The first official day of summer is tomorrow, but temperatures have been sizzling in the 90’s all week. There is nothing more refreshing than a chilled drink. House made bitters, fizzy sodas, muddled herbs- they all seem to hydrate our system and revive our spirits. But we often only think of alcoholic cocktails. Besides the obvious reasons not to imbibe, like age or medical restrictions, here are three other reasons to skip the alcohol and try a “mocktail,” thanks to advice from Georgia State University’s nutrition professor Christine Rosenbloom, PhD, RD, CSSD.
- You'll save on calories.
The bigger the buzz, the higher the calories. Distilled spirits (vodka, rum, whiskey, gin, tequila) have 97 calories per 1.5 ounces of 80 proof. Rosenbloom says, “The proof is tied to alcohol content so the higher the proof, the higher the alcohol and therefore the calories. Plus alcohol reduces inhibitions, not just for driving and judgment, but also food inhibitions, so you might not be keeping track of calories.”
Drink up: King + Duke "Tradewinds"
Lemon squash and lemon soda team up in this lip-puckering fizz. The soda water is calorie-free and lemons are a good detox agent.
- Mocktails are more hydrating.
Alcohol has a dehydrating effect, which can also make skin look sallow. Rosenbloom suggests striving for healthy skin with quality protein, vitamin/mineral rich fruits and veggies. “If someone thinks drinking vodka mixed with acai berry is going to be a miracle drink for healthy skin they are fooling themselves.”
Drink up: Alma Cocina "Pineapple Ginger Agua Fresca"
Ginger and pineapple are anti-inflammatory, so in addition to tasting tart and refreshing, this could sooth any pain you’re feeling.
It’s Sunday. Friday night was a boozer and Saturday night you tried to keep up with friends. So today, you find yourself sprawled at the poolside hoping for a day-long nap and a tan.
Drink up: No. 246 "Gumball Machine"
Mint, ginger, lemon, Fee Brothers plum bitters and soda are soothing to the stomach after a rough night.
Bottom line from Rosenbloom: "I think the biggest concern with alcohol is the amount consumed in a specific time frame. Everyone talks about the 'French paradox'- how they can drink so much wine and be healthy- but the French don't do shots to preload before they go for the evening. They drink wine with meals over the course of several hours. If an individual drinks the recommended amount, which is one drink per day for women and two drinks for men, that is completely fine."
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Credit: DeKalb County District Attorney's Office