By Noah Kaufman
Updated August 29, 2014

Labor Day’s coming up on Monday, and it’s your last chance to get in a good session of summer day drinking. But you don’t want to be that person who climbs to the top of a telephone poll or thinks it’s a good idea to start riding your friend’s huge dog like a tiny horse (we’ve seen it done more than once). So follow these rules and make sure you have an appropriately tipsy time before passing out at home.

1. Pregame with food.
If you’re going to be outside in the sun crushing beers for hours on end, you need to put your body in the correct state. That means, eat something when you wake up. At this early stage you probably want to stay away from anything overly greasy. It will just leave you feeling tired and kind of gross before you start. Plus there will be plenty of time for that later, after you’ve tried to get everyone to jump into the pool with their clothes on. Try something actually healthy, like yogurt and granola.

2. Shots: Don’t do them.
Never. Never, ever. Never, ever, ever. A surefire way to get yourself passed out by 2 p.m.—or throwing up in the grill—is to decide everyone needs a round of tequila shots, because that inevitably leads to a second round of tequila shots. And there is nothing in the world more dangerous than a second round of tequila shots.

3. Avoid making plans.
Assuming you’ve started your drinking endeavor at an appropriate hour like noon, by around 3 you won’t remember that you’re supposed to meet your parents for a movie at 6. Also the buzzing of your phone’s calendar will just confuse you. Even if you do manage to keep your wits about you, day drinking is an exhausting activity that will leave you in no shape to do anything besides curl up on the couch. It’s like a two-hour TRX class immediately followed by CrossFit.

4. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
This is advice we once got when planning to do a marathon. It turns out it is useful to remember when day drinking. If iced appropriately, your alcoholic beverage should stay cold and drinkable for half an hour. No need to finish it quicker than that.

5. Four words: Beer, bite, beer, bite.
Repeat this mantra and obey it all day. Yes, you have pregamed, but you need to keep a steady stream of nourishment that does not contain alcohol coming into your body. You should also let the food get progressively greasier as the day goes on. Maybe start with some watermelon, move on to potato salad and finish up with a nice burger.

6. Remember, you picked this over night drinking.
See No. 3. Your boozing should probably dry up by sundown. But who are we kidding, you’ll be passed out in front of Simpsons reruns by that point anyway.

Related: 10 Low-Key Cocktails Perfect for Day Drinking
Choosing a Session IPA for Your Marathon Drinking Session
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