While it should be abundantly clear that we’re not drinking alcohol with the goal of improving our health, there are ways to enjoy “liquid courage” that will keep you from suffering many of its negative effects. Moderation and thoughtful choices can make drinking an activity that is, at the very least, not terrible for you. Take a look at this list of the least-damaging alcoholic drinks from Legends at White Oak to help you drink consciously.
Following in the footsteps of Stanley in The Office, feel free to enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner once a week, ya know, “for the antioxidants.” A 5-ounce glass of red wine delivers about 125 calories, but unlike other types of alcohol, it does actually bring potential health benefits. Don’t get too enamored with the idea of preventing cardiovascular disease through its antioxidant effects, since drinking large quantities of red wine can cause separate issues – but if you’re deciding between drinks, red wine makes a fine and classy choice.
If you just want more of the alcohol you’re enjoying, you can’t go too wrong with a light beer. Coming in around only 100 calories per 12 ounces, a light beer takes up relatively little space in a 2,000-calorie diet (about the same as a large apple, actually). This inoffensive drink won’t do much at all to throw you off any health and fitness goals you might be working toward, so go ahead and throw one back, if you like.
No, it’s not just the butt of jokes and the culprit of country song misadventures. Tequila has a big place in popular culture, partly because of its reputation as a “healthy option” for a drink. In reality, drinking tequila brings no health benefits, and compared to other liquors on their own, it’s neither better nor worse.
What keeps tequila drinks relatively healthy is that tequila is made with agave and has a natural sweetness. Whereas vodka, gin, and other liquors are a bit too abrasive for most when taken straight and therefore need quite a bit of doctoring up, tequila is more palatable on its own, and that can save you from unnecessary high-calorie, high-sugar mixers. Just avoid those mass-produced margarita mixes that can be full of icky additives and sugars!
Gin & Rum & Vodka & Whiskey
We’re talking about alcohol here, so there’s no need to split hairs. Hard liquors are pretty consistent in terms of calories per drink (around 100 calories per 1.5-ounce shot), so you won’t find much of a distinction there. As with tequila, where you can get it right (or wrong) is with your mixers.
Consider which alcohol you enjoy most on its own and needs the least amount of help from a sweet coke or juice. If you enjoy one of them straight or on the rocks, that would be your best bet. You might try a good whiskey neat. That’s an order that will win you some nods around the bar!
Looking for more health tips? Check out the Legends at White Oak blog for recipes, activities, and more.
WHAT KIND OF ALCOHOL IS LEAST DAMAGING TO YOUR HEALTH? ›
Alcohol isn't a healthy choice in general, but some alcohol is better for you than others. Red wine, whiskey, tequila, and hard kombucha are healthier options than beer and sugary drinks. The CDC recommends you limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day if you're male and 1 if you're female.What alcohol is easiest on your body? ›
By themselves, "clear liquors like vodka and gin have the fewest calories and the least amount of sugar," says Amy Shapiro, R.D. That means they're easier for our bodies to metabolize and may result in less intense hangovers for some people.Is there a safe type of alcohol? ›
The only type of alcohol that humans can safely drink is ethanol. We use the other two types of alcohol for cleaning and manufacturing, not for making drinks. For example, methanol (or methyl alcohol) is a component in fuel for cars and boats.Which type of alcohol is good for health? ›
Red wine appears to be particularly beneficial because it is very high in healthy antioxidants. In fact, red wine may be linked to more health benefits than any other alcoholic beverage ( 75 , 76 , 77 , 78 , 79 ).Which alcohol is easiest on the liver? ›
- Red Wine. ...
- Light Beer. ...
- Tequila. ...
- Gin & Rum & Vodka & Whiskey.
Rum. Rum is also grain-free, which means it's less inflammatory than other choices.Which alcohol is not harmful? ›
Alcohol isn't a healthy choice in general, but some alcohol is better for you than others. Red wine, whiskey, tequila, and hard kombucha are healthier options than beer and sugary drinks. The CDC recommends you limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day if you're male and 1 if you're female.What alcohol is safest for kidneys? ›
4 Considerations When Drinking Alcohol with Chronic Kidney Disease. Experts consider one drink of alcohol to be 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounce of hard liquor. Consuming an occasional glass or 2 of an alcoholic beverage usually won't cause harmful effects to individuals with full kidney function.What alcohol is the least harmful to your stomach? ›
According to the pH level, gin, tequila, and non-grain vodkas are the lowest acidity options; choosing drinks made with these alcohols will be best on your stomach.Which alcoholic drink is worse for your liver? ›
Myth 3: Drinking hard liquor is worse than drinking beer or wine. Contrary to popular belief, the type of alcohol you drink doesn't make a difference – what matters is how much you drink. "The safe limit is fixed at 14 units a week," explains Dr Lui. "Below this limit, alcoholic fatty liver is less likely to occur.
Which alcohol is good for heart? ›
Red wine, in moderation, has long been thought of as heart healthy. The alcohol and certain substances in red wine called antioxidants may help prevent coronary artery disease, the condition that leads to heart attacks.Which alcohol is worse for high blood pressure? ›
Summary: Whether the drink of choice is a frosty beer or a full-bodied red wine, the effect is the same – higher blood pressure, according to research reported in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association.What is the #1 worst drink for your liver? ›
"Alcohol is the worst drink for your liver as it makes it harder on the liver to break down and remove toxins from the body," says Minerva Valencia, RD. "Alcohol is known to cause damage to this vital organ, but a wide variety of alcoholic drinks can also pose health risks," says Janet Coleman, RD at TheConsumerMag.What is the #1 best drink for your liver? ›
1. Coffee. Coffee is one of the best beverages you can drink to promote liver health. Studies have shown that drinking coffee protects the liver from disease, even among those who already have problems with this organ.How to detox your liver? ›
Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Eat a well-balanced diet every day. That's five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables, along with fiber from vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Be sure to include protein for the enzymes that help your body detox naturally.What alcohol is lowest in sugar? ›
- Vodka: 0 grams of sugar & 100 calories per 50 ml.
- Gin: 0 grams of sugar & 97 calories per 50 ml.
- Tequila: 0 grams of sugar & 97 calories per 50 ml.
- Whiskey: 0.03 grams of sugar & 105 calories per 50 ml.
Pure forms of alcohol like whiskey, gin, tequila, rum and vodka are all completely sugar-free whereas wines and light beer like Sapporo or Budvar have a minimal carb content.Which alcohol is better for body pain? ›
04/6Benefits of drinking beer
Drinking beer in moderate quantity serves two purposes, firstly it elevates the blood alcohol level by 0.08 percent and secondly, it gives your body the threshold to bear the pain by lowering the intensity of pain.
- Red wine. The touted benefits of this popular drink are thanks to the skins and seeds of the grape which are fermented with the juice. ...
- Mulled wine. ...
- White wine. ...
- Wine spritzer. ...
- Champagne. ...
- Buck's fizz. ...
- Craft* cider. ...
- Craft* beer.
The most common and well-known toxic alcohols are methanol, ethylene glycol and isopropanol. Methanol (methyl alcohol, “wood alcohol”). It is a colorless, volatile, flammable liquid that can smell like ethanol.
What's the worst type of alcohol to drink? ›
Everclear – This type of grain alcohol is 190 proof in its purest form, making it the most dangerous kind of alcohol a person can consume. Even two shots of Everclear can land a person in the emergency room – easily.What is the number one drink for kidneys? ›
Water: Water is simply the best drink you can have! Water is a zero-calorie, perfectly hydrating, cheap drink. If you are in the earlier stages of kidney disease, choosing water most of the time to quench your thirst will keep your body and kidneys functioning well.What are the first signs of kidney damage from alcohol? ›
- swelling of the legs, ankles, and feet due to fluid retention.
- loss of appetite.
- change in urine.
- kidney pain.
While plain water is the best drink for your kidneys, other fluids are perfectly acceptable, including coffee, green tea, low-potassium juices, and infused water. Avoid sweetened, carbonated beverages and coconut water.Which alcohol is hardest on your stomach? ›
While sweet drinks might taste good, they're more likely to upset your stomach if you have a history of digestive problems. Your fruity rum cocktail, dessert wine, and hard cider all contain sugars that can upset the digestive system, according to registered dietitian Stephanie Clairmont.What alcohol is best for acid reflux? ›
A few types of alcoholic beverages that are less likely to cause problems with acid reflux include:
- light beers.
- distilled spirits.
Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including: High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems. Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, voice box, liver, colon, and rectum.How can I protect my liver from alcohol? ›
The following measures are recommended: Do not drink alcohol in excess. On a routine basis, men should not consume more than three drinks per day, and women should not consume more than two drinks per day to prevent the development of alcoholic liver disease. Avoid weight gain.How much alcohol is safe to drink daily? ›
If you're a healthy adult: To reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury, healthy men and women should drink no more than 10 standard drinks a week and no more than 4 standard drinks on any one day.What is considered a heavy drinker? ›
What do you mean by heavy drinking? For men, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming 15 drinks or more per week. For women, heavy drinking is typically defined as consuming 8 drinks or more per week.
Is vodka the healthiest alcohol? ›
Vodka doesn't contain a significant amount of minerals or nutrients. Vodka has no sugar and fewer calories than some other liquors. If you already consume alcohol, vodka may be a slightly healthier option. Be careful of adding vodka to mixers, however, since they are frequently high in sugar.What are the top 10 healthiest drinks? ›
- Pomegranate Juice. Image: © Nitr/Fotolia.com. ...
- Low Fat Milk. Image: © Africa Studio/Fotolia.com. ...
- Green Tea. Image: © efired - Fotolia.com. ...
- Orange Juice. Image: © Brent Hofacker/Fotolia.com. ...
- Beet Juice. Image: © Printemps/Fotolia.com. ...
- Hot Chocolate. ...
- Kale Juice. ...
- Lemon Juice.
Salt or sodium
Salt, or specifically the sodium in salt, is a major contributor to high blood pressure and heart disease. This is because of how it affects fluid balance in the blood. Table salt is around 40 percent sodium. Some amount of salt is important for health, but it's easy to eat too much.
If you have high blood pressure, avoid alcohol or drink alcohol only in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men.What alcohol is best for high blood pressure and cholesterol? ›
Alcohol Boosts 'Good' Cholesterol
In particular, red wine might offer the greatest benefit for lowering heart disease risk and death because it contains higher levels of natural plant chemicals -- such as resveratrol -- that have antioxidant properties and might protect artery walls.
So, now on to the all-important question, which alcohol is easiest on the liver? The quick answer is, none of them. The reason is that the main liver-damaging ingredient in all types of alcohol is ethanol. It doesn't matter which alcohol you chose, be it weak beer or grain alcohol.What is the most unhealthy alcohol? ›
- Sugary Cocktails (500 Calories per 8 oz Serving) Fancy mixed drinks might sound tasty, but they're often loaded with calories. ...
- Frozen Beach Drinks (280 Calories per 5 oz Serving) ...
- Craft Beer (170 Calories per 12 oz Serving)
Clear spirits in general
Other colourless drinks, like rum, sake and gin, are similarly low in congeners (although not as low as vodka), and thus less likely to leave you feeling ill.
While sweet drinks might taste good, they're more likely to upset your stomach if you have a history of digestive problems. Your fruity rum cocktail, dessert wine, and hard cider all contain sugars that can upset the digestive system, according to registered dietitian Stephanie Clairmont.What is the most alcohol absorbed through stomach lining? ›
Alcohol is absorbed throughout the digestive tract. Unlike other nutrients alcohol is absorbed directly into the blood stream through the stomach lining and it is also rapidly absorbed in the small intestine. Alcohol metabolism mostly occurs in the liver, but other cells in the body can also metabolise alcohol.
Do all heavy drinkers get liver damage? ›
No. Some alcoholics may suffer seriously from the many physical and psychological symptoms of alcoholism, but escape serious liver damage. Alcoholic cirrhosis is found among alcoholics about 10 to 25 percent of the time.What is worse for liver sugar or alcohol? ›
Some studies show that sugar can be as damaging to the liver as alcohol, even if you're not overweight. It's one more reason to limit foods with added sugars, such as soda, pastries, and candy.Which is healthier tequila or vodka? ›
Tequila has numerous health benefits (and is lower in calories than Smirnoff vodka). Agavins, the natural sugar found in tequila, are non-digestible (meaning they act like fiber) and won't raise your blood sugar levels. Furthermore, the sugar is shown to help lower cholesterol and can help you lose weight.Is tequila the healthiest alcohol? ›
Tequila has less sugar and calories than similar liquors, which may make it a slightly healthier option if you drink. But when mixing it with other ingredients, be careful to account for the whole drink's nutrition and not just the tequila measure.Is it best not to drink alcohol at all? ›
In fact, the latest dietary guidelines make it clear that no one should begin drinking alcohol or drink more often on the basis of potential health benefits. For many people, the possible benefits don't outweigh the risks and avoiding alcohol is the best course.