Lewis Kent, who a little over a week ago set an unofficial world-record for the beer mile with his 4:51.9 clocking, is preparing to better his mark on Tuesday night, Dec. 1, at the Flotrack Beer Mile World Championships in Austin, Texas.
Here are five tips from Kent for drinking on the run—responsibly, of course!
1. Practice holding your breath.
Remember when you used to hold your breath underwater for a whole 10 seconds as a kid? You’ll have to conjure up those childhood skills again. Take a deep breath right before you place the cup or bottle to your lips, and, whatever you do, make sure not to breathe in any air while chugging. You need to free up your mouth space for chugging, and chugging only. Don’t let your need to breathe compete with your duty to get every last drop in there. When it’s done, you can breathe—not before!
2. Take large gulps if you can’t let it flow straight down.
If you haven’t yet mastered the ability to let that beer sting your throat continuously as it flows down, no need to fret. One tip to keep in mind is to swallow in large gulps. You only want to swallow once you’ve reached the maximum amount you can hold at the back of your mouth. Continuously swallowing is a recipe for taking way too long to chug and also tiring your throat out.
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3. Don’t slow down to taste the beer.
Sucking on the bottle or the cup to get a taste of the beer is a rookie mistake. Approach the chug as if you’re pouring water down a drain. You’re pouring the beer into your mouth, not drinking it to savor it. This goes hand in hand with holding your breath; you’re holding it so you can free up that highway to your belly.
4. Suppress your urge to gag.
Eventually, you’ll chug enough that your throat will tense up and the reflex to cough will arise. Avoid that by clutching the thumb of your non-dominant hand. Really. If you’re right-handed, clutch your left thumb with your index finger. If you’re left-handed, do the same thing but with your right thumb. Don’t ask me to explain why this works, but it does.
5. Drink with your left hand.
This is etiquette more than a tip. Most of you reading this are right-handed, so this’ll come as a shock. Holding the cup or bottle in your left hand means you have your right hand free to high-five your buddies after you down that beer like a champ.
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