Breathing is... important. Not only that, for some people, on some occasions, having a drink or two is pretty important too. That's why it's essential to master the art of being able to both breath and drink alcohol at the same time.
Simple enough for most, but for some of us it's not as easy as it might seem. To those of you nodding your heads, don't worry because there is something you can do about it. In fact, there are many ways to drink alcohol without experiencing any difficulty breathing at all.
Before we get started, it is important to point out that breathing is a key requirement for you to keep living. If you drink something and it makes it harder for you to beath, then it might be your body telling you not to drink it.
This is certainly the case for sufferers of an alcohol allergy. If a few drops of alcohol cause you to experience symptoms of allergy like hives, itching, and difficulty breathing, then it's probably safe to say that you should ignore this article and simply opt for the virgin mojito.
That said, those of you who are intolerant to alcohol, such as those with Asian flush or alcohol flush reaction, will know that it takes slightly more than a few drops to cause your symptoms to begin. For you guys, here are some reliable tricks to breath easier when enjoying your next alcoholic beverage.
1. Avoid alcohol with high tannins
Not all alcohol is the same when it comes to how severely it can provoke breathing difficulties. In particular, alcohol with high levels of tannins can be a big culprit in exacerbating Asian flush and making it harder to breathe.
The term tannin (derived from the word tanna, an old German word for oak tree, as in Tannenbaum) refers to the use of wood tannins from oak for the purposes of tanning animal hides into leather, hence the word 'tanning' for the treatment of leather.
When alcohol is brewed in oak barrels, over time it picks up these tannins which affect its taste, aroma, and color. Red wine, beer, and whiskey are examples of some types of alcohol that contain large amounts of tannins because of their brewing methods.
As you can see, being selective with the kind of alcohol you consume can be an easy and effective way to breath easier when enjoying your next drink.
For example, cocktails or mixers made with vodka or gin make great low tannin choices. Also, choosing white wine over red can reduce your tannin intake and make all the difference when you're on your next dinner date.
2. Eat light before drinking alcohol
Eating smaller meals more often throughout the day can help you reduce the severity of breathing difficulty when consuming alcohol. Bigger meals can cause your stomach to bloat and put pressure against your lungs. This makes it even harder to breath when the lungs are already having a hard time with the toxins from alcohol.
Watching the number of carbohydrates you eat may also help you save energy, which plays a large role in how the lungs and respiratory passages respond to toxins that enter the body.
When muscles are in better shape, they use oxygen more efficiently, and that's great to ensure your lungs can respond to the toxic stresses caused by alcohol consumption.
Walking outside or pedaling on an exercise bike at home or at the gym are two great activities to start. Working out with light hand weights and regular stretching are other fitness options for helping your lungs better deal with the stresses that come with alcohol consumption.
4. Know your limits
Knowing your limits when it comes to how much alcohol you can consume is very important to prevent all kinds of embarrassing things that you wish didn't happen at all.
That said, it can also be a useful skill in preventing the onset of the tight feeling in one's lungs often felt after drinking alcohol.
The only difference is that instead of learning how much you can drink before you get drunk, one should record how slowly they need to drink a glass of white wine to not feel any restriction in their breathing at all. For some people, it can be 10 minutes, for others 30 or 40. It will all depend on your own body's ability to metabolise alcohol and break down the various other toxins that come along with it.
5. Take an Asian flush supplement
It's precisely these other toxins that come along with alcohol consumption that supplementation does a great job of reducing. For example, one metabolic toxin called acetaldehyde has been shown to be the prime cause of breathing difficulty in 30-40% of East Asian alcohol drinkers.
Asian flush specific supplements such as Sunset Alcohol Flush Support help reduce the amount of acetaldehyde in your blood when you consume alcohol. This helps you breathe easier and allows you to enjoy alcohol like everyone else.