Which Alcohol is Best? Your Holiday Guide
Updated: Nov 21
Okay, we all know alcohol isn't great for you...It has a tremendous aging effect on the body because the liver breaks it down into aldehyde, which is the most damaging alcohol toxin. Alcohol also contains other toxins (both man-made and natural) that make you feel and perform like suboptimal garbage the next day. All alcohol causes dehydration and minor levels of inflammation, but some alcohol has higher levels of toxic byproducts from fermentation than others. That being said, if you enjoy drinking (& hello the holidays are around the corner), there are better choices out there for ya. Of course, these also depend on their production quality and standards- but generally speaking, here is your quick boozy holiday guide!
Hot Tip: highly filtered & distilled drinks remove toxins so that your liver & kidneys aren't needing to do all the work.
"Healthiest" alcohol--> Most damaging alcohol:
Skip the grains altogether and opting for potato vodka on this one! Vodka is distilled and charcoal filtered. This means that your body only has to deal with the the alcohol, and not additional toxins. Of course, if you add sugar and other things into your vodka drink, it no longer hold place #1.
While gin is flavored by juniper berries (and juniper berries do have some antioxidants) the antioxidant content of gin is not very high. And while a thousand years ago gin was considered an herbal remedy, today between poor soil and production quality, it's not much more than a popular drink now. But it still contains less additional toxins than most other alcohols.
Tequila is produced from Agave. Agave is high in fructose- a sugar that can be only processed by the liver. However after it is fermented, distilled, and filtered, mostly pure alcohol remains.
Whiskey is made from grains, which means that, by default, it is higher in toxins. The distillation process removes a good chunk of the nasty stuff. Whiskey is actually higher in free-radical fighting agents than red wine, #mindblown, because it contains antioxidants like ellagic acid.
5. Unsweetened Spirits
Spirits can be a better alcohol choice because they are produced via distillation and, if unsweetened, are lower in sugar.
6. Dry Cider
By being gluten and grain free, cider avoids many of the mold toxins that are found in beer. Apples don't form these particular toxins and the primary toxin that is formed by apples is destroyed by fermentation. Note: if yeast is a problem, cider can stimulate candida.
7. Dry Champagne
The standards for real champagne in France are really high. Because of this, French champagne has the lowest amount of mold toxins left after fermentation.
8. Dry White Wine
Dry white wine is in lower mold toxins than regular white or red wine, especially in ochratoxin A- which is super dehydrating! Dry white wine is unfiltered, which means that it still contains different types of mold toxins that are not present in distilled alcohol. The best option for consuming wine is to consume wine that was made in Europe AND intended for consumption in Europe. Wine intended for consumption in Europe is required to meet higher standards than American imports from Europe. This is designated by a yellow band at the top of the bottle.
While liqueurs are distilled, they typically contain loads of sugar and other inflammatory additives. These additives and extra sugar make your hangover worse, add to to the aging effects of alcohol, and contribute to weight gain.
10. Colored and sweetened spirits
Colored and sweetened spirits are full of mold toxins, sugar, artificial colors, chemicals, and other additives. With all this, you're likely NOT to feel great the next day.
11. Red Wine
Red wine contains oxchratoxin A and yeast in high amounts. Both of these negatively effect your health, and you won't know which strains will be in your bottle. Because red wine is unfiltered, your liver and kidneys have to do all the work. Red wine gets major cudos for its resveratrol content, but in reality, this amount is too minimal to make much of a difference and you'd be better offer eating high quality dark chocolate instead.
12. Beer & Lager
Both of these contain gluten, yeast, and usually contain oxchratoxin A and other mold toxins. Likely the grains used in these drinks were contaminated before they underwent fermentation- making beer the dirtiest of the alcohols.