Mindful Sipping: Alcohol free
Alcohol is often seen as a part of Australian culture. Yet thanks to a plethora of delicious and natural alcohol-free alternatives, there’s never been a better time to enjoy your alcohol-free days — or to choose an alcohol-free lifestyle altogether.
There are many benefits to reducing your alcohol intake. “Reducing the amount of alcohol you drink can deliver significant short- and long-term health benefits, including improvements to your mood, energy, sleep and concentration,” Caterina Giorgi, CEO for the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), says. “Reducing your alcohol intake can also reduce your risk of chronic illness, such as cancer and other diseases.”
Yet there are other benefits to selecting an alcohol-free drink that we don’t always consider. You can enjoy an alcohol-free beverage almost anywhere — at the beach, at the park or even when you’re driving. There are no restrictions or rules around consumption. And, while alcohol-free drinks often contain sugar, they tend to be lower in calories than alcoholised wine.
Previously, when it came time to choose an alcohol-free beverage, there were limited options. Today, however, we’re spoilt for choice with a range of delicious sodas, teas and non-alcoholic beverage options that not only taste great, but are created mindfully.
This is fantastic as it makes choosing to be alcohol-free even easier. A special alcohol-free drink can also release some of the same dopamine that alcohol does, providing that feel-good factor. Indulging in a range of alcohol-free drinks also allows for greater social inclusion as you can enjoy a drink that’s good for you, no matter the situation.
When choosing a non-alcohol option, EatWell recommends doing so mindfully. Consider the ingredients in the product and where the beverage is made. Of course, it’s important to consider taste too. Do you want to select a beverage that reminds you of the alcoholic option, such as non-alcoholic beer or non-alcoholic wine? Or would you rather opt for something entirely different, such as a green tea that’s loaded with health benefits or a nourishing warm milky chai?
Thankfully, you don’t have to choose only one option — and you can mix it up.
If you’re finding it a challenge to have alcohol-free days, consider:
- Downloading an app. There are many great resources, some paid and free, that can help you reduce your drinking.
- Preparing yourself for social situations. This might look like purchasing alcohol-free drinks in advance or working out what you’ll say when someone asks why you’re not drinking
(PS: because you’re invested in your wellbeing is a great answer!).
- Creating a support network. Tell those you care about of your plan to reduce your alcohol intake and ask them to help you if you’re feeling challenged. Your loved ones will also be there to celebrate your successes. And of course, if at any time you feel like you need some assistance, call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.
The guidelines set by the National Health and Medical Research Council are simple: for adults, they recommend no more than 10 standard drinks per week and no more than four standard drinks on any one day. Also, those who are pregnant or breastfeeding and anyone under the age of 18 should not drink alcohol.
For more information on alcohol consumption recommendations, visit adf.org.au
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Monk’s Organic Specialty Chai
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