We all know the feeling of wanting to relax after a long, stressful day. Many of us reach for a glass of red or white wine or any other alcoholic beverage to help us de-stress.
While there are purported health benefits to moderate amounts of alcohol consumption, it’s important to be aware of the risks of excessive consumption and its impact on your overall health.
Thus, let’s explore the effects of alcohol on the body and healthy alternatives to alcohol to relax.
Understanding the Effects of Alcohol on the Body
Alcohol is a depressant, meaning it slows down your body’s functions and can lead to feelings of relaxation and sedation. That’s why drinking alcohol can disrupt sleep patterns, impair your judgment, and cause dehydration.
Over time, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to serious health issues, including liver disease and heart problems. Additionally, drinking can have an impact on mental health, as it can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety.
Alternatives to Alcohol to Relax
Beverages that somewhat resemble the taste of alcoholic beverages are definitely the best alternatives to alcohol to help you relax. Your top options are:
- Mixed Drinks
- Flavored Sparkling Water
- Nonalcoholic Beer
Many mixed drink options can provide a relaxing experience with little to no alcohol. Here are some ideas:
You can create nonalcoholic versions of your favorite cocktails using alcohol alternatives, such as the Ritual Zero Proof Tequila Alternative. If you don’t have enough time to whip up a drink, make sure you have a mocktail version of your favorite margarita, like Ritual Zero Proof’s All Day Virgin Margarita.
These drinks can be just as refreshing and relaxing as the original alcoholic versions.
Kombucha is a popular fermented carbonated beverage that has become increasingly popular in recent years.
It is made with a base of sweetened tea and a starter culture of yeast and bacteria, which is often referred to as a “SCOBY” (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). The fermentation process produces probiotic bacteria and a variety of organic acids, which are beneficial for gut health and help support the body’s immune system.
It has a slightly sour taste and can be enjoyed on its own or in combination with other beverages and flavors.
It is a great alternative to alcohol when you want to relax, as it contains no alcohol and is a good source of antioxidants. It also has purported health benefits, such as improving digestion, reducing inflammation, and helping to detoxify the body.
Herbal teas can be an effective and healthy alternative to alcohol for relaxation. They are also a great way to get your daily dose of antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and improve heart health.
Plus, they’re one of the nonalcoholic drinks known to help with weight loss and reducing belly fat.
Not only do many herbal teas offer many health benefits, but they are also a great way to flavor your water and make it more enjoyable.
Herbal teas are naturally caffeine-free and come in a variety of flavors. Plus, you can customize your tea with different herbs and flavorings, like ginger, cinnamon, lemon, and mint.
So if you are looking for a healthy beverage to replace your nightly glass of wine or other alcoholic drink, herbal teas are a great option. Just make sure you prepare it beforehand and place it inside your refrigerator so it gives you the relaxing effect of a cold alcoholic drink while listening to your favorite music.
Flavored Sparkling Water
Flavored sparkling water is one of the most amazing alcohol alternatives when you want to relax for many reasons, including:
- Low Calorie: Flavored sparkling water typically has low caloric content, making it a healthier choice than alcohol or sugary beverages.
- Hydrating: Drinking water, including sparkling water, is essential for staying hydrated, which can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.
- Variety of flavors: Flavored sparkling water comes in a wide range of flavors, so you can find one that you enjoy and that suits your mood. You can even find sparkling water products infused with wine without alcohol content, such as those produced by H2O. These dealcoholized wines are available in several flavors, such as Rose, Sauvignon Blanc, Moscato, and Pinot Noir. The juicy flavor of the Moscato is my personal favorite, but you should try them and decide for yourself.
- No Hangover: Unlike alcohol, drinking flavored sparkling water won’t result in a hangover the next day, so you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead.
- Socially Acceptable: Flavored sparkling water can be enjoyed at social gatherings and events without drawing unwanted attention, unlike not drinking alcohol.
- The Bubbles! Lastly, sparkling water is a great way to enjoy the bubbly sensation of a cold beer or glass of wine without the effects of alcohol.
Although called nonalcoholic beer, it’s important to note that most still contains trace amounts of alcohol. In fact, if you look at the popular and award-winning Athletic Brewing Co. HAZY WAVE‘s label, it has less than 0.5% alcohol per volume. Thus, it’s the perfect choice for a beer drinker who wants to limit his or her alcohol consumption slowly.
Like sparkling water, this beverage is both socially acceptable and hydrating. But the feature that makes it one of the best alternatives to alcohol to relax is its taste.
If you are looking for completely non-alcoholic alternatives similar to beer, you should try sparkling hop water, such as from the brand HOP WTR.
Nonalcoholic beer is made using similar ingredients and brewing methods as regular beer, which gives it a similar taste and texture.
Relax the Alcohol-Free Way!
The research is clear: alcohol is not the only way to relax. There are a variety of healthy alternatives to drinking alcohol that can help you reduce stress, improve your mental health, and even benefit your heart health.
It’s important to keep in mind that you don’t need to cut out alcohol consumption completely; moderation is key. If you do choose to drink, drinking smaller amounts of alcohol and making sure to pair your drinks with nonalcoholic beverages can help you stay mindful of your relationship with alcohol.Whether you opt for a cup of herbal tea, sparkling water, or a mixed drink with just a splash of alcohol or a low-alcohol product, there are plenty of healthy alternatives to alcohol to help relax your mind and body.