In the spirit of Groundhog, I have compiled a list of preparations you can start and strategies you can plan right now to get ready for our most beloved tradition here at the University of Dallas. Follow these tips to stay in your best shape while responsibly enjoying a few beverages.
Please note that neither this columnist nor the University News endorses underage drinking or excessive consumption of alcohol by persons underage or otherwise.
1. Hydrate. Yes, you can start now. Whether you are playing in the Powderpuff game or enjoying a few beers at TGIT, it is important to drink plenty of water. Be sure to keep a water bottle (full of water) with you. Remember to alternate alcoholic drinks with nonalcoholic drinks, and try to drink a full glass of water before going to bed after the festivities.
2. Put a little bit of thought into your meals for the weekend ahead of time. If you know you tend to crave late-night pizza, have the delivery number handy. The last thing you want to be doing at 2 a.m. after TGIT is pulling out a pizza from your freezer and trying to figure out how your oven works.
3. In the same vein, stock up on snacks before the weekend. If you choose to begin celebrating Groundhog early, you will need to snack appropriately throughout the day. Make sure to pick some up munchies beforehand, so there is no temptation to get in your car and drive to Tom Thumb. Chips and pretzels are easy go-to’s that require zero preparation. It is probably wise to avoid anything involving an oven or stove. This is not the time to perfect your mom’s famous crème brulée either.
4. Hit the snooze button. With so many activities packed into one weekend, it’s important to rest up so you don’t crash later. Sleeping through class is not advisable, but taking a few naps never hurts.
5. Carb up. If you’re planning on indulging in a few brews at the Party in the Park, fill up on healthy carbohydrates before jumping on the shuttle. Try good-for-you grains like whole-wheat pasta or quinoa. Yes, beer is a carb, but no, it does not count as dinner.
6. Stick to one type of alcoholic beverage. If you are going to have more than one drink, try to keep it simple. A mixed drink after a beer might seem harmless on Friday night, but it will not help you run your Groundhog 5K faster.
7. Take your vitamins. It may seem silly, but popping a multivitamin before heading to the party can help prevent a Sunday morning headache. Ditto for electrolytes. Drinking sports drinks and eating foods like bananas and spinach will keep your blood sugar and potassium levels up.
8. Remember: not all alcohol is created equal. If you choose to have a cocktail or two during the Groundhog celebration, keep in mind a few rules. Darker liquors contain more toxins and impurities than clear liquor. Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear; beer before liquor, you’ll never be sicker. Bubbly drinks like champagne can cause alcohol to be absorbed into the bloodstream more quickly.
9. Stay active. Even if you choose not to participate in the Powderpuff game or the Groundhog 5K, head outdoors for some exercise in the morning before you even think about starting to party. Burning off some calories and getting some fresh air will help you stay in optimal condition for the weekend’s festivities.
10. Do a bit of prep in case you need to recover. In the unlikely event that you wake up feeling less than your best, make sure you have all the essentials on hand. Have some eggs to whip up for breakfast to replenish your body’s supply of cysteine, which helps your body get rid of toxins. Pick up coconut water for rehydration. Energy-packed nuts and vitamin-rich fruits and veggies like apples and carrots are a healthy way to replenish nutrients. Tomato juice can also be a champion, although you’re probably better off skipping the Bloody Mary. Dig up that bottle of ibuprofen and put it next to the glass of water on your bedside table.
11. The best way to avoid the post-Groundhog blues, of course, is to drink responsibly. Above all, make smart decisions and stay safe! It’s a marathon, folks, not a sprint.