6 Nutrition Tricks to Choosing Your Next Alcoholic Drink

Dr Katrina Gallagher on staying true to your healthy lifestyle while indulging in an alcoholic drink or two!
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Some drinks such as Margaritas and Long Island Iced Teas are sugar bombs while others like Mudslides and Pina Coladas may be laden with fat too! Either way, Wine, Beer and spirits will have some sort of affect on your health. Alcohol delivers 7 calories per 1 gram -- more calories than carbohydrates and protein, both at just 4 calories per gram.

So how to stay true to your healthy lifestyle when being tempted with tipples at the next BBQ or party? Here are some nutrition tricks to keep handy when choosing your next tipple:

1. Vitamin B and Beer

B vitamins are needed for methylation, which is part of the detoxification process. Brewer's yeast, which is used in making beer, is one of the best sources of B vitamins. Unfortunately, more beer doesn't mean more B vitamins -- 1 or 2 is enough! Or you could simply load up with foods rich in B vitamins, such as lentils, chickpeas, spinach, and liver meat.

2. Cocktails that pack the Vitamin C Punch

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that detoxifies our body. However, alcohol depletes Vitamin C so make sure to double up. Try a cocktail made with strawberries, pineapple, or oranges to even the score.

3. Grapefruit, Orange and Watermelon Based Drinks

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) helps increase glutathione, which protects the liver. Help reduce the risk (or intensity) of a hangover by loading up with foods rich in glutathione. These include asparagus, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale. If you want to guard your liver as you imbibe, choose cocktails with fresh grapefruit, orange, and watermelon.

4. Mimosas are a Good Choice!

Mimosas are one of the best options for a few reasons. One, the alcohol is being cut with juice. Two, the bubbles create a feeling of satiety and slows down the pace. Three, oranges provide antioxidants Vitamin C and glutathione.

5. Eat Magnesium Based Snacks Alongside

Magnesium is also depleted by alcohol. Magnesium has anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease a hangover. At your next dinner party, put out a bowl of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and cashews - all great sources of magnesium - to pair with the tipples.

6. Easy, Healthy Swapping

Other better choices are a wine spritzer (make it even lighter by swapping soda water for club soda), mojito (swap in soda water, or skip the added sugar), bloody mary (check is low-sodium tomato juice is available), or keep it simple by cracking open a beer (note "a beer", not five).

However, be sure to indulge responsibly. Dietary recommendations for 2015-2020 in the US suggest no more than 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men; 1 drink is considered as 0.6 ounces of liquor, 12 ounces of beer, or 5 ounces of wine. Different countries may have different ideas of what is considered a 'moderate' consumption of alcohol. In the US, "binge" drinking is considered as 5 or more drinks within 2 hours for men and 4 or more drinks in two hours for women. However, the UK defines binge drinking as 8 drinks for men and 6 drinks for women, within 2 hours.

Dr. Katrina Gallagher

20 Sep 2017, 10:00 AM

Doctor of Chiropractic (USA) | Master of Science Applied Clinical Nutrition (USA)

I moved from the US to Singapore 5 years ago with my husband, Cory, to experience other cultures while running a wellness practice in the heart of Orchard.  The focus of my practice is to empower families to make informed choices about their health, to educate on preventive and spinal care, and to inspire living well.