Life

Five ways your drinking habits change as you get older

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You may have noticed that the older you get, the more your relationship with alcohol starts to change. From your attitude towards drinking to your alcohol choices, you might start to make some smarter choices, but the consequences aren’t always better.

You become a lot pickier about the alcohol you drink

When you first start drinking, you think all alcohol tastes terrible. Despite this, it's one of the few times in your life where you’ll drink virtually anything. This starts off as pre-mixed drinks and bottles of cider, but you may switch to a fruity goon or a bottle of vodka to get more drinks for your buck. You don’t enjoy it, but you mix it with some lemonade and grenadine to hide the taste and push through in your quest towards getting drunk.

Sooner or later though, you realise that not all alcohol tastes terrible. You might find you actually start to enjoy a particular spirit or crave a wine or a beer after a long day. When you go to parties and someone offers you a mystery mix of goon and the cheapest knock-off spirit, you’ll no longer know how to handle this death drink.

Your idea of a fun night changes from clubbing to pubs and bars (or not going out at all)

For most of us, turning 18 is the exciting time we can finally go out clubbing with reckless abandon till the AM. The clubbing nights continue over the years, with the lure of student nights bringing you in with cheap entry and drinks.

While you might still like going out for the occasional drink and dance, the nights out clubbing become a lot less frequent in your 20s. When you have work to think about the next day, you’d happily trade the loud music for a pub night with a few drinks and catching up with mates. You’ll even opt for the occasional fancy night out at a cocktail bar, even though you’re only slightly less broke than your 18-year-old self. Better yet, instead of experiencing some serious FOMO, you'll actually long for the nights where you stay in, watching and eating trash.

You lose your ability to binge drink three nights in a row

And it’s probably a good thing when you lose this ability. Being able to back it up and continue drinking on a Saturday after a big Thursday and Friday night might seem like a challenge, but it’s still doable when you’re 18.

Even the idea of having three ragers in a row as you get older makes you feel exhausted. After one big Friday night, you’re ready to swear off alcohol for ever and have a healthy AF detox weekend.

You start to think about the next day’s hangover when considering what (and how much) to drink

The hangovers just keep getting worse. If you think they’re bad when you’re 18, just imagine them twice as bad – now imagine that  feeling becoming continually worse with every single year and you might be close to understanding the gradual decline of your body’s tolerance to alcohol.

When you’re younger, you’ll drink whatever you like and however much you like. If you’re lucky, you won’t get a hangover at all. As time goes on though, your liver’s ability to handle all that booze becomes harder and according to science, the hangovers do actually get worse. You’ll start to reconsider whether that extra drink on a night out is really a good idea for future you. But sometimes, you ignore all this and continue to drink as ambitiously as your 18-year-old self (with so many regrets the next day).

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