Healthy ways to enjoy an alcoholic beverage

As we age, there’s no reason why we can’t still enjoy the occasional tipple, but there are ways to do it healthily. 

We’ve put together some helpful resources for older adults looking to enjoy alcohol responsibly.

The Drink Wise, Age Well survey of over 50s identified that

“Living longer is potentially a huge opportunity both for individuals and for society. But as well as adding years to life, we need to make sure we are adding life to years – enabling us all to enjoy a good later life”

Enjoyed in moderation, some drinks have surprising health benefits beyond acting as a social lubricant. It’s important to monitor your intake to not exceed recommended guidelines and sip water regularly to prevent dehydration.

Healthy options

  1. Rosé: Packed with polyphenols, a glass of Rosé on a warm summers’ day is good for heart health.
  2. Champagne: With surprising benefits for memory performance, bubbly has also been shown to improve skin condition.
  3. Mojito: The addition of lime and fresh mint in this cocktail boost it’s antioxidant qualities over other rum drinks with more sugar.
  4. Red Wine: In addition to polyphenols which support heart health, red wine can also level out glucose levels.
  5. Guinness: With fibre, antioxidants and B vitamins; this dark beer is a better choice than most craft varieties.
  6. Bloody Mary: Best of the cocktails for its vitamin-rich tomato juice, low calories and overall value nutritionally.
  7. On the Rocks: Any spirit taken on the rocks is lower calories than one with mixers. Opt for light spirits if you suffer from hangovers.
  8. Vodka & Cranberry: Great for those who suffer from urinary tract infections, but opt for the low-sugar variety of cranberry juice.
  9. Hot Apple Cider: Skip the Hot Toddy which could come loaded with sugar for the more health-conscious hot cider.
  10. Light Beer: Save the extra calories for something more nutritious and stick with a light beer if you dislike wine and spirits.


How much is too much?

UK Government guidelines state that

“you should not regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week and you [should] spread the 14 units over at least three days of the week and you [should] try to have regular alcohol free days.”

The standard unit of each type of alcohol is clearly listed on the bottle and posted at drinking establishments. If you’re not sure, ask the bartender for help.

It’s recommended that you eat a full meal before drinking and space your drinks out with water to reduce the risk of overdoing it. As we age, medications and liver health may impact how much we can safely drink, so it’s best to discuss with your GP for advice.

Drinking too much alcohol can seriously damage your health, from blood pressure to insomnia. If you are concerned about how much alcohol you are consuming, there are some helpful resources available listed on the NHS website.

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