5 Important Pieces of Advice for the Health-Conscious Raver

Health Raver
Author : 6AM
June 09, 2022

5 Important Pieces of Advice for the Health-Conscious Raver

Oh to be in my twenties again, raving without a care in the world. Festival weekends spent partying on little to no sleep, stomach filled with a concoction of booze and drugs and eating junk food whenever my body decided it was hungry again.

Those years are gone, I assure you, and yet I still have a blast at music festivals, warehouse parties and clubs throughout the world. In fact, raving remains an integral part of who I am as a person and will forever remain for so long as my legs will dance and my ears will hear the thumping sound of the bass coming out of massive stack of speakers (more about this soon!)

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Yes, I still drink and I still take drugs. I just booked a Euro trip consisting of Ibiza b2b ADE b2b Berghain and tomorrow I am heading to Detroit for Movement and at least four afterparties, including our very own Anthology on Monday. So what has changed since my 20s? I have changed. I have learned to listen to my mind and my body, and I have learned how to rave responsibly.

For much of my 20s I felt invincible and I thought it was cool that I could “hang,” only to later realize that I had gained about 20lb of weight, had a stomach ulcer and was incredibly unfit. To top it off, I wasn’t very motivated in life, and my anxiety and depression took turns battering me down whenever they had the chance to.

I had to make a change, and I had to do it for the sake of my physical and mental health. Let’s be clear, I still party, but just learned how to do it while listening to my body and mind, so that I can still party while not disrupting my health and throwing away the days following a party weekend.


Below are 5 key pieces of advice for any health-conscious raver

1. Realize that your physical and mental health are linked

One of the biggest realizations I had in my 20s was that my mental health improved when my physical health did, and vice versa. This means that you cannot willfully ignore one in favor of the other, because ignoring one will inevitably bring the other one down.

Physical health problems significantly increase our risk of developing mental health problems, and vice versa. Nearly one in three people with a long-term physical health condition also has a mental health problem, most often depression or anxiety.

There are some key, important things you can do to keep your body healthy without becoming gym-obsessed or signing up for weird diets:

  • Sleep: Your body needs rest, and while it’s cool to go on long party weekends without sleep, the more you rest your body the better you will feel while partying and after. I recommend getting several good nights sleep before a particularly physically demanding rave. General guidelines state that the average human body (not children or the elderly) needs between 7-9 hours of sleep to function properly, but ultimately that number depends on your and your body. Needless to say, sleeping well after a rave is equally if not more important than sleeping before it, as your body needs to recover from the exertion you put it through.
  • Eat healthy: You don’t need to cut out carbs for life or never eat ice cream again to be a healthy eater. All it take is some discipline and moderation. Having a balanced diet contributes to overall physical wellness and yes, eating well can also improve your wellbeing and your mood. A balanced diet is one that includes healthy amounts of proteins, essential fats, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water. The food we eat can influence the development, management and prevention of numerous mental health conditions including depression and dementia.
  • Have some kind of a work-out routine: As I said earlier, no one says you need to go to the gym daily to be a health-conscious raver, but having some kind of consistent work-out routine will help you tremendously. This could be the practicing of any team or individual sport that gets your body moving, daily walks with your dog (make them a bit longer perhaps!), weekend hikes, yoga, pole-dancing, shuffling, you name it. Physical activity is a great way to keep you physically healthy as well as improving your mental wellbeing. Proven research illustrates that doing exercise releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins in the brain. Even a short burst of 10 minutes brisk walking can improve your mental alertness, energy and mood, so get moving!

2. Think while you drink

I have the most absolute respect for anyone who doesn’t drink because let’s be honest: despite being perfectly legal, alcohol is arguably one of the most damaging of substances you can consume. And yet, it’s at least entirely possible to drink responsibly and in doing so, to rave more responsibly.

Why do we love drinking? During the early stages of drinking, your brain releases more dopamine. This chemical is linked with pleasure. During euphoria, you may feel relaxed and confident. But, your reasoning and memory may be slightly impaired. As one keeps drinking, however, alcohol begins to severely affect the brain’s pathways for communication and coordination. As one gets intoxicated,alcohol continues to reduce self-awareness and as the presence of alcohol in the blood stream increases and reaches high levels, areas of the brain that control basic life support functions begin to shut down in what we call alcohol poisoning.

But none of this is a secret to you right? I mean come on, if you’re reading this there’s a high probability you have been drunk or even blacked out before. You know exactly just how much your brain is impaired as you drink in excess. Chances are your ex knows too, given some of the texts you probably sent (and shouldn’t have) while inebriated in the past.

Excessive alcohol consumption has a myriad of other negative effects on the body. Alcohol overconsumption can cause heart problems including hypertension (high blood pressure), coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral arterial disease, and cardiomyopathy. Drinking too much alcohol can also be severely damaging to your gastro health, causing problems with several parts of your body including your liver, pancreas, gallbladder, salivary glands, stomach, throat, and rectum. While I suffered from stomach ulcers in my 20s due to regular excessive drinking on the weekends, I personally know of people who suffered liver and pancreas damage, and know of one person who developed a severe case of hemorrhoids due to drinking in excessive.

But the negative effects of alcohol are not just physical, far from it. Alcoholism is also associated with several psychiatric disorders such as personality disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, mental retardation, anxiety, eating disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, and sleep disorders. Depression and heavy drinking have a mutually reinforcing relationshipmeaning that either condition increases a person’s chances of experiencing the other.

On top of its own negative effects, alcohol is a substance which, if abused alongside other substances, can result in even more harmful effects on one’s body. This is even the case with prescription drugs, which should not be taken when consuming alcohol. When consuming depressants such as Xanax and Valium while on alcohol, they can have a synergistic effect, with ramifications that could lead to death, including sudden dizziness, loss of splinchter control and memory loss. Combining stimulants such as Ritalin, Adderall, Vyvanse and Concerta with alcohol causes one to not feel as intoxicated as they may be, possibly leading to significant bodily and mental impairment, black outs, pass outs and even death. with potential for dangerous and even lethal consequences, with rapid onset of dizziness, stumbling, loss of sphincter control, memory loss and potential death. Stimulants (e.g., Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta) combined with alcohol conceal alcohol’s effects, so people cannot gauge their level of intoxication, which can result in over-consumption, e.g. significant impairment of coordination and judgment, black out, pass out and potential death. Taking prescription opiates such as Vicodin, OxyContin, Tylenol 3 with codeine, Percocet and so on, while consuming alcohol can result in slowed or arrested breathing, lowered pulse and blood pressure, unconsciousness, coma, and potential death.

Needless to say, I am not here to say you shouldn’t drink, nor am I oblivious to the fact that ravers are likely to take some drugs while also having consumed alcohol, but knowing what you’re getting yourself into is always important and besides, you can still enjoy a bit of fun without having to needless increase your risk of harm.

Hangovers suck, and I have learned that hangovers tend to suck even more as the years go by. So, I have developed some important processes for when I intend to drink alcohol, and have been able to reduce my hangovers tremendously as a result.

  • Drink a ton. Yeah I know you know, but literally I just chug  1-2 liters of water before I even begin drinking and make a concerted effort to drink water regularly in between alcoholic drinks. Personally I have been loving the Liquid IV hydration powders that you can add to water to instantly supply electrolytes to your body.
  • Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Eat a full ,healthy meal before drinking and when you wake up the day after! If appropriate, I also advise eating in between your drinking or at the end. It’s important to adopt self-discipline and not resort to drunk/junk food hear — what you’re trying to do is just to ensure that your bodily is adequately nourished given the alcohol you’re putting in it. Personally, I love myself a relatively healthy breakfast burrito on a Sunday after partying on a Saturday night.
  • Get enough sleep. Don’t get drunk if you will not have enough time to recover the next day. And bear in mind that a drunk body will require more than your usual amount of sleep to properly recover.
  • Shower. You will feel better, trust me!
  • Get outside the next day, especially if the weather is nice. Regardless of rain, snow or sun, getting outside and putting your body in motion after a night of drinking helps!
  • Listen to your body, it will tell you what you need. The goal is for you to try to prevent hangovers, and to nurture them if you get one!
  • Self-discipline: I know it sucks to hear this, but it’s ok not to drink at every party. It’s ok not to drink when going out to dinner, and it’s ok not to drink just because others are. Societal behavior has ingrained it in us that we must drink at (almost) all social occasions, but that doesn’t have to be the case. You can make the choice to not always drink! I have personally been loving sticking to flavored sparkling waters, tea and coffee at times when I would have ordered a beer, glass of wine or cocktail.

3. Learn which drugs are good for you, and don’t do them like an asshole

I said what I said.

Just because I love shrooms and have a high tolerance for them, doesn’t mean that everyone else enjoys them the same way or can tolerate munching on them for the entire day. I have met so many people who feel anxious when they smoke marijuana, and a ton more who swear that smoking weed cures their anxiety.

Not only should you know which drugs your body and mind handle better than others, but you should also learn how drugs interact with each other in what order and quantity you should take them for the desired effect you are searching for.

Many young festival attendees spend their festival weekends consuming copious amounts of alcohol and drugs without a care for the results this will have on their festival experience. Some take too many of one drug, or do drugs in a non-desirable order. Others black out and cannot forget but a few blurry moments of their otherwise “epic” weekend. Others make grave mistakes, put themselves in harm’s way or “ruin” the weekend for their friends who have to babysit them. When you’re young it’s easy to be carefree, to experiment, and to push your limits.

But that’s why we grow up right?

In my 30s I have learned many important lessons regarding drugs and partying safely.

  • Ensure anything you consume is tested. Always. Ground scores or buying from strangers isn’t worth it, but if you’re going to do so, always test your stuff… no matter what! Let me repeat it again: test your drugs!
  • Taking ecstasy or MDMA should be a rare experience, if you intend to have it. That one rare DJ that comes to town, a festival you’ve really been waiting for, a special celebration. You don’t need to roll every weekend. You shouldn’t. Again, I am not telling you not to roll, but that you can relax and do it for special occasions only. Not only will your brain and mind thank you for it, but you’ll enjoy it much more when you do roll!
  • Take it easy on hallucinogens until you discover the right dose for you, and be sure to do them when you are ready to mentally and spiritually. Shroom tolerance varies from person to person, and the same goes for LSD. If you’re going to do either, please ease into dosages until you know what works for you. Tripping is often better in outdoor settings, and in places you feel comfortable and at ease with such as a backyard, park or just straight up nature. Further, you want to trip with trusted friends and loved ones around you. One last thing: Due to the duration of its effects, I find LSD to be a particular smart drug to take on a long festival day, or if you’re heading to a late night party after! Preparing well for your hallucinogen trip will lead you to positive mind-changing experiences, so make sure you do so every time!
  • 95% of the time Cocaine sucks. I find it to be the kind of drug that requires too many variables to be enjoyed. It has to be the right coke (i.e. not too cut) taken at the right amount and properly spaced out for it to have a positive effect. If anything isn’t quite right I find to always be regretting it or feeling ways that I wouldn’t want to pay to feel! I understand that it helps the body stay up, but I have discovered that although it’s one of the most readily available at parties, cocaine is not a drug I actually particularly enjoy.
  • You gotta be careful with Ketamine. I have ruined my own experience at parties due to K, and have seen friends do the same several times. I have noticed that oftentimes this is due to alcohol consumption followed by “arrogant” bumps of K that begin to look like small lines of coke. Lack of judgment is undoubtedly one of excessive alcohol consumption’s “side effects” so you go figure. Simply put, a little K goes a long way, so take it easy!
  • Plan your drug consumption. It’s hard for me to explain this lesson to you in abstract terms, so let me illustrate an example. If I am heading to a 3-day festival weekend I don’t go all out on day one. I know I have to last three days, possibly including afterparties, so getting wasted on Day 1 is something I never do anymore. I may get buzzed in the afternoon and give myself time to recover so I don’t go to bed drunk, but that’s it. Recovering from rolling also takes a while, so unless there are extenuating circumstances I try to roll on the last day only. If I am going to roll earlier in the weekend, because of a particularly good lineup for example; then I tend to try to ensure I have taken care of my body to the max beforehand, that I drink a lot of healthy fluids and that I am not drunk at the same time either. Otherwise on Day 1 I will stick to substances with an effect on the body that is shorter in duration and requires less recovery. If I have a long day ahead of me (e.g. three parties at ADE from 2pm-7am), I sometimes plan for that to be my day to drop a tab. I also try to not start with the coke until I am actually tired or it’s later in the day, if at all. Trust me, I have fun during a festival weekend but I do it coming out feeling relatively good, and able to get back to life at home and work without losing 2-3 days to miserable recovery from partying or extremely painful days at work.
  • Look after your friends. Knowing you have other friends to look after means that you should keep your own intoxication to an acceptable minimum to be up for the task. Just like rotating designated drivers in your friend group strategy to stay safe on the road and gives someone the opportunity to stay sober, it’s perfectly alright to designate a friend that will stay sober, or at least close to it, during a party or festival in order to take extra care of their friends.

4. Do you and your friends rave for the music and community, or for the partying?

It’s a loaded question, but ultimately a crucial one. There are people that come and go in our scene, stopping for a few years to party, get fucked up and then “have a perfect Instagram life”- ready to criticize anyone who still raves. The truth is that very likely these people only raved to party, get drunk and consume drugs, and that’s why they project that image on those who actually do it for the music and community.

If you’re actively involved in your local scene and house and techno community, you have already realized that the partying aspect is an add-on and not a must. So, you can choose whether to add it on and when. It’s a possible auxiliary to raving, but the reason you rave in the first place. I have discovered that this mindset is particularly freeing, because it means that I do not need to get drunk or roll at every techno warehouse, festival or day party I attend.

Surrounding yourself with a crew that is about the music and community helps too. By this I do not mean that one cannot rave alone, but that if you’re going to be raving with friends it’s always best if the friends view raving from the same colored lenses as you do. If you and your squad have the right mindset, attending music shows becomes a part of your culture, and not (just) a way to get fucked up and have fun.

5. Dancing is fun, but making people dance is even better!

Get involved in your local rave community in one way or another. You don’t have to become a DJ, produce tracks or throw parties. You can still be a raver and get involved! You can still be a raver and make others dance. How? You could start by introducing people to electronic music or a particular aspect of your local scene. For example, you can take friends who have been into more mainstream music to a local underground show. Or you could invite a cousin or co-worker to their first rave. I also always recommend that ravers get to know the collectives, labels, artists and promoter groups in their local scene, because that’s involvement too. Last but not least, you can even do this online by connecting through social networks with your local community.

If you’re active you are engaging, while if you’re passive and just going to a rave without ever meeting anyone, you are likely to be a passerby.

This may seem like a strange piece of advice in an article directed at health-conscious ravers, but I firmly believe that health-conscious ravers are so because they rave for the right reasons, understand the important of their local community and scene, are connected and engaged with it, and in so doing add positive energy back to it. All of this matters, for without it you have “passerby ravers” who are there just to turn up for a few years before never being seen again on the dance floor.

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