While the majority of the population enjoy a glass of alcohol due to its stress-relieving impact, it comes as no surprise the stress-inducing effects of alcohol on the brain, skin, and overall wellbeing. According to Harvard Medical School, moderate and social drinking is known to slow the learning and cognition abilities of the mind impinging good judgment by way of creating physical and verbal violence, dishonesty, denial and worst of all, alcohol-related motor accidents. When you recognize that you “need” a drink, let that be a sign, and don’t be afraid to seek guidance and help.
Similar to other forms of harmful dependency, alcohol increases anxiety and depression, rather than reducing it. According to Drinkaware, a UK alcohol education charity, regular drinking lowers the levels of serotonin in your brain – a chemical that helps to regulate your mood and mental health. However, the risk that comes with being under the influence of alcohol stem beyond mental impairment. Daily drinking plagues human skin by increasing the rate of aging and wrinkling through rapid dehydration, sagginess, and inflammation. “Alcohol is actually one of the worst, most aggressive compounds to destroy your skin,” says New York nutritionist Jairo Rodriguez. “I always joke with my patients, ‘If you want to get older, go ahead and drink!’”
With the topic of self-care trending over the past two years from meditation practices, spa baths, juicing diets and abstaining from alcohol, people are opting for joyful times without jeopardizing a healthy mindset and wholesome behavior that alcohol otherwise depletes.
In the past year, mocktail bars have taken over in cities from LA to Manhattan all the way to Tokyo. The booze-free lifestyle has attracted companies such as Heineken to create its first non-alcoholic beer, and the inception of Seedlip, a non-alcoholic spirits company that focuses on clean drinking, thus instilling that sober is the new cool.
So starting today, give your heart, brain, and palate some healthy and tasty mocktails that won’t impact your better-self. Let’s turn your happy hour into a healthy hour that you can be proud of without impairing your wellness and good judgment.
In a cocktail shaker combine ice with ½ cup 100% pomegranate juice, ¼ cup aquafaba, ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon manuka honey, and ¼ teaspoon fresh grated ginger root. Shake well, pour into a glass, and garnish with fresh mint.
Blueberry Chia Crush
In a mini blender combine ¼ cup fresh blueberries, 2 tablespoons cold water, 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, ½ tablespoon chia seeds, and ½ tablespoon pure maple syrup. Whip until smooth, transfer to a cocktail glass and let sit for 5 minutes. Add 4-5 ice cubes and a ½ cup of sparkling water. Stir well and garnish with fresh basil and fresh whole blueberries.
Watermelon Mint Quencher