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Is healthy drinking even a thing? Unfortunately, the illustrious fountain of youth isn’t overflowing with the latest micro-brewed beer or California’s best red. As much as we’d love for the nutrients of a big colourful salad to equate to those in our strawberry daiquiri, the truth is, alcohol can be the Achilles heel of healthy eaters everywhere.
We have good news: you don’t have to completely give up your favourite cocktail to call yourself healthy. We can choose to drink alcohol the healthy way.
A few things to consider when indulging in your weekend libation:
- All calories are certainly not created equal but drinking is one place where you may want to take them into consideration. Hard liquors like tequila and vodka certainly come out on top when it comes to the fewest calories whereas beer and ciders pack a lot of calories, carbs, and an expanding waistline.
- Sugary mixers like pop and juice can be more detrimental than the calories in the liquor itself. Try swapping them with soda water with a squeeze of lime, homemade flavoured waters or even a fizzy kombucha concoction. Nixing those empty calories will help ease both the load on your liver and morning-after headache.
You did it all right but you are still feeling a little rough the next morning. The alcohol itself isn’t always the culprit behind a hangover.
Try following these helpful guidelines for healthy drinking:
- Keep your hands busy. Alternate a glass of water between drinks. Often just holding something in your hand is enough to curb the pace. It can also be a great way to deter any pressure from the people around you. You can also do the pregnant woman’s trick: sparkling water with lime.
- Don’t throw off your circadian rhythms. A lack of sleep can be worse than the effects of boozing themselves. Commit to leaving the party by a certain time to get a good night’s rest. At the very least, switch to water by a certain point in the night.
- Have a pre-sleep prevention plan. Down a glass or two of coconut water before hitting the hay to help replenish electrolytes and prevent dehydration. It can make all the difference in the world.
- Love your liver by taking some of the strain off. Incorporate bitter greens like dandelion in your salads, turmeric in your curries and glutathione-rich beets and carrots in your dinner to naturally boost detox.
Of course, excessive alcohol intake will affect your liver’s ability to function optimally which can include the onset of symptoms like acne and skin issues, bloating, stiff and sore joints, headaches and fatigue. The morning-after can bring about bouts of brain fog, low energy, and moodiness, which is anything but a party.
Most importantly, whether it’s eating, drinking or anything else, your thoughts and intentions while doing so are just as important as the actions themselves. Drinking a few glasses of delicious wine with good friends and fantastic conversation is a more holistic and “healthier” approach than meticulously monitoring every drop from the bottle.
Cheers. To your health!