Alcohol Alternatives offer a buzz without the alcohol or the hangover! These substitutes are an option to relax and socialize, without the negative side effects of Alcohol.
If you’ve been thinking about an alcohol free lifestyle, or perhaps reducing alcohol, this article is for you!
Risks Associated with Alcohol Use
There are a number of side effects from alcoholic beverages. The dreaded hangover after a night out with friends. Or that headache after a couple of glasses of wine at happy hour.
It can be a struggle deciding between tonight’s fun, and tomorrow’s pain!
Long Term Effects of Alcohol
- Depression and Anxiety
- Disturbances in Sleep
- Changes in Appetite and Weight
- Conflict in Relationships
Alcohol in Moderation
The National Institute on Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse’s website defines Drinking Levels (see below).
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture, adults of legal drinking age can choose not to drink or to drink in moderation by limiting intake to 2 drinks or less in a day for men and 1 drink or less in a day for women, when alcohol is consumed. Drinking less is better for health than drinking more.
Alcohol & Aging
Consuming alcohol regularly can age you faster. As you age, there are concerns with regular enjoyment of alcoholic drinks.
Alcohol impacts your physical and mental health more as you age.
You dehydrate easier, your organs weaken quicker, your brain cells shrink, and you get sick more easily.
Alcohol worsens common medical conditions. It can interact with medications, and can increase your risk of falls.
Consider Alcohol Alternatives to support Healthy Aging!
Living a life free of alcohol is increasing in popularity. Wellness trends like Dry January, and the Sober Curious Movement promote sobriety for health.
An alcohol free lifestyle is no longer just about alcoholism. The market value of No and Low-Alcohol drinks is up to almost $10 billion in 2021 from $7.8 billion in 2018.
Benefits of Alcohol Alternatives
- Decreases Alcohol Consumption
- Allows for “Social Drinking” without the effects of Alcohol
- Supports Weight Loss
- Decreases Blood Pressure & Triglycerides
- Improves Cognitive Function
- Promotes Restful Sleep
- Healthy Skin
- Improves Relationships
1. CBD Drinks as an Alternative to Alcohol
CBD or Cannabidiol, is one of more than 100 chemical compounds. These compounds are called Cannabinoids and are found in the cannabis plant, Cannabis sativa. It is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in hemp plants.
CBD is not psychoactive like THC. It will not get you high or make you feel sedated. Animal studies, and self-reports in humans, suggest CBD may help with anxiety, insomnia, and pain.
Recess Sparkling Water – CBD Drink
Recess Sparkling Water is infused with calming hemp & balancing Adaptogens. Certain plants and mushrooms are classified as Adaptogens, which claim to reduce stress.
Recess set out to create a beverage that would help people feel “calm and balanced despite living in an increasingly stressful world”. Recess aims for its’ users to feel “calm, cool, and collected“.
2. THC Drinks as an Alcohol Substitute
THC drinks contain the psychoactive form of Cannabis, along with CBD. You can only find these in States where recreational Marijuana is legal.
These new age beverages typically contain CBD and a low level of THC. Most are low in sugar and calories.
Fans of THC infused drinks report a relaxed feel good effect without the high and associated “munchies”.
Cann Social Tonics – THC Drink
Cann Social Tonics, a THC and CBD infused drink, is increasing in popularity with the legalization of Marijuana. Their website proclaims Cann as the “future of social drinking”. The creators of this THC beverage brought the idea of low dosing to the Cannabis industry.
The experience of Cann is described as a “euphoric, much more controllable, uplifting experience” than a traditional Cannabis high.
Reviewers enjoy the refreshing flavors like Grapefruit Rosemary and Lemon Lavender. Some describe it as the “White Claw” of THC infused beverages.
When life gives you lemons, find yourself some THC lemonade. THC Living Cannabis-Infused Lemonade offers the following options- Mango Lemonade, Pink Lemonade and Arnie 50/50 (a mix of Lemonade and Iced Tea).
Each 16 oz beverage delivers 100mg THC with a satisfying, sugar-free taste.
3. Kava – Plant Based Alcohol Alternative
Kava is a supplement that may mimic alcohol’s effects. It is a plant native to the Pacific Islands. Kava may aid in relaxation, stress relief, and sleep.
It has an earthy flavor which some describe as an acquired taste. It is typically consumed with beverages like juice or tea.
Much of the research to date has focused on Kava’s potential to reduce anxiety. Look for Kava products that list the kavalactone content, as well as other ingredients.
Yogi Kava Stress Relief Tea – Kava Drink
Yogi Kava Stress Relief Tea can be found at many local grocers. This tea is purposefully blended with Kava, a root traditionally used for relaxation and sleep.
Cinnamon and Sarsaparilla add warmth and spice to this relaxing blend, and Carob Pod imparts its’ rich flavor. Relax and find tranquility with a warm, soothing cup of Yogi Kava Stress Relief® tea.
4. Adaptogens as an Alcohol Alternative
Adaptogens are herbs, Botanicals, and mushrooms. The theory is they help your body adapt to stress.
As discussed above, Adaptogens are additions to beverages and promise additional health benefits.
There are over 70 different types of Adaptogens. Examples include Ginseng and Ashwaganda. Both are linked to stress relief.
Adaptogen-containing drinks are part of the functional beverage industry, as discussed in a previous blog post on the Benefits of Collagen Tea.
*Adaptogens are not regulated by the FDA. The claims associated with these products are based on limited research and experiential data.
Kin Euphorics – Non-Alcoholic Beverage with Adaptogens
Kin Euphorics is a non-alcoholic, carbonated canned beverage. The company says the key to its concoctions is in harnessing the power of Adaptogens, which “balance the effects of stress on the body”.
Kin Euphorics contains Reishi mushroom, saffron, L-tryptophan and passionflower. Tasters report a subtle sense of calm from a refreshing beverage.
Magic Kick – Non-Alcoholic Beverage with Adaptogens
Magic Kick is an Adaptogen beverage developed by Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing reality star, Fredrik Eklund. His story involves becoming sober, and unsuccessfully looking for an alcohol alternative for socializing.
Eklund wanted the benefits of alcohol without the hangover and negative side effects. His line includes three beverage options named for their desired effect- Party (Blueberry Chai), Sex, (Pomegranate Lime), and Sleep (Blueberry Lavendar).
Magic Kick’s line of Alcohol Alternatives primarily contain mushroom-based Adaptogens (Reishi, Chaga, Maitake). His products also include additional Adaptogens – Ginseng, Aswagandha, Gogi, and Guayusa.
5. Non-Alcoholic Drinks as an Alternative to Alcohol
Below are drinks without alcohol or any other mood-altering additives. Enjoy them on their own or as a sipper between alcoholic drinks.
- Club Soda with Lime
- Juice Spritzer
- Grenadine, Tonic Water, & Lemon Syrup
- Arnold Palmer
- Lemon, Lime, & Bitters
- Seltzer Water with Bitters
- Virgin Bloody Mary
- Virgin Mojito
- Ginger Beer
- 0% Beer
Takeaways for Alcohol Alternatives
Drinking alcohol regularly ages you faster. Alcohol alternatives offer a low calorie/low sugar beverage option for those wanting to decrease or perhaps live an alcohol free lifestyle.
Alcohol Alternatives provide a buzz without the alcohol or the hangover! Check out this Sober Curious gift guide for more Alcohol Alternatives.
Interested in other areas related to Healthy Aging? Check out our previous blog post 7 Habits to Focus on Healthy Aging.
Keep in mind that claims made by the manufacturers of Alcohol Alternatives have not been evaluated by the FDA. Effects from alcohol alternatives will vary, and there is always the placebo effect to consider.
Always consult your physician before using any products containing supplements or drugs like THC. In addition, reference your employer’s drug and alcohol policy prior to enjoying any THC infused products.
Our website is supported by our users. We earn a small commission when you click through the affiliate links on our website.
Kathryn is a Registered Dietitian and a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. She is also Certified through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Weight Management.