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Be Well

Healthier Drinking 101



Feeling indulgent this month? So are we. Between the sunshine, our healthy cocktail making class (Ok, the most fun workshop. Ever.) and our Summer Soireé quickly approaching (did someone say CBD popsicles?)… that 20 part of the 80/20 rule sure is coming in handy.

Let’s talk about that 20%. Yes, it’s there to give us permission to “let loose”, break some rules or even blow off some steam after a less than ideal week. But what if we embrace that 20% while still practicing mindfulness — while still keeping the health of our bodies in mind?

This week’s exhibit A: the cocktail. A classic way we like to indulge. But when armed with information (like the info you’ll find at the link below), you actually can have both. A tasty, indulgent, happy hour beverage that keeps your body as happy as possible. (hashtag, BALANCE!)

Read on to learn about the hidden additives in spirits you’ll want to avoid, how to choose the “healthiest” liquors and… we wouldn’t leave you without some classic Shop Good tips to rebalance the body the morning after.

The Anatomy of a Hangover

Did you know that most liquors are not regulated by the FDA and not subject to labeling regulations – which means there is no need for companies to put what’s actually in the alcohol on the bottle. Yikes. And these hidden additives can be majorly to blame for that nasty heading setting in around 9am the next day.

Here’s a short list of some common toxic ingredients found in low-grade and mass-produced spirits:

GMO corn: (the grain that many alcohols are produced with) or corn syrup (used to boost the alcohol content during the fermentation process and/or to sweeten the finished product.)

Artificial Colors: found in various alcoholic drinks, especially those that are flavored, such as FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Red 40, caramel color, and other toxic food dyes.

-”Natural” Flavors : This vague term denotes any flavoring agent that has a natural source… but the end product may be anything but natural.

-Glycerin: About 26 times more sweet than sugar and is used in liqueurs as a thickening, densifying and sweetening agent.  (the more you know: yes, you know that viscous consistency you long for after chilling your bottle in the freezer? This is actually NOT a good sign of a quality liquor – it’s an additive added after the distillation process.)

-BPA:  The container your alcoholic beverage is stored in makes a difference. Plactic bottles, jugs and even cans unfortunately contain plastic linings with BPA, a known calcium-blocker that has been linked to many serious health concerns.

-Mixers: Selecting a high quality liquor and then mixing it with Coca Cola isn’t doing much good for the body. Pre-made mixers are notorious for high sugar and even High Fructose Corn Syrup additives.


So How Can I Make Good Cocktail Choices?

Small-Batch: Ideally, we recommend choosing liquors from small batch distilleries, and ditch the mass produced products. Look for “distilled by” and “bottled by” – two really important tellers of quality booze!

If you’re local to San Diego, You & Yours Distillery is a MUST. The only ingredients in their alcohols are distillate (high proof/ pure alcohol fermented from grapes – naturally gluten free!) and reverse osmosis water – basically, the purest water you can get!)

The Clearer the Better: Beyond this, choosing quality clear liquors may be easier for the body to process. Darker liquors contain “congeners,” a substance which is made during the fermentation process containing several chemicals like acetone, acetaldehyde, tannins and furfural. Case in Point, bourbon is known to contain 37 times more toxic compounds than vodka! Opt for vodka, gin and even 100% agave tequila.

Pass the Glass: As mentioned above, always purchase alcoholic beverages in glass bottles to avoid harmful BPA.

Mixing Lessons: Choose soda water or Pellegrino to add bubbles and lemon, lime or other whole fruits to flavor.

Moderation: Consuming your beverages with #balance in mind will allow the liver to keep up with processing and treating (it’s said that your liver processes about ⅓ ounce of alcohol per hour!) This processing can also be supported by drinking two glasses of water for every one adult beverage.

Skip the Hangover

We decided a while ago that a couple cocktails was not going to hold us back from feeling fresh and vibrant the next day, so we got product experts and Holistic Health Coaches together to come up with a tool kit for the morning after.

    • Take extra vitamin B and C vitamins. This can speeds up your liver’s time to metabolize the alcohol (meaning less time in the system).
    • Pound the water the next day. We also like to place a couple drops of Oil of Oregano and pink sea salt for antimicrobial superpowers and extra minerals.
    • Incorporate Natural Calm to promote healthy magnesium levels, alleviate constipation and can even quell body aches, pains, and muscle tension.  
    • Take Activated Charcoal; it works to adsorb toxins in the body.  This makes AC a great natural remedy for relieving bloating, gas, preventing hangovers and detoxify the body from indulgence. Activated charcoal is said to be one of the best GI tract decontaminates due to its ability to remove 50-60% of unwanted substances in the stomach and intestines.
    • Alkalinize the body withChlorella Tablets; a powerful algae that is rich in phytonutrients including amino acids, potassium, biotin, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins. Chlorella helps aid our body in producing good bacteria in the gut and reduces oxidative stress in the body.
    • Foam rolling in the morning activates the lympatic system and helps to drain toxins when going to the gym feels way too hard.

Ready for a night out to put this into practice? Remember to hydrate and have fun!

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