, you can ensure you have a great time and are able to sober up before it's time to drive home after the game.

Alcohol and food are synonymous with tailgating, and consuming them in the right order (and amount) goes a long way to determining how you feel, and how long you feel, the effects of the tailgate.

I won't go too far into the food science, but if you follow a few key points outlined below you're guaranteed to have a fun, enjoyable, and responsible experience while rooting for your favorite team.

  1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate - Consuming enough water every day is critical for several reasons but most importantly it helps regulate your body temperature and keeps your organs functioning properly. Being properly hydrated improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood. Pro Tip - Alternating a serving of water between alcoholic drinks is a great way to stay hydrated.
  2. Pick your poison - Choosing an alcoholic beverage that you know agrees with you will minimize the likelihood of getting sick or waking up with a hangover afterwards. You’ll also likely know your “limit” if you're familiar with the effect(s) that it gives you.
  3. Line your stomach to avoid a hangover - This list isn’t exhaustive, but its a good starting point. I encourage you to do additional research if you feel like you want more options.

Bananas - A quick and easy snack to have on hand to remain hydrated. They’re rich in potassium, comprised of nearly 75% water, and contain fiber which slows alcohol absorption.

Proteins - Protein rich foods digest over a longer period of time and slow how fast your blood alcohol level rises. For example, a portion of chicken that’s the size of the your palm is a sufficient serving. Thinking on terms of tailgate portions, a couple of X’s Perry Tenders are exactly what you’d want.

Tailgate food is important to balancing the fun and festivities

Dairy products - Milk, Yogurt, and Cheeses are a great way to coat your stomach and they stack well with tailgate staples like Burgers, Jalapeños, and Chips. The fats in Dairy products are integral to lowering the absorption of alcohol in the stomach. Something like a Cheeseburger with Jalapeños sautéed in Olive Oil would work well, or my Bacon Wrapped Jalapeños stuffed with Cream Cheese are ideal for situations like this.

Jalapeño Cheeseburger - Coating your stomach goes a long way to avoiding a hangover.

Vegetables - Vegetables high in water content are light but great to have on the stomach. Asparagus, for example, can be thrown on the grill with a little salt and a Citrus glaze. It’ll taste great and be good for you as Asparagus has been clinically reviewed for its ability to promote liver health.

Tailgate Responsibly

So without getting too heavy on the science, a few bites of the right foods can help you responsibly enjoy a tailgate and prevent, or reduce, the negative after effects of alcohol. When you factor in the heat from the air temperature you can see how one would quickly dehydrate while enjoying the company of friends and loved ones at a tailgate.

I hope these tips help you get the best bang for your buck whether at the stadium, the bar, or the house.

If you have any tips you’d like to share, let us know in the comments section.