Despite the UK being a nation with a large drinking culture, people in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are more health conscious than ever. People are now more aware of the dangers of alcohol, and drinking habits have changed. The younger generations are drinking less, and the number of people who participate in Dry January in the UK has increased year on year.
These changing habits have meant a growing non-alcoholic beverages market. Companies have reacted to the desire for alcohol-free drinks as people look to cut down for health reasons, worry about addiction or want a lifestyle change.
In this article, you’ll find detailed information about non-alcoholic drinks and whether they are good for you.
What are Alcohol-Free Drinks?
Alcohol-free drinks are marketed as substitutes for alcoholic drinks such as beer, wine and spirits. Alongside non-alcoholic drinks, there are drinks with low amounts of alcohol. These types of beverages contain up to 1.2% ABV (alcohol by volume) and are labelled so.
Drinks with no alcohol in them accurately replicate the taste and look of their alcoholic versions – making it different for people to tell the differences. In some cases, even those drinks that are labelled alcohol-free drink will contain some alcohol. In England, alcohol-free drinks are allowed to contain 0.05% ABV.
Are Non-Alcoholic Drinks Better for You than Alcohol?
Non-alcoholic drinks are generally better for your health than alcoholic beverages.
Alcohol can increase the risk of several health issues, including liver disease, heart problems, and certain types of cancer. It can also affect your mental health, and, for some, frequent drinking can contribute to addiction. Non-alcoholic drinks, on the other hand, don’t carry these risks related to alcohol consumption.
However, the health benefits or drawbacks of non-alcoholic beverages can vary widely depending on what you’re drinking. For example, several non-alcoholic drink options are known to have a high sugar content.
Benefits of Drinking Alcohol-Free Drinks vs Alcohol
Although it’s important to seek professional advice for serious concerns, switching to alcohol-free options can contribute significantly to your overall well-being and quality of life.
Alcohol is a diuretic, which means you go to the toilet more often. Doing this without drinking water can lead to dehydration. Dehydration is actually one of the big reasons why hangovers are described as uncomfortable and unpleasant – causing headaches, fatigue and an inability to function properly. Many non-alcoholic drinks don’t contain diuretics, so they will keep you hydrated.
Antioxidants are compounds that protect your body from free radicals – which are unstable atoms that cause illnesses and damage cells. Alcoholic drinks, such as wine, for example, contain antioxidants due to being made from fruit and are considered one of the healthier options. Non-alcohol options are usually made from the same blend, keeping the same antioxidants to help protect the heart and prevent heart disease.
Easier on Your Organs
Typically speaking, opting for alcohol-free beverages is a better and more gentle choice for your body.
Consuming alcohol can lead to significant harm to various organs, including but not limited to the liver, stomach, heart, and brain. In essence, by choosing non-alcoholic options, you’re not only avoiding the risk of damaging these critical organs but also providing them with the nourishment they need to maintain optimal health.
Lower Addiction Risk
Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that of addiction. Drinking heavily for a long time will lead to alcoholism – which, sadly, is a disease that can destroy your life. Though it’s not generally recommended to drink alcohol-free drinks if you’re in recovery, casual drinkers could introduce non-alcoholic options into their lives to reduce the risk of addiction.
Is Alcohol-Free Beer Bad for You?
Drinking non-alcoholic beer is better for you than the alcoholic version. Non-alcoholic beer contains less gluten, meaning the drinks are easier on your digestive tract if you have a sensitive stomach.
They contain fewer calories than alcoholic beer but may include more sugars. Unlike the alcohol version, alcohol-free beer will have a list of ingredients and nutrition facts on the packaging so you can see what you are putting into your body.
If you are looking to cut down, then they are a good option. If you are pregnant or in recovery, then not drinking at all is the best way to go.
Advantages of Going Sober
Turning to alcohol-free drinks could be the beginning of a journey that ends in being completely sober. The sober lifestyle is one that many people choose, and for good reason. On the outside, sober living may seem boring, but the alternative for many is succumbing to the disease of addiction.
- There are Financial Benefits: As alcohol prices are rising, choosing to go sober can come with potential money-saving benefits.
- Better Relationships: Alcohol can have a big impact on us, not just physically, but it can also shake up our lives and the connections we have with others. Stepping away from alcohol could open up a chance for you to rediscover yourself and mend relationships.
- Improved Health: As said earlier, alcohol can wreak havoc with your body. Without toxic alcohol in your system, your body can begin to heal, and soon you will be eating better and feeling physically improved. Abandoning drinking can also lead to a boost in your mental well-being.
- Better Sleep and More Energy: Drinking alcohol regularly can lead to poor sleep due to a lack of REM sleep. Without alcohol, you can get the rest you need. With a more regular sleeping pattern, you will find that you have more energy in your waking hours.
- Lead a More Meaningful Life: A life with alcohol is one experienced in a haze with snatches of clarity. Without alcohol, you can be more focused and gain peace in your life. With a new perspective, you will hopefully start to lead a better life full of experiences that can be clearly remembered and treasured.
Learn More About Going Sober
So, are alcohol-free drinks good for you? That is a question many consider switching to their ask. The answer is – yes, in most cases. As a moderate drinker, they can be a good stepping stone to sober living, but for those suffering from alcohol addiction, it is best to get professional help.Back to all posts