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5-TIPS-TO-DRINKING-SMARTERNew studies show that women in the United States are drinking more than they should.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of five women in the country is considered a binge drinker, meaning they consume four or more alcoholic drinks in one sitting.

Author Gabrielle Glaser says that women form bad drinking habits when they are young, partying with frat boys in college and trying to keep up with men's levels of alcohol consumption. They then carry those habits into adulthood.

The CDC says that this habit can really negatively affect women later on in life. Those who regularly binge drink are 50 percent more likely to develop health issues such as heart disease and "abdominal obesity."

A common misconception among women is that if one glass one wine per night is good for you, then multiple glasses must be even better! The truth is that excessive drinking can actually increase one's risk for diseases like breast cancer, and thus, it is always best to stick to just one drink a day, if you are drinking at all.

Since poor drinking habits are often formed during college years, it is important to make sure that you learn how to drink smartly starting right off the bat with your freshman year. Your first year of college is the most important time to learn how to drink in moderation, learn your limit, and not overdo it!

Below are five tips for drinking smart and less.

5 Tips to Drinking Smart

  1. Alternate your drinks: In order to make sure you don’t drink too much while you’re out, be sure to alternate your alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks. This could be water, soda, juice, or anything that doesn’t contain alcohol. Doing so will make sure that you pace yourself and will provide your body with other things that will help better process the alcohol in your system.
  2. Fake it: Who says you have to drink at a party? If you don’t feel like drinking that night, or if you’ve had enough and want to stop for the evening, you can always make yourself a non-alcoholic drink that only looks like it has alcohol in it. We might suggest Coke with a wedge of lime – you’ll never be able to tell that it’s a plain soda! This way, you won’t have to deal with the pressure of others at the party trying to get you to consume more alcohol than you want to.
  3. Fill up on ice: Filling your glass with a generous amount of ice is a smart and simple way to make your drinks smaller and more diluted. You will consume less alcohol per drink than you would have otherwise. Adding a mixer like juice or soda to your drink can also be useful, as it gives your body a good dose of sugar to help process the alcohol more easily.
  4. Beer over liquor: Choosing beer instead of hard alcohol is always a smart choice. Beer has less alcohol than hard liquors and fills you up much more quickly so you won’t drink as much.
  5. Don’t drink! If you’re trying to not drink, just don’t do it! If you never start drinking in the first place, there’s no way you will overdo it.

It’s important to remember that there is no rule saying you have to drink at a social event – it is entirely your choice every time.

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