To drink or not to drink? That is the question…

I get lots of questions about alcohol and whether or not you should drink it and in what quantities.

This question is always slightly difficult for me to answer because I’ve never been a fan of drinking alcohol.

I’ve had a few run ins with drinking and I’ve always come out the worse for wear. So for me drinking often or a lot just doesn’t sound appealing. I prefer to wake up each morning feeling wonderful and ready to take on the day!

But I do understand that some people really enjoy drinking. While binge drinking still isn’t healthy, a drink or two a few times a week can be good for your health.

Of course there are definitely alcoholic beverages that are better for you than others.

While I loved watching Sex and the City (and still enough the repeats on TV), I wouldn’t recommend that you consume any of those girly drinks near as often as they do. Cosmos, Sex on the Beach, Margaritas, Daiquiris all have WAY too much sugar in them to be consumed more than every once in a while (aka when you are on vacation or during a full on cheat day).

However, if you would like to have a glass or two of red wine a couple of times a week, I fully support that.

Red wine is probably one of the best alcohols you could consume. By best I mean, lowest in carbs with a healthy antioxidant punch! With about 3-5 grams of carbs, red wine contains a ton of antioxidants, including resveratrol, a super antioxidant that is touted as being able to combat cancer and reduce signs of aging among other things.

So if you enjoy a glass or two of wine a couple of nights a week, I say why not?

Of course no matter how “healthy” red wine is that doesn’t mean you can binge on it. It still contains carbs and calories that could slow weight loss if that is your ultimate goal.

White wine is also not a bad indulgence occasionally. It doesn’t contain resveratrol and has fewer phenols, but it still packs a healthy amount of antioxidants in for only 3-5 grams of carbs.

Not a wine drinker though? Prefer hard alcohol?

Well if you enjoy Brandy, Scotch, Whiskey or Cognac, especially on the rocks, you can indulge in a glass or two. Zero carbs and a kick of antioxidants. Actually research has even shown that whiskey may contain more ellagic acid, a free radical fighter, than red wine!

Hey, if you can stomach any of these alcohols, I say go for it!

However, Vodka, Gin and Clear Rum do NOT measure up to Brandy, Scotch, Whiskey or Cognac. None have the antioxidant bonus even though they lack carbs.

Not a hard alcohol drinker or a wine-o? Prefer beer?

Well if you like light beer, you can get a nice antioxidant boost with fewer carbs. Light beer actually holds its own against white wine with a nice dose of antioxidants for only around 3-6 grams of carbs. Be careful though, some light beers do have more carbs than that!

Now regular beers and creamy, dark stouts….Sorry about 10-25 grams of carbs for not near the antioxidant punch you get from red wine. In my opinion, not worth it. But hey, if you really love a beer after a hard week, indulge. Just maybe get in a nice workout either earlier that day or the next to make sure you use those carbs.

Beer is definitely more of an indulgence than red wine.

Now my favorite alcohol. Hard Cider.

I LOVE hard cider. I like wine on occasion and of course indulge every once in a while in a daiquiri or margarita. But if I’m going to have a drink, most of the time I’ll have a hard cider.

Is it the best thing I could drink? Definitely not.

While it has an impressive amount of antioxidants, it comes with a cost – about 15 grams of carbs per bottle.

So do I have to make sure to consume it in moderation? Most definitely.

I love it so I refuse to give it up; however, I also keep my consumption to about 1-2 ciders per weekend, if even that often.

So after all of this rambling, my point is, consume in moderation and try to be aware of what you are consuming. If you love beer, you don’t have to give it up. Just know that you are consuming a decent amount of carbs when you do drink it so you may want to limit how many you have each week.

If you enjoy alcohol, you don’t have to give it up! Alcohol can be a part of your healthy lifestyle!

Here is a great “Sangria” recipe for your Memorial Day weekend BBQ. Definitely not something you want to make too often since it is slightly high in carbs (and contains a diet soda), but boy is it loaded with antioxidants!

Cider Sangria:



1 Hard Cider
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup blood orange vodka
1 can diet pomegranate soda from Trader Joe’s
1/4 cup berries
1 cup mango
4 slices of pineapple

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and let sit a few hours so that all the flavors have time to blend together. Serve chilled over ice! You get 4-6 serving out of this.

Posted on May 26, 2012, in Diet, Recipe Box and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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