Diary / Justbobbi / Sep 26, 2022
5 Tips for Healthier Alcohol Consumption
Written by: Michele Ross
For those of you who drink alcohol, you likely understand how imbibing can help you celebrate good times—and perhaps, on other occasions, provide temporary solace when you’re feeling a bit low. And whether you’re the type to pour a glass of vino to wind down after a long workday, do cheers over beers with friends over the weekend, or order a cocktail while dining out, there are a few tips you should heed to ensure your alcohol consumption is healthy… or at least healthy-ish. Moreover, it’s worth taking care that your drinking habits and preferences don’t derail your wellness goals or negatively impact your greater health. Ahead, discover dietitian-approved tips for healthier alcohol consumption courtesy of Kim Rose, RDN, CDCES, CNSC.
1. Stay hydrated
“Since alcohol is a diuretic, it can cause you to lose water through urination,” Rose reminds us. In order to prevent dehydration while partaking, she recommends:
- Diluting liquor with non-alcoholic mixers
- Adding ice cubes
- Alternating each alcoholic beverage with H2O
“Also, munching on foods (like fruits and veggies, along with protein and carbs) that have high water content is another good way to remain hydrated,” she shares.
Bonus: Staying on top of your hydration game before, during, and after imbibing can help minimize hangover symptoms.
2. Choose your mixers wisely
While a few types of alcohol, such as red wine, boast impressive health benefits, the reality is that many drinks aren’t stellar for your wellness game. A few exceptions aside, alcohol intake—especially high-carb, high-calorie varieties and those with added sugar—runs the risk of working against your health goals. For that reason, to boost your micronutrient consumption and reduce your intake of less-than-nutritious additives, Rose suggests trying out a few hacks for enjoying liquor in particular.
“Frozen fruit or fruit puree is a great mixture to consider adding to your beverage of choice,” she explains. “Fruit—especially watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, and pineapple—is hydrating in nature and can add a natural sweetness and exotic flair.” Of course, the fresher the better; real, whole fruit (versus processed liquids and concentrates) can help you bypass unnecessary added sugar.
Fruit sweeteners aside, Rose also advises opting for carbonated water to stir up your mixed drink of choice. “It adds a nice fizzy texture that will be a soiree in your mouth,” she says, while also offering extra hydration.
3. Eat before you drink
Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach isn’t ideal. As Rose explains, doing so “may result in nausea and leave you feeling sick to the stomach if you have a hangover.” While you’ll want to have at least a little something to eat before you sip up, Rose specifically recommends opting for balanced meals throughout the entire day in which you’ll be drinking. This tip is especially pertinent for hangover prevention.
“Eating carbs, protein and healthy fats is the best way to go before, during, and after drinking,” she continues. “For example, a sandwich made from two slices of whole-grain bread, turkey, lettuce, tomato and cheese is a hassle-free snack/meal suitable for any time of day.”
4. Drink in moderation
This tip is a no-brainer, yet it still bears repeating in terms of safeguarding your health and preventing hangovers. “According to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adults of legal drinking age can drink in moderation by having no more than two drinks a day for males or no more than one drink a day for females,” Rose shares. Naturally, you may reach for an extra glass or two from time to time—but in general, aim to keep your intake within reasonable bounds.
Again, Rose recommends mixing liquor with carbonated water to minimize the risks of overconsumption. “Diluting your booze may help you to drink less and adhere to this recommendation,” she adds.
5. Opt for other tasty beverages
We get it: many people choose to imbibe as a means to relax and ease tension. However, Rose encourages opting for alternatives that can help you wind down and promote wellness—minus the side effects that alcohol often brings. In particular, she enjoys Elements Calm. “It contains clinically effective levels of tension-defusing adaptogens, which may leave you feeling calm,” she shares.
Last but not least, if you want to sip on something tasty whether socially or at home, mocktails are another alcohol-free option that can still keep your spirits up (no pun intended). “Mocktails are a tasty way to jazz things up: a virgin mojito, lime rickey, Shirley Temple or Arnold Palmer are all non-alcoholic mixed drinks that keep you sober while offering fun and fancy vibes,” she concludes.
For more dietary tips, tricks, and insights, keep up with Kim Rose on Instagram.