If you had to guess, how much more alcohol do people consume around the holidays?
. . . . .
If you chose C, then that. is. correct. (Billy Madison, anyone?!)
People double their alcohol intake around the holidays. It’s not a huge shock that we’re drinking more, but DOUBLE?!
During this time of year, it definitely can feel obligatory to drink more. The back-to-back holiday parties and limited non-alcoholic options make it easy to overindulge. We’ve created some easy but still exciting zero proof recipes to serve at your next party or just have when you’re craving something delicious but hangover-free.
Before we jump into those, let’s first delve more into what makes excessive drinking damaging.
What’s the harm in drinking too much?
First off, drinking in excess make us feel less productive, tired and often just downright cranky the next day. Part of this is because alcohol is a depressant, but it’s also because of a combination of the reasons below.
Overindulging causes inflammation in the body.
Inflammation has been shown to truly be the root cause of practically every disease you can think of – heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune conditions like multiple sclerosis, and cancer. Not to mention, inflammation in the gut appears to impact mental health too. It seems that depression and anxiety specifically are more prevalent in people with gut inflammation. Finally, if your body is inflamed, you are also at increased risk for more acute illness too, like a cold.
How much is too much?
Of course, how much alcohol is going to do damage for you specifically depends on the person. Everyone is a little different depending on their genetic make up and other lifestyle factors (e.g. food, exercise, stress levels, gut heath). But generally, based on the research, we’re pretty comfortable saying that for most people, a glass of red wine a few nights each week is probably not harming you, and may even be good for you. It’s when that glass becomes two or three that it becomes a problem.
How Alcohol Causes Inflammation
First off, most alcohol has sugar and excess sugar is a major inflammation trigger.
Secondly, drinking too much zaps you of energy. One reason for this is because alcohol can dehydrate you. Dehydration can cause inflammation. The other reason – alcohol negatively affects sleep. After a few drinks, you may fall asleep so easily that it wouldn’t be crazy to assume you’re going to have a great night sleep. But au contraire. Truthfully, you may be falling asleep easily, but the whole staying asleep part isn’t going so well. Alcohol tends to cause restless sleep, and that is not great for your energy the next day. It’s actually been shown that a few hours after drinking, a stress hormone called epinephrine raises in the body, which makes you wake up more frequently. The fact that alcohol also causes dehydration only further worsens the sleepiness you feel the next day.
For those of us who do drink, finding non-alcoholic alternatives to swap in during those holiday celebrations can be pretty lacking. And for those who are in the seemingly growing camp of drinking mindfully and moderately, or who really don’t drink at all, the fact is still the same. Non-alcoholic options are generally either super bland and boring, or loaded with sugar.
We want to make zero proof more exciting. Keep scrolling for some SOUND-inclusive non-alcoholic cocktails that will still feel fun and celebratory!
*Side effect: feeling like you can make 7am yoga in the morning.
Blueberry Cinnamon Mint Mojito
- 1 Can Blueberry and Cinnamon
- 1 Green Apple, Half Sliced Into Cubes and Half into Thin Wedges
- Juice of Half a Lemon
- 6 Large Fresh Mint Leaves
- 2 Additional Mint Sprigs for Garnish
- Large Ice Cubes
- After cutting the green apples, place in a small bowl and pour over the lemon juice. This prevents the apples from browning.
- In a glass, divide the fresh mint leaves and green apple cubes. Muddle these to release their flavors
- Top with ice and SOUND Blueberry and Cinnamon
- Garnish with mint springs and apple slices
- Sip and enjoy!
Rose Tea Colada
- 1 Bottle Rose Tea
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Milk
- 1 Cardamom Pod
- 6 Dried Rose Buds
- Splash of Beet Juice
- 1/4 Teaspoon Fresh Lime Zest
- In a small sauce pan, heat up the coconut milk with two rose buds and the cardamom pod. Bring it to a simmer on low heat for 10 minutes to infuse the flavors. Let cool for at least 30 minutes.
- Pour the coconut milk and beet juice into a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Pour into glasses and garnish with crushed dried rose petals and lime zest.
- Sip and enjoy!
Blood Orange Sangria
- 1 Can Blood Orange and Vanilla
- Juice of One Blood Orange
- 1 Blood Orange Sliced into Rounds
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 2 Sage Sprigs
- 2 Thyme Sprigs
- Large Ice Cubes
- Divide the ice into two glasses
- Pour the blood orange juice into each glass, and then top with SOUND Blood Orange and Vanilla.
- Garnish with cinnamon stick, thyme, sage sprigs and orange slices
- Sip and enjoy!