Are you trying to take a break from the booze for Sober October, but don't know where to start? Fear not because the alcohol-free and low alcohol drink market has never been so tempting.
There are dozens of amazing options available if you enjoy sipping on a cold beverage, but want to banish the hangovers from hell, negative effects on your mental health and consuming endless calories. Read on to discover the health benefits of ditching alcohol and some of the best drinks around, from low-alcohol beer to alcohol-free wine, not to mention delicious mocktails.
How we chose the best no and low alcohol drinks
What are the benefits of cutting back on drinking?
Navin Khosla, Pharmacist at Now Patient has shared 5 benefits of taking part in Sober October.
- Strengthened Immune System: The body needs a variety of ‘good’ bacteria in its intestine to allow the immune system to work effectively. However, alcohol can impact the number and variety of these bacteria, resulting in a weaker immune system. Therefore, abstaining from alcohol consumption can help rebuild these levels.
- Weight loss: Excessive alcohol consumption can put a strain on your liver, impacting basic functions such as metabolism which can make it difficult to lose weight and can slow weight loss considerably. However, alcohol can be classed as a source of ‘empty calories’, since it is extremely calorific but provides little nutrients, so removing these unnecessary calories from your diet can help accelerate weight loss. Alcohol has also been linked to hunger and cravings, therefore resulting in calorific foods making their way into your diet.
- Better Mental Health: Alcohol can slow down how your brain processes information, often creating false emotions and reactions which can further lead to negative thoughts and feelings. The way alcohol causes chemical changes in your brain can lead to greater periods of anxiety and low mood. Cutting out alcohol will likely help lift your mood in the long run, it may take a few weeks for you to feel the effects but once your mind and body are used to being alcohol-free, you will feel these positive changes.
- Clear Skin: Alcohol can instigate blood flow to the tissues, leading to inflamed skin and blotchiness. This, combined with the dehydration caused by alcohol consumption, can lead to dry, blotchy skin with an increased likelihood of acne breakouts due to the body trying to cleanse itself of the chemicals. Cutting out alcohol will likely leave you with clearer skin, be sure to stay hydrated and maintain a good diet to maintain your glowy skin.
- Motivation & Productivity: Going out drinking and the after-effects of these activities can really stunt productivity (we've all been there!). With late nights and hangovers often accompanying a trip to the bar. Therefore, abstaining from drinking alcohol will likely result in better nights of sleep as well as greater levels of productivity throughout the day.
How we chose the best no and low alcohol drinks
Why you should trust me
I love nothing more than a glass of wine to unwind after a busy day or a bottomless brunch with friends. But in recent years, I've been plagued by crippling hangovers that have impacted my quality of life. Enough was finally enough and I've now changed my drinking habits, opting for a low-alcohol beer or gin alternative in the week. I'm finding my sleep is more restful, my skin is better and I can get up at 6am for spin class! I also reached out to my HELLO! colleagues for their opinion. From heavily pregnant Homes Editor Rachel Avery, who has been searching for the perfect prosecco alternative, to the ever-sociable social team, who love nothing more than a night out, we've found the below drinks pack the same punch as the real deal.
The best no and low alcohol drinks
How many calories are in alcohol-free wine?
Generally speaking, the higher the alcohol content, the higher the calories. A 250ml glass of regular white wine contains around 190 kcal, while red is even higher at 228 kcal. Alcohol-free wine is a great low-calorie option, containing roughly 9 calories per glass, depending on the brand.
How many calories are in alcohol-free beer?
Alcohol-free beer is slightly higher in calories, but making the switch will make a big difference for your health. Beer usually contains between 180 and 250 kcal per pint whereas its alcohol-free counterpart comes in at around 50 to 80 calories for a 330ml bottle. The serving size is also crucial as no/low-alcohol beer is usually sold in smaller bottles rather than cans, encouraging you to be more mindful with your drinking.
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.