How to Build a Tolerance to Alcohol
The ability to consume large amounts of alcohol while staying conscious is nowadays directly associated with maturity and, in the case of men, masculinity. It goes without saying that puking after 3 drinks won’t get you any respect. Acting stupid within the first hour of a party will have you labeled as the “cheap date” or ‘easy drunk” and will probably have people annoyed resulting in the decline of future invites. Before you try anything, first you must decide which type of tolerance is right for you.
Functional Tolerance – I’ve had a few people boast to me that puking from over consumption has given them a higher tolerance. This is partly true. Puking has nothing to do with the process. The reason they’ve noticed a higher tolerance is from the sudden over intake. This sudden over intake on weekends will gradually create a need for more alcohol to reach the same level of intoxication. It will not, however, lead to you being able to hold onto your motor and reasoning skills. In short, you won’t feel a buzz after 3 drinks, but you also can’t solve a puzzle.
Learning Tolerance – This, in my opinion, is the better form of tolerance. Instead of taking in a lot of alcohol to build your tolerance, you’d take in a small amount then start working on your motor, logic and balancing skills. This will train your brain to think and act clearly even with alcohol in your bloodstream. You may notice that you’ll still feel moderately intoxicated after 3 drinks, but you’ll still be able to walk straight and not spill everyone’s drinks. To me, this seems like the ideal option for a slick social drinker that wants to drink to take the edge off but doesn’t want it interfering with his/her ability to work the room.
Environmental dependant tolerance – Have you ever noticed that when you drink in your basement you can put away two 40s and not feel a thing but at the bar 1 drink will get you to nirvana? This is due to environmental dependent tolerance. When frequently drinking small doses in a certain area, one can manage to develop functional tolerance (see above) in that specific area. To simplify, with this tolerance, 2 drinks at the office equals 4 at the bar. (Figures are only for demonstration purposes).
Think Sober – Have you ever given a friend a drink with little or no alcohol and they’ve still shown symptoms of a drunk? This is because their mind is so set on getting drunk, that their brain will tell their bodies to not break down the alcohol and allow the body to feel drunk. In turn, if you think that you want to stay sober and try and be sober, your brain will tell your body to quickly and efficiently break down the alcohol and not have it intoxicate you as heavily.
In the end, it all comes down to self discipline. If you want to stomach your drink, you have to have control over yourself; Act cool, don’t go wild, don’t overdo it to impress, etc. etc. If you regularly exercise control as well as follow proper guidelines, you just might be the person with whom everyone wants to share a drink.
For more detailed info, check out: http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/alerts/l/blnaa28.htm