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Are Alcohol-Free Drinks Always Healthy?
Alcohol-free or non-alcoholic drinks have exploded in popularity over the last few years as more people than ever have cut back on their alcohol consumption, avoiding the crippling hangovers and taking the healthier route. However, hangovers aren't the only reason people are making the switch. The desire for starting or maintaining a healthier lifestyles has been the push for many to ditch the booze and choose their non-alcoholic counterparts.
With a huge range of adult non-alcoholic drinks now available including everything from fresh fruit juice to CBD to botanicals, making this healthy switch is now easier than it has ever been. At least that's what many think. But are all of these alcohol alternatives as healthy as they claim? Or is there a hidden 'unhealthy' side to this wellness craze? Let’s take a closer look.
What is a low alcohol or alcohol-free drink?
According to UK drinks regulations, low-alcohol drinks are those that contain less than 1.2% alcohol and alcohol-free drinks are those that contain less than 0.05%.
If you’re trying to give up alcohol completely this might sound like a lot. But many of our everyday food items contain a small amount of alcohol that doesn’t have a harmful effect. For example, most vinegar contains around 0.3-0.4% alcohol, kombucha tea contains around 0.5% and even a ripe banana can contain 0.5% alcohol.
Compare this to your average bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon which contains around 13.5% ABV, vodka which is around 40% ABV and beer which is usually 4-5% ABV and you’ll see what a difference this can make.
However, these regulations apply just to products from the UK. Imported drinks may contain more alcohol, despite carrying the ‘low alcohol’ label. For that reason, it’s always better to double-check the label if you’re unsure.
Why choose alcohol-free drinks?
Most people choose to switch to low alcohol or zero alcohol drinks for purely health reasons. They want to protect their body from the damaging effects of alcohol and reduce their risk of developing a range of potential health problems such as cancer, stroke and heart disease.
They are also tired of wasting their entire weekend feeling rotten and nursing their hangovers. But at the same time, they don’t want to stop having fun with their friends or family. They want to enjoy the same unique flavour and sense of self-indulgence that alcohol provides, but without any of the guilt.
Switching to a low alcohol alternative allows them to keep their health and wellness in check whilst still having fun. Many also want to reduce the number of calories they are consuming from alcohol to lose weight or stay in shape, without having to go on restrictive diets. Alcoholic drinks contain a huge number of calories from the alcohol alone. This fact is another reason why many are switching to healthier adult non-alcoholic drinks.
According to independent alcohol-free drinks website, Steady Drinker; “Pure alcohol contains 56 calories per unit (7 calories per gram). So a pint of 4% ABV beer contains 129 calories from alcohol alone.”
This might not sound like a lot, but these calories soon add up, especially if you’re trying to lose weight or stay in shape. For example, an average glass of wine contains around 190 calories, a standard gin and tonic around 170 calories and over 200 calories in a pint of beer. This is approximately the same as you’ll find in a jam doughnut, a packet of tangy cheese Doritos or 3 ½ Hobnob biscuits.
By switching to a low alcohol alternative, you’ll consume a fraction of these calories. For example, all of the Kolibri non-alcoholic drinks are completely sugar-free and allow you to adjust the calories and sweetness according to your personal tastes.
Are there any downsides to low alcohol drinks?
Overall, low alcohol drinks are a healthier option than regular alcoholic drinks. However, they aren’t always as innocent as they might seem. Many alcohol-free drinks still contain sugar or artificial sweeteners which can also pose a threat to your health, increasing your chances of tooth decay, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Even if you think you’re choosing the healthier option by going for a smoothie or a juice instead of a Daiquiri, you’ll be loading up on sugars and doing your body no favours at all, especially if you drink several in one sitting.
Why are consumers intrigued by Kolibri?
Kolibri drinks are all-natural botanical infusions that allow consumers to adjust the sweetness of the drink to suit their own palette. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to our taste or dietary preferences and with Kolibri, consumers are able to enjoy a drink crafter to please the adult palate, while perfecting it to their own taste.
As you can see, most low alcohol drinks offer a healthy way to reduce their alcohol intake, lose weight and protect your health. However, many contain high levels of sugar which can pose additional health risks. For that reason, it’s always best to choose a trusted brand of low-sugar adult drinks such as the innovative botanicals created by Kolibri. Why not try one today?
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