With the sober curious movement gaining momentum around the world, many others are left wondering how these people have fun. And sure, drinking is fun. But when you wake up with a killer hangover the next day, it takes all your energy to go about your day as usual.
So this brings up the question – is there a mid-way solution that allows you to still have fun and bond with your friends over a glass of drink, without the debilitating effects of a hangover?
Say hello to non-alcoholic drinks! These drinks offer the same taste, complexity, and depth as alcoholic drinks, but without any form of intoxication. You can still join in with your friends and have a good time, but you wouldn’t have to deal with a hangover the next day.
So, are you ready to learn more about non-alcoholic beverages and a hangover-free lifestyle?
Alcoholic Drinks: Why Do You Get A Hangover?
Sometimes, after medium-high levels of alcohol consumption, you’re left with some unpleasant psychological and physiological side effects, like nausea, headache, vomiting, depression, and more. These side effects typically occur ten hours after the consumption of alcohol, as the blood alcohol level peaks. They can last anywhere between a few hours to more than a day. This is what is termed a hangover.
Just like alcohol affects our bodies in different ways, hangover is a complex phenomenon that affects different people differently. Many of the side effects of alcohol vary according to weight, sex, and genetic disposition too.
Here are some factors which normally contribute to intense hangovers –
- Family history: If there is a history of alcoholism in your family, your chances of having frequent hangovers are higher. This is because people with a family history have a tendency to consume alcohol in greater quantities.
- Congeners: Alcoholic drinks usually contain chemicals known as congeners. These are the chemicals that contribute to the smell, taste, and appearance of alcoholic beverages, and they are known to increase the side effects of hangovers. Congeners are present in greater quantities in alcohols like brandy, whiskey, and red wine, as opposed to clear liquors like vodka and gin. This is why you experience lesser hangover effects with the latter.
- Smoking and other drugs: If an individual smokes and uses other drugs, it exacerbates the symptoms of a hangover when they do drink alcohol. Using other drugs is also known to foster excessive intake of alcohol.
Problems That Are Associated With Hangovers
Here are some common problems associated with hangovers –
- Dehydration: Drinking alcohol can cause an electrolyte imbalance in your body. You might notice increased sweating, urine production, diarrhea, and vomiting, which can lead to dehydration. This, in turn, leads to weakness, light-headedness, dizziness, etc.
- Low blood sugar: Alcohol inhibits the production of glucose and also depletes your glucose reserves. Since glucose is the main energy source for your brain, alcohol consumption can lead to mood disturbances, weakness, fatigue, and more.
- Gastrointestinal issues: Alcohol is also known to irritate the lining of the stomach and intestines, which can lead to delayed stomach emptying. This leads to abdominal pain, nausea, and other gastrointestinal issues.
- Headache: One of the most common symptoms of hangovers is headaches. They occur because of the widening of the blood vessels in the brain. Alcohol also affects the production of serotonin, prostaglandins, and histamine, all of which are known to contribute to headaches.
- Sleep issues: Alcohol consumption can affect your sleep pattern too. It disrupts the cortisol release and the body’s daily temperature rhythm, which produces symptoms that are very much similar to jet lag.
Celebrating But Without The Hangover: The Non-Alcoholic Changemakers
For most people around the world, celebrations revolve around alcohol and drinking. But the non-alcoholic beverage industry has changed that to some degree. This growing industry is based on the simple fact that you don’t “need” alcohol to have fun.
The rise of non-alcoholic spirits started in 2016 when a start-up known as Seedlip came out with a one-of-a-kind alcohol-free beverage for adults. Since then, the number of takers of non-alcoholic beverages has grown significantly. This is because these non-alcoholic beverages are able to reproduce the same bitterness of alcohol but without the debilitating effects of alcohol.
The process of making this beverage also remains the same, as is seen with traditional spirits like gin, vodka, whiskey, and rum. The only difference is that it contains little to no alcohol. It also contains lesser calories and comes with a range of benefits. Read more about these in the next section.
Other Non-Alcoholic Drink Benefits
Besides avoiding hangovers, drinking non-alcoholic beverages come with several other benefits, like –
- Weight loss: Drinking NA beverages allows you to cut back on calories since most of the calories in alcoholic drinks come from the alcohol itself. NA drinks also tend to have lesser sugar content, which can help you lose weight faster.
- Lesser ‘hanxiety’: NA drinks are for the most part guilt-free and delicious, making it the beverage of choice if you want to boost your mood. With no alcohol disrupting your brain’s hormonal balance, you experience lesser anxiety.
- Increased hydration: While alcoholic drinks are well-known for causing dehydration, there is no such side effect with NA drinks. This is because NA drinks don’t contain diuretics.
- Antioxidants: Non-alcoholic wines are made from antioxidant-rich fruits that help in preventing heart diseases.
- Doesn’t harm your vital organs: Drinking excessive alcohol can affect your vital organs, including your liver, brain, heart, and pancreas. By switching over to NA drinks, you can protect your body from irreversible damage.
Here Are Some Great Non-Alcoholic Drink Recommendations
Here are some great options for non-alcoholic drinks –
- Free Spirits The Spirit of Tequila: This earthy tequila alternative comes with a smoky, agave-based palate and spicy and earthy notes.
- Wander + Found Cuvée Blanc: This non-alcoholic wine offers fresh notes of citrus and lime along with the tartness of green apple.
- Big Drop Brewing Galactic Extra Dark: If you’re looking for the perfect non-alcoholic beer for the summer, this is a great choice. With a thick texture and rich flavor, the beer was also the winner of the World’s Best Flavored beer in 2020.
- Sir. James 101 Gin Tonic: This alcohol-free gin and tonic drink comes with the natural flavors of lime and juniper, along with the attractive aroma of botanical herbs and citrus fruits.
Some Other Things To Consider
The social component of drinking alcohol cannot be ignored. Whether you are attending a work-related event or are getting together with friends, you are bound to encounter these situations. Non-alcoholic drinks offer you an option to stay away from the debilitating effects of alcohol, while still feeling part of the group.
With the large variety of flavorful non-alcoholic drinks available on the Better Rhodes marketplace, you can explore the different shades of life without depending on alcohol. Besides enjoying the benefits of non-alcoholic drinks, you’ll also be able to re-evaluate your relationship with alcohol.
The trend of alcohol-free and non-alcoholic drinks is something that is showing no chance of slowing down. With the wide variety of non-alcoholic drink options available today, you would never have to look back at alcohol again. So, here's to enjoying flavorful drinks with no worries about hangovers the next day.