Starting this post off, I will say that the healthiest thing you can do is to not drink. No matter what, alcohol isn’t the best thing for your body – no surprise there. At the same time, however, there are ways to mitigate alcohol’s effect on your body – so here are 9 techniques for drinking alcohol in the healthiest way possible!
1. Stick with CLEAR Liquors
Your best bet, when drinking, is to stick with clear liquors (vodka, gin, tequila, etc) and avoid sugary mixers. Although vodka is a better alternative than rum or beer, if you pair it with ginger beer (like a Moscow Mule), you’re talking about a ton of extra sugar and calories.
In combination with this technique, the absolutely healthiest drink is a NorCal margarita. It consists of 100% agave tequila, club soda and lime. Here’s my video demonstrating the best way to make the NorCal margarita:
2. Dry Red Wine
If you’re in a situation where you have zero access to liquor, dry red wine is a great alternative. When you hear that “wine is good for your heart,” it’s because of the resveratrol in it. The drier the red wine, the higher the content of resveratrol – so go with Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinor Noir, Merlot, or any other dry red wine.
3. NO BEER (but…)
When it comes to alcohol, beer is absolutely the worst choice you can make for a drink. However, if you don’t want to give it up, you do have a couple options. First off, go with a lighter beer that only has a few calories (like Michelob Ultra). Now if you don’t to stick to light beer (especially if you think it’s “just water”), go with a stout.
No joke – stouts are the best alternative to light beer. They’re lower in calories than most people think, and since they’re filling you’re bound to drink less. In addition, they have Vitamin B12, soluble fiber, and double the antioxidants that light beer has.
4. 8oz of Water per Drink
I know this is Drinking 101, but I can’t emphasize it enough – with alcohol being a huge diuretic (meaning it makes you pee a lot), it’s important to drink a lot of water. Shoot for a cup of water for every alcoholic drink – every time you have a shot, beer, or glass of wine, have a cup of water right after.
5. Eat Before Drinking
Again, this is Drinking 101, but make sure to to eat food before drinking. Your best bet is to have starch and/or dairy, as it will help coat your stomach for the alcohol you’ll be drinking. One of my favorite meals before alcohol is pasta with parmesan cheese – that way you’ll get the best of both worlds.
6. Guacamole or Avocado
Consume guacamole or avocado before going out – the main reason is because it helps your vasopressin. Ever have too much to drink and forget what happened? That’s because your vasopressin was low. By consuming guacamole or avocado before going out, the high potassium levels will help boost your vasopressin levels – thus making you remember more throughout the night. In addition, low vasopressin levels inhibit your body from absorbing water – which means that your body will just pee it all out as oppose to using it.
7. Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic Vinegar will lower your glycemic response to both alcohol and the bad food you may have later. When you’re drinking a lot, you’re probably not going to eat the best food – you’re more likely to eat fast food and pizza. This will shoot up your blood sugar levels, making you feel even worse in the morning. Balsamic Vinegar will help with reducing the huge insulin spike – huge side note too, so will lime (which makes the NorCal margarita even more desirable).
8. Drink out of a BIG Glass
This is more of a psychological trick if everything – anytime I’m at a party or event, I make sure to have a huge glass with my drink in it. What I’ll do is make a mixed drink (like the NorCal margarita) with 2 shots, and fill the rest of the glass with a mixer. That way, it’ll take me a lot longer to drink 2 shots as oppose to either ripping them back or having them in a small glass.
9. No Drinks an Hour Before Bed
Lastly, finishing off this list, don’t have any drinks an hour before bed. I know sometimes this isn’t the easiest thing to pull off, but if you can, stop drinking when you know you’re heading to bed soon. One of the biggest reasons you forget information when drinking – in addition to the vasopressin – is that alcohol disrupts your REM cycle (which builds memories). If you stop drinking this also gives you an opportunity to drink a ton of water before you go to bed – which is crucial to avoid an hangover.