By SOTG News Service
Summer is coming! It’s time to start getting a little smarter about the cocktails you are enjoying if you want to keep your summer body—or if you simply want to keep from passing out from heat exhaustion while drinking under the sun. Even if you aren’t necessarily concerned about a beach body, there are some simple fixes to your cocktails that will at least keep the hangovers to a minimum, which is always a plus. Here are 10 tips to keep your cocktails “healthy.” Enjoy!
1. Use seltzer instead of club soda.
There is a difference here folks! Seltzer is simply water that has been carbonated. Its origin is an actual town called Selters in Germany which is famous for its natural springs. Club soda, on the other hand, contains some ingredients that supposedly enhance the flavor (although if you don’t know, you probably can’t taste the difference). These ingredients are things that you would have seen on the bottle like potassium bicarbonate and potassium sulfate which are salty minerals. Some also contain preservatives.
2. Cut the sodas and colas
Say goodbye to Rum & Coke or Gin & Tonics. Cola contains unnecessary artificial sugars that you don’t need, like high fructose corn syrup. Tonic Water contains the bitter quinine, which adds calories. Fun fact: Quinine used to be used to treat malaria! If you absolutely have to drink cola, at least stick to diet soda. While the artificial sweeteners in diet sodas aren’t much better, you can at least cut away the hangovers!
3. Light Rum over Dark Rum
If you wish to decrease the severity of your hangover, choose light rum over dark rum. Dark liquors contain congeners, which according to the Oxford University Press, actually increase a hangover. Congeners are what make up the color and flavor of liquors.
4. Make your own juice
Fruit juice itself contains a lot of sugar. Fruit cocktail contains even more because it is artificially sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. For example, Cranberry juice is very tart, so they sweeten it with other fruits juices like apple juice. A cranberry juice cocktail, however, is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. Any type of juice that you buy from the store is even worse because it is packed with preservatives. So, if you wish to go all natural, the healthier option is juicing your own juice. This way you avoid the artificial sweeteners.
5. Speaking of fruit juice – choose antioxidant-rich ones
Focus on drinks with antioxidant-rich fruit juices like cranberry, lemon, or pomegranate. Each is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. Dr. Oz tells us that antioxidants help fight off free oxygen radicals in your body which can lead to various illnesses, stress, and aging.
6. Say goodbye to Pre-Made Drink Mixers
Pre-made mixers are packed with sugar and artificial sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup. The sweeteners make you think your drink tastes ‘better’ when really it is just going to lead you to a stomach ache or hang over! If you really have no way around it, and you have to use a pre-mixed drink – go with something like Skinny Girl – which is at least low in calories.
7. Don’t drink alcohol in the hot sun
This is kind of a no-brainer, and it’s crazy how quickly we forget after one or two beers in the sun. Do not drink excessively under the hot sun. This is a one-way ticket to an ugly night, let alone extreme dehydration. You also increase the risk of getting sunburn.
8. Don’t drink right before bed – no more nightcaps
Men’s Health tells us that there are a lot of negatives to going to bed drunk. You miss out on the much-needed REM sleep, so you wake up restless and overtired, which will not help to keep healthy.
9. Don’t drink before a workout
Being healthy means working out. Alcohol can negate the effects of a workout even before you hit the weight bench. One study showed that alcohol stops the repair of muscles after they break down, so even if you are in the gym getting your lift on, you won’t gain anything from it. Alcohol from the night before has also been shown to linger in the bloodstream, so lay off even if you are going to get a good night’s sleep.
10. Or after the workout either!
Although there was a rumor going around that beer is a great workout recovery drink, Greatist has also somewhat debunked this one as well. There are way more negative effects than positive here for your health in post workout recovery boozing. “Alcohol causes oxygen to leave the bloodstream more quickly, which inhibits the transport of digestive enzymes and essential nutrients through the body,” the site says. “This slows muscle growth and repair and impairs the metabolism of carbs for energy.”
For even more tips on healthier summer drinking, check out American Bartenders School!