3 Reasons to Add Non-Alcoholic Beverages to your Rotation

Gone are the days where non-alcoholic and alcohol-free drinks were bland and boring, where you only drank them if you were cutting out alcohol completely. The last couple of years have led to the creation of some genuinely delicious NA and AF beers, spirits, wines, and more.

There’s lots of reasons to drink non-alcoholic adult beverages. In the interest of time, here are my top three:

  1. It helps you cut down your alcohol consumption
  2. It’s actually healthy
  3. You know exactly what’s in it

Reducing your alcohol intake

There is so much documented on the negative effects of drinking alcohol. Whether you’re looking to give it up completely, temporarily, or like me, just reduce your consumption as a whole, non-alcoholic drinks are a great way to maintain the ritual and social interactions...without the negative effects.

One of the reasons we enjoy drinking alcohol is the dopamine rush it creates. Non-alcoholic beers, for example, trigger the same happy feeling we get when we drink an alcoholic beer, causing our body to produce dopamine. This is due to the smell, taste, and flavour of the non-alcoholic beer that almost tricks our brains into thinking we’re having an alcoholic one.

Research from the University of Oxford has also shown that our brains associate the feelings of reward from drinking a beer, whether that’s 0%, 0.5% or full-strength. We get to enjoy the happy feelings without the restless sleep, hangovers, and lethargy. Win-win!

That said, if you have an addiction to alcohol, it is possible for these triggers to lead back to it. So please speak to a healthcare professional about whether they recommend non-alcoholic drinks as a course of action for you to reduce your alcohol consumption.

Health benefits

Aside from not feeling the negative effects of alcohol, non-alcoholic beverages also come with their own health benefits, particularly with non-alcoholic beer. Some key benefits are as follows:

  • Hydration - alcohol is a diuretic, which accelerates dehydration. Non-alcoholic beverages are not diuretic.
  • Better health - beers, in particular, are chock full of vitamins and minerals. Additionally, it contains inulin, which promotes gut health. There is also links of beta-glucans found in barley, a key beer ingredient, with lowering of cholesterol and risk of heart disease.
  • Low calorie & recovery - The average non-alcoholic beer is under 100 calories and spirits a whopping 0. They make great substitution options when trying to lose weight or as a recovery drink after a workout. Non-alcoholic beer especially typically has around 20g of carbohydrates, enough to replenish your glycogen stores but not to derail your diet.

You know what’s in it

You’ll notice that alcoholic beverages do not have a nutritional label. This is perhaps an example of the influence “Big Booze” has on government regulations. Non-alcoholic beverages, on the other hand, have to comply with the same rules as anything else sold in a supermarket. As a result, you know exactly what you’re putting into your body, and make the choice for yourself.

Bonus benefit

I know I said 3 but I felt like this was an important one, and part of what we are trying to do.

There is often a stigma, at bars, office parties, celebrations etc. if one chooses not to drink. Our culture is so dominated by celebration through drinking. With a non-alcoholic option, you get to enjoy that cheers with your crew without anyone questioning your motive for not participating. I don’t think of it as hiding, but rather as making the choice to enjoy the moment in your own way.

Do you see other benefits to adding non-alcoholic beverages to your rotation?

Let us know.