In recent years, non-alcoholic spirits have been gaining popularity. They offer the warm and tingling sensation of traditional spirits without the alcohol. Many are also gluten-free, low in calories and allergen-free.
Many of them are loaded with antioxidants as well. They also keep you hydrated, unlike alcoholic drinks. Alcohol can damage the liver and pancreas and lead to other health issues.
1. Improved Immune System
Alcohol has a number of negative effects on the body, from interfering with its natural immune system to causing inflammation. By swapping out your regular alcoholic tipple for an alcohol-free alternative, you can improve your health and boost your immunity.
For instance, alcohol damages the cells in your lungs, which could leave you more susceptible to infections like COVID-19 and make it harder for your body to fight off viruses. Alcohol can also damage the fine hairs in your intestines that keep bacteria from entering your bloodstream, which may lead to UTIs (urinary tract infections).
Non-alcoholic spirits are made without the damaging ingredients found in traditional alcoholic beverages, making them the healthier option for your body. They are also calorie-free, meaning they can help you reach your weight management goals. In addition to being better for your immune system, non-alcoholic spirits also taste great and can be used to create cocktails that mimic the flavor profile of your favorite alcoholic drinks. From Kin’s Social Elixir featuring nootropic lion’s mane mushroom to Three Spirit’s bitter scarlet liquid that looks and tastes just like Campari, the non-alcoholic spirits market is growing rapidly and has many options to choose from.
2. Reduced Risk of Cancer
Alcohol consumption increases the risk of some cancers, especially mouth, throat, oesophageal, stomach, liver and breast cancers. The type of alcohol you drink – beer, wine or spirits – doesn’t affect this increased risk. However, the more you drink, the higher your risk.
Alcohol and tobacco use increase the risk of some cancers even more, so it’s best to limit or avoid both. Eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains can help to reduce your cancer risk.
The National Health and Medical Research Council recommends men and women do not drink more than ten standard drinks a week, and no more than four standard drinks on any one day. A non-alcoholic spirit or mocktail can be a good option for those who want to cut down on their drinking. Non-alcoholic drinks have a lower alcohol percentage and therefore, fewer calories than alcoholic beverages. They are also hydrating, unlike alcoholic drinks, which can actually dehydrate you. This can be important, particularly if you are taking medication that can cause dryness, like hormone therapy for menopause.
3. Better Sleep
Booze may be able to lull you into sleep, but it’s terrible for your quality of ZZZs. Alcohol disrupts your circadian rhythm, which controls everything from your sleep-wake cycles to your mood and cognitive functions over 24 hours. This disruption causes poor-quality restful sleep, leaving you feeling sluggish and unable to focus the next day.
Non-alcoholic spirits are a great option to help you get the sleep you need to function at your best. Many zero-proof brands contain sleep-friendly adaptogens and botanicals like melatonin, reishi mushrooms, magnesium, and more, making them ideal for helping you zen out at the end of a long day.
Plus, they’re hydrating (as opposed to dehydrating) and are a healthier alternative to alcoholic drinks that can be high in calories. You can also opt for non-alcoholic wine — companies like Surely and Proxies produce “wines” that are made from fruit juices, teas, spices, and even chocolate for red wines (see The New York Times’ review). Three Spirit’s Curious Elixirs line includes drinks with names like Livener, Social Elixir, and Nightcap.
If you are trying to manage your calorie intake or maintain a healthy weight, drinking alcohol-free spirits is a great option. They typically contain less than half the calories of their alcoholic counterparts, and can also help cut out the high sugar content of many mixed drinks (like cocktails) that may be difficult to control.
In addition, drinking alcohol-free spirits can help you stay hydrated and may contain vitamins or other nutrients in their ingredients such as kombucha, vitamin B, microbios and amino acids. Drinks like Feragaia are a good example of this, and as well as being alcohol-free, they are also full of probiotics to support your gut biome and help keep you healthy.
Finally, many non-alcoholic drinks are intentionally low in calories, and a growing number use natural sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup to give them a sweet taste without consuming unhealthy additives. This can be especially helpful when organising a night out with friends, as it means you don’t need to find a DD or split an Uber and can still join in on the fun.
Whether you’re a recovering alcoholic or just prefer to stay sober, there are lots of reasons to switch from alcohol to non-alcoholic spirits. You can still enjoy social events without worrying about who’s DD or splitting an Uber bill, get a good night’s sleep, and avoid brain fog and hangovers.
Unlike their alcoholic counterparts, most non-alcoholic spirits are also low in calories and can help you maintain your weight or lose weight. Additionally, many non-alcoholic spirits are infused with CBD which can improve sleep and reduce stress.
Many alcohol-free drinks are also rich in vitamins and minerals. Seedlip’s gin alternative uses a bespoke maceration of six botanicals and takes over six weeks to produce, while Feragaia is a cross between a non-alcoholic whiskey and kombucha that’s packed with microbiotics, vitamin B, manganese, and more.