My New Favourite Non-Alcoholic Beer

As with anything else, alcohol is something that should be enjoyed in moderation. And, the negative health effects of not heeding this advice can soon become apparent!

The number of people choosing to drink less, or not drink at all, is on the rise – which is of course great for the health of the nation! And for those of us who don’t necessarily want to drink alcohol, but still enjoy the pleasure of having a beer, there is an ever-impressive range of alcohol-free beers available!

Heineken Zero Alcohol Beer JulieMontagu

Stats show that drinking habits in the UK have experienced a change in the last 15 years, with alcohol consumption dropping by a massive 26% between 2002 and 2012! (Source).

Heineken have recently released their very own alcohol free beer, Heineken 0.0 and it is rapidly becoming a favourite amongst those abstaining. Made with the same high quality brewing process as their regular creations, the alcohol is then gently removed afterwards, leaving a slightly fruity taste with the usual malty flavour. I was able to attend the launch of Heineken 0.0 in Barcelona during the Grand Prix and it was heaven to sit on the beach and drink this delicious beer!

Spanish F1 Grand Prix - Heineken

So what are the health benefits of choosing the alcohol-free version of your drink of choice?

Well first of all, of course, there’s the calorie count. Non-alcoholic beers contain roughly half the calories of their alcoholic counterparts, making them a better option for those watching their weight. The new alcohol free Heineken 0.0, for example, has just 69 calories per bottle.

Secondly, drinking alcohol dehydrates your body, and your skin will be the most noticeable thing that pays the price for this! When you drink regularly, you will be depriving your skin of the vitamins and minerals it needs to look its best. You will probably have noticed that your face in particular looks puffy and dry after a night out!

Your body will benefit in many ways from sobriety, but your mind will also be much clearer and free of brain fuzz! What’s more is your memory will of course not be affected on a night out when you opt for a zero alcohol drink!

How to Make Healthy Alcohol Choices

It’s that time of year again when we’re all being bombarded with advice on how to avoid over-indulging in party food and booze. Although being told to ‘stop at two is great in theory, when we get into the festive spirit it’s easy to postpone our good intentions.

When it comes to alcohol it really pays to have the facts so that you know what you’re putting in your body and what the consequences of that will be. We all know that beer is full of bad fats and is high in calories, but do we all know what the better options really are?

Vodka with Soda

One of the most low calorie drinks you can choose is a vodka with soda. There is approximately 95 calories in 1.5 ounces of vodka. Soda water is totally calorie free!

Tequila

When drinking tequila, always look on the label to check it is 100% Agave. Real Mexican tequila is required by law to only be made from the blue Weber agave plant. When tequila is made in the U.S it can contain up to 49% other liquids, which will usually be sugary alcohols – this is something to be avoided! When made in Mexico, this drink will be gluten free, sugar free and low in carbohydrates. Tequila experts will tell you that a shot after dinner can aid with digestion and also that when drank in moderation can help to lower bad cholesterol levels. A single serving of tequila contains approximately 97 calories.

Sake

Japanese rice wine, known as sake is made from fermented rice and is usually around 16% alcohol. Sake contains selenium which is a mineral with antioxidant properties. Several health conditions have been linked to low selenium levels. Drinking rice wine is known to be better for your stomach than the majority of other alcohols, especially if you already suffer from a digestive condition.

Red Wine

In recent years we’ve been hearing more and more how a glass of red wine a night is actually quite good for you. Not only does it help you to relax after a stressful day, but it also contains iron, potassium, magnesium and a range of antioxidants. One of these antioxidants, called resveratrol, is known to lower bad cholesterol levels whilst also helping to protect against blood clots.

Potato Vodka

Potato vodka, as the name would suggest, is made using potatoes instead of the usual grains. It is almost impossible to tell the difference in taste. As with grain vodka, potato vodka has antibacterial properties and is astringent in nature meaning it can keep the skin and hair healthy. The differences between the two are that the potato version is gluten free, sugar free and also has a lower carbohydrate count. That means you can enjoy it in moderation without worrying as much about the adverse health effects.

When it comes to mixers to drink your drinks with, it is best to avoid high sugar, high calorie options. Opt instead for fresh fruit juice (that you can make at home) or even blended vegetables such as cucumber, carrot or avocado. If you want to sweeten up your drink then it’s always a good idea to use a squirt of organic honey – but don’t over do it! Also, if you’re in a bar and it’s therefore not possible to make the drink yourself, then the best options are gluten free beers and ciders, a red wine or champagne. Try to avoid mixed drinks and liqueurs as they are usually crammed with refined sugar!