Home > Drinking > Going the Distance: Keys to Doing the Hour of Power

Going the Distance: Keys to Doing the Hour of Power

There aren’t a lot of things I would say I’m a fully-qualified expert on, I’m good at several things (as well as terrible at many things, including but not limited to: golfing, cooking, braiding hair and watching pointless television), but that “expert” status seems to allude me on almost all skills and traits. With that being said, however, I feel comfortable proclaiming myself an expert on the ability to complete the Hour of Power, thanks to nearly seven years of refining my craft.

If you’ve never heard of the Hour of Power (HoP), you most likely stumbled onto this blog by accident. HoP is a very simple drinking game with the premise of taking one shot of beer (from a shot glass) every minute, on the minute, for one hour. At first glance, this probably doesn’t seem like much of a challenge. It’s only an ounce and a half, right? Well, yes, but you’re also doing that for 60 minutes, at a consistent pace. All told, it’s 90 ounces, or 7.5 beers in one hour. Now you can start to see why it may be difficult. Luckily for you, I’m bored and felt like passing along the knowledge I’ve learned during my tenure as a host of the Hour of Power Show and frequent participant in the HoP. So without further ado, here are five tips to help you finish the Hour of Power.

1. Endulge your inner Homer Simpson

One of the biggest obstacles to overcome during the HoP is the sheer volume of liquid that sits in your stomach. By the time you’re done, you’ll have nearly three-quarters of a gallon of beer in you. Combine this with pent up carbon dioxide trying to burst your stomach like an overfilled balloon and you’ve got a recipe for failure, if not total disaster.  Therefore, you must be willing to release the gas … preferably through burping. Burping is essential in keeping your stomach in line, as well as it keeping its contents below the overflow line. The release of the air will allow you to drink more for longer without feeling sick or having to go to the bathrom. Due to all this mouth flatulence, we can’t recommend HoP as a drinking game early in a new relationship.

2. Play with your friends

Not only is drinking alone shameful and full of self-pity, but it also makes it so much more boring. In the Hour of Power, boredom can be a fierce enemy. As time goes on, those minutes stack up, and the bulge in your belly gets larger and larger, time can start to either stand still (“We’re only 32 minutes in???”) or move way too quickly (“I swear we just drank the last shot 10 seconds ago!”), or sometimes both. To help with this, drink with a good friend. Not only is it good to be sociable, but you’ll be able to mutually entertain each other as you plod through those final minutes that test your will. Please note that we consider Skrinking (Skyping and drinking) as drinking with friends.

3. Have space in your bladder

We all know the Golden Rule about “breaking the seal.” This ties directly into it, but with some new consequences. If you start the HoP with too full of a bladder and have to take a bathroom break during the hour, not only do you break the seal, leaving yourself susceptible to future trips during the hour, but you also find yourself in a race against the clock. Just because you have to get up and tinkle doesn’t mean the clock stops, so by the time you’re washed up and back, there’s a good chance you’ve missed a minute or two (or three if you were really holding it) and now you’ve got to hurry and catch up. Speaking from experience, these rapid-fire shots are not your friend. They usually result in even more gas, and if you’re already on the brink of failure, can be the final straw. So if you really do find yourself having to take a bathroom break, go right after the minute changes, giving you the most amount of time to get back. Another option, if you can, is to take a shot in advance, especially if you know it’s going to be a multi-minute ordeal.

4. Lighter is better

Light beer has its fair share of critics (and for good reason), but for HoP, it’s the standard. Not only does the lower alcohol content keep you from being on your lips by the time minute 60 strikes, but the lower it also maximizes the space in your stomach. Heavy beers will destroy your stomach, either resulting in an extremely bloated feeling, or possibly the V word. Their increased alcohol content can also be a huge turning point. Most light beers, such as Keystone, have an alcohol percentage around 4.2%. Compare that to a decent amber ale that checks in around 6%. After 7.5 beers of the 6% amber, you’re essentially taking in as much alcohol as 10 Keystones. While that may be commendable, or possibly your life’s crowning achievement, your friends will probably not be as happy. This goes along with Rule 4 of Drinking 101.

5. Don’t be a hero

As much as your friends might make fun of you, there’s no shame in not being able to complete the full HoP. Not everybody was built to handle 7.5 beers in an hour. In fact, most people aren’t, but can be built up to it. So if you find yourself struggling with the Hour, there are a few ways to help build up your stamina, so to speak. The first method is to reduce your shot size. Fill your shot glass 50-75% of the way, instead of to the rim, pacing yourself to make it through the hour. Doing this will help get your mind around the length of the hour. Another option is to take breaks of a couple minutes during the hour to let things settle. Similar to the “run-walk” training method for running, drinking then resting, but doing the whole hour eventually will help your body get used to the frequency and mass consumption you’re presenting it.

Practice these five tips and you’ll be an Hour of Power pro in no time. If you’ve already mastered the HoP, challenge yourself with the Century Club. I’d offer tips for that, but that’s a completely different article.

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