You may have noticed the over-abundance of cocktail recipes on our site. We’re the kind of mind-body balance lovers who know the power of a refreshing cocktail with the ladies – and aren’t afraid to admit it!
While champagne and cake do make special appearances in our diets, we’re always looking for optimal options when it comes to indulgence. We live and promote that balanced life and yet we find it super-important to be cognizant of what’s going on in our bodies when we do indulge. Knowledge is power. And although ignorance may seem like bliss at first, we believe that equipping ourselves with the (sometimes annoying) truth helps all of us to become more tuned in to our bodies and emotions and live a better life!
Know when it’s time to give up and have a margarita, just be aware of the best ways to care for yourself in the process. Here are our top tips…
6 concerns of having one too many
High Sugar Content
It takes quite a lot of sugar to mask the sharp flavor of those strong liquors. High-fructose corn syrup and other processed sugars are often the sweeteners found in these mixed beverages. We’ve discussed the dangers of high-fructose corn syrup in detail before, from creating widespread inflammation, free radicals and liver damage, not to mention weight gain, but fructose is also known to create dependency the same way alcohol does and creates some very similar effects to our health.
Sugar, just like alcohol, can interfere with calcium, magnesium and protein absorption, leading to malnutrition, osteoporosis, yeast overgrowth and candida.
We all get cravings. More often than not they are linked to our emotions rather than our stomachs and hunger. Sugar and alcohol are two of the most addictive ingredients and are linked to mood swings, drowsiness, depression and issues with concentration. These two ingredients create a vicious circle of highs and lows, leading us to cave and indulge our cravings again.
The liver is responsible for breaking down alcohol which, in addition to some forms of sugar, burden liver function and the load it has to process, leading to damage. When the liver is not working efficiently or has to filter too much, it can lead to issues like hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver cancer, kidney stones, gallstones and a fatty liver.
Immune System Function
Binge drinking is actually defined as 4 or more drinks in a two-hour period of time. While an innocent drink like red wine can have its health benefits, overdoing it can be very damaging to our health. A night of heaving drinking suppresses the immune system function, leaving the body more vulnerable to bugs, viruses and even allergies. More than one drink a day may actually increase our risk of breast cancer.
Alcohol and sugar are extremely dehydrating and acidic. In addition they stress the body in many ways – they create free radicals and lead to premature aging and sagging skin from changes to the collagen structure.
How to order a healthier cocktail:
As you’ve probably gathered, the main message here is simple: Drink in moderation and choose low-sugar (avoid all high fructose sugar) drinks. Easy enough, right? Find a cocktail made of real ingredients or order simple low-sugar wines.
Skip the fancy 10-ingredient cocktails and go straight for the classics like wine, vodka and tequila. Not only are these picks saving some serious calories, they are lower in sugar than other liquors. Try pairing them with water and sip slowly!
Ditch the soda or any cocktail that could have extra refined sugars. Instead, go for cocktails with simple, natural ingredients. A little lime and a kiss of sugar is all it takes to make a margarita wonderful. No need for that uber-sugary artificial mix.
It can get a little complex when we begin to break down the quality and sugar content of wines. Everything from the climate in which the grapes are grown to how the maker ferments them influences the acidity and sugar content of the final product. It’s actually very common for extra unfermented grape juice, or even sugar, to be added back in after the wine has been fermented. What’s more a wine can taste dry even if the sugar content is high.
The best practice is to pick wines that are classically known as dry wines, such as pinot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, zinfandel, pinot blanc, sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio.