A Health Expert’s Guide to the Healthiest Ways to Drink Alcohol

If there were a cardinal rule in wellness next to “Do what works best for you,” it would be “Everything in moderation.” If you have been following BeautyLeeBar, you know we’re not about restricting any foods or labeling them as “good” or “bad.” And alcohol is no exception. We’re not ones to pass up happy hour or popping champagne, but there is one caveat (sorry to be the bearer of bad news): You can have too much of a good thing. Having too many margaritas poolside or mimosas at brunch can leave you with more than just a bad hangover—your long-term health can pay the price. But wait, there’s good news: we tapped into the expertise of health pros to get their healthy ways to drink alcohol, so we can imbibe sans guilt.  

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What is considered drinking in moderation?

Finding a happy medium is not as hard as you may think. Jordan Dorn, a holistic nutritionist and cofounder of Zuma Nutrition, broke it down: “Keep track of how much you are drinking, know your limit, and know when to stop.” Reiterating Dorn’s sentiment, we each have our cut-off number, which varies depending on our biological sex, age, health, and body composition. While doctors typically recommend one drink a day for us ladies, tune in to your body. Is it giving you cues that you’ve had enough after knocking back two cocktails? You know your body best, and a healthy relationship with alcohol looks different for everyone. So instead of limiting or shaming yourself for what you drink, practice a mindfulness-based approach to drinking. The next time you pour yourself a nightcap, try savoring it and the experience. 

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How to drink smarter:

Eat before you sip

Do yourself (and your body) a favor and build a plate of nutritious fare before saying “Cheers!” “Alcohol enters the bloodstream through the stomach and small intestine,” explained Dorn. “If your stomach is empty when you start drinking, the alcohol will enter your bloodstream more quickly. So, by eating before your first drink, and even while you are drinking, you can reduce the amount of alcohol that enters your system.” We know, nothing sounds better than washing down French fries and wings with your drink of choice, but most bar eats are laden with sodium, driving you to drink more. Instead, nourish the body with healthy fats (think: guac or hummus with veggies) while you drink, helping you stay full and satisfied. 

Other good-for-you pairings for your go-to cocktail? “Choose healthy food options such as whole grains, protein, and fiber before consuming alcohol,” suggested Rebecca Reilly, DNP, FNP-C, a family medicine nurse practitioner at TiaDr. Lana Butner, a board-certified naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist encouraged noshing on water-rich foods. Think watermelon, pineapple, peaches, citrus fruits, celery, and cucumbers. The best part? Controlling the all-too-familiar hangover the next morning. 

Pace yourself with water 

We will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume drinking a healthy dose of H20 is already part of your daily routine (you’re welcome). So, when you’re enjoying your mojito, keep up your water intake by ensuring a tall glass of it is within reach, and keep ’em coming. “As a diuretic, alcohol causes the body to lose water much quicker than other fluids do,” warned Dr. Butner. “Drink lots of water or eat water-rich foods before, during, and after drinking to prevent dehydration.” It can not hurt to have your Hydro Flask nearby, which can help slow your roll. “To combat dehydration and limit your alcohol intake, start the happy hour with a big glass of water and continue to drink plain or sparkling water between drinks,” agreed Reilly. 

After diving into a drink or two, you may want to stock up on some coconut water to restore lost electrolytes. “Coconut water is great for rehydration after drinking as it has alkalizing properties, meaning it helps bring your body’s pH from acidic to neutral (our body prefers a neutral pH as this is closer to homeostasis, which is what we are constantly striving for),” said Dr. Butner. If that means getting ahead of the dreaded morning after, we are all for it. 

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Opt for healthier drinks 

PSA: Not all alcohol is created equal. There are not-so-great-for-you bevies, and then there are the notoriously mixed drinks high in sugar that might make you feel worse than alcohol alone (looking at you, Piña Colada). But don’t worry, our experts have dished out a few drinks with their stamp of approval. “Choose mixers that aren’t high in sugar, such as club soda or sparkling water,” Reilly recommended. “Red or white wine is another good option because wine has the health benefit of antioxidants and takes longer to drink.” To top it off, Reilly green-lit some ingredients for a healthy libation: fresh lime juice, fresh lemon juice, club soda, agave, jalapeno, and ice.

Dorn pointed out that drinking an organic red wine or beer (free of preservatives, added sugars, and pesticides) makes a difference from drinking a sugary cocktail. “When drinking, try to go for the highest quality alcoholic beverages you can get, as they will be less damaging to your health.” Another simple hack to keep in your back pocket: Stick with clear alcohol. “Dark liquor has a higher sugar content and contains byproducts that create impurities once fermentation occurs in the GI tract,” Dr. Butner explained. “With that being said, vodka and tequila are going to be better choices than rum, whiskey, and rye. These clearer alcohols may result in less severe hangover symptoms as well.” Sold.

Switch it up with non-alcoholic drinks 

Don’t knock it before you try it. One quick Google search of “non-alcoholic drink,” and you’ll see that booze-free refreshments are not only all the rage but also diverse and flavorful in their own right. “Mocktails are more popular than ever and provide an opportunity to avoid alcohol while enjoying a healthy, interesting beverage in a social setting,” said Reilly. “Ghia, for example, has created products that do not contain alcohol, caffeine, added sugars, and artificial flavors that can be used to make delicious mocktails.”

Whether you’re in the middle of Dry July or the forever D.D. (designated driver, ICYMI), going dry doesn’t stop at mocktails. From bubbly spirits to non-alcoholic beer and wine, take your pick. And we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the so-called “functional beverage” category that includes brands infusing their alcohol alternatives with ingredients like adaptogens, amino acids, plants, and CBD. The main takeaway? Saying “Bottoms up!” with booze-less varieties has never tasted better.

 

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Don’t forget supplements 

Strengthening your body with the help of some supplements when drinking is akin to loading up on Vitamin C and zinc when you feel like you’re coming down with something. “Take an activated methylated vitamin-B complex before drinking,” Dr. Butner suggested. “Methylated forms of vitamins are highly preferred as they are more easily absorbed and processed by the body than non-methylated forms. B vitamins are helpful to the liver’s detoxification process, so taking them before drinking can help your body better metabolize alcohol, thereby preventing any dreaded hangover symptoms. Taking B vitamins can also help prevent hang-xiety as B vitamins play a huge role in regulating the nervous system.” In the same vein, Dr. Butner also recommended adding N-acetyl cysteine, or NAC, and milk thistle to your supplement line-up before drinking, before bed, and the day after to boost the liver’s function in metabolizing alcohol.

Another go-to to have in your pre-drink’s arsenal? Activated charcoal. “Activated charcoal has shown to help bind toxins in the stomach that have not yet entered the bloodstream and, therefore, can help flush the alcohol out of the system more quickly,” said Dr. Butner. As always, before adding any new supplement to your routine, first, check with your doctor or nutritionist. While there’s no cure-all or magic pill to prevent a hangover, the naturally sourced remedy comes pretty close.

Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies Now Exist, and I Put Them to the Taste Test

As BEAUTYLEEBAR editors, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you’ll like too. BEAUTYLEEBAR has affiliate and advertising partnerships so we get revenue from sharing this content and from your purchase.

There is a full 16 fl oz. bottle of apple cider vinegar sitting in my kitchen cabinet. It’s been there for months because after I cracked it open, took a whiff, and an unfortunate sip, I immediately decided it was far too disgusting for me to drink every single morning. I was well aware of its myriad supposed health benefits — enhanced energy, healthier skin, digestion, immune, and weight loss support, to name a few — but my taste buds prevailed.

I hadn’t thought about apple cider vinegar since, but then a jar of Goli Nutrition Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies ( $19 ) — yes, gummies — landed on my desk from a press mailing. Goli created the world’s first apple cider vinegar gummy. So any other apple cider vinegar gummy is just a copycat. Sorry, it is just the truth.

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One gummy is made with 500 mg of apple cider vinegar, and according to the brand, two gummies (the recommended serving size) is equivalent to one shot of liquid apple cider vinegar. The gummies were designed to make adding apple cider vinegar into your routine a little easier and also just more enjoyable to consume.

Before I get into my review, I am 23 years young now which means I am pretty cautious about ingredients and I pay more attention to how it makes my body feel. I am a fan of gummies and any healthy gummies I ever had tasted great and the results were all positive.

I was pleasantly surprised by Goli’s gummy rendition, though. Frankly, they taste like candy. Sweet — but not too sweet — without any weird artificial aftertaste. The gummies are gluten-free, vegan, and made without any artificial preservatives, flavors, colors, and sweeteners. I now look forward to my postlunch ritual of popping two in my mouth.

In addition to the superstar apple cider vinegar, the gummies are made with organic superfoods like pomegranate and beetroot, as well as vitamins B12 and B9.

Remember, these gummies are not designed to be an all-in-one health supplement. They are designed to make it easier to get some apple cider vinegar in your diet. Goli gummy intends to improve digestion, support weightloss, improve hair health, improve skin health, improve heart health, and so much more.

Each bottle holds 60 gummies, so if you are an apple cider lover, I would suggest you first get the 3 month supply ( $57 ).

So have I noticed more radiant skin than usual or a boost in my energy?

I can’t report anything noticeably different about my digestion or my complexion YET, but that is because I just got my bottle a week ago. I was just too excited and couldn’t wait to share Goli with my followers. However, I do notice that the gummies do satiate my desk-side sugar cravings when I choose to take them in the morning, and I like incorporating more superfoods into my daily diet.

I could also use the vitamin B12 to help power me through hard workouts or my inevitable 4 p.m. crashes. It is tasty tasty which makes taking apple cider vinegar more enjoyable. Now I can’t wait to get my day started with the help of Goli. Don’t forget to use “BeautyLeeBar ” to save money. Who doesn’t like to save money right?

To follow me on this new endeavor, go and press that follow button. Also, here is both my Instagram: @beautyleebar @iamcrystalee. Don’t be shy, come say hi.

Another bonus is that each order causes Goli to donate a six month supply of essential vitamins to a child with malnutrition. They can do this through a partnership with Vitamin Angels, a nonprofit dedicated to ending child malnutrition.

Malnutrition is the #1 cause of preventable child deaths. That’s why Goli is proud to support the work of Vitamin Angels, who continually strive to reduce malnutrition in children by giving them access to lifesaving vitamins and minerals.

To purchase yours, go to https://go.goli.com/BeautyLeeBar and use code ” BEAUTYLEEBAR ” to save money. Goli ships worldwide and offers free shipping. Tag me when you get yours and let me what you think about it. I understand every person is different so I get excited to learn about others’ experiences and thoughts.

HAVE YOU TRIED GOLI GUMMIES YET? TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

Where To Buy Goli Gummies:

Goli Nutrition Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies, $19

SHOP NOW ON https://go.goli.com/BeautyLeeBar

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WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?

** Please consult your physician before adjusting your nutritional diet **

Before I dive into WTF IF is and why I’m such a proponent of it, let’s get something out in the open: I AM NOT A DOCTOR ( surprised? I know ). But seriously — what I’m about to share with you in regards to intermittent fasting is knowledge I’ve picked up from doctors and specialists throughout my own journey. If you have a history of eating disorders, blood sugar issues, or live a lifestyle that always keeps you hungry, IF is more than likely NOT for you. Always consult your doctor or specialist before changing your diet.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s dive in.

INTERMITTENT FASTING | a specific eating pattern that structures the time of day you eat and the time of day you are in a fasting mode. This is not a diet.

What does it do?

♡ increases human growth hormone which aids fat loss

♡ lowers insulin levels which increases access to stored body fat

♡ cell repairs in the body due to not being preoccupied w/ digesting food

♡ increases release of the fat-burning hormone noradrenaline

♡ help with inflammation in the body

For more detailed researched, read THIS article.

PERSONAL FASTING SCHEDULE |

This was actually a question I have been asked on my stories and is something I tried last year. Fasting has made a huge difference in not only my bodies appearance but also my sleep and my mental health. This does NOT mean I don’t eat, it just means I intake my calories for the day between 2 pm and 10 pm and fast the morning and night after these times where I have water, herbal tea, and black coffee. There is a lot of science that goes behind this that I don’t completely understand but I encourage you to research it for yourself before you start.

Intermittent Fasting shortens the time frame in which you’re eating throughout a given day. For example, instead of eating between 8am—10pm, you’d choose an 8-hour timeframe to consume all your food for the day— like 12pm-8pm, 10am-6pm, etc. While practicing intermittent fasting, most people fast for 16 hours of the day, while some prefer 14 hours or 18 hours. It’s totally up to you to find a time frame that works for your body, mindset, and schedule. Some people practice IF every day, and others keep it to 3-4 days a week. That’s why it’s called a “practice.”

PRO’S |

Done for a short time it can boost your fat loss, get you concentrated on your goals, give you a schedule to abide by to diminish the chances of excess eating, speed up the fat loss, give you mental clarity, lower sugar cravings. This is why I have started it again but only for 4 weeks. Sharing about this 4 week reset below.

♡ Promotes weight loss 

♡ Increases longevity 

♡ Acts as an anti-aging catalyst 

♡ Regulates insulin levels  

♡ Enhances hormone stability 

Decrease meal planning stress

Clears the mind

Of course, IF isn’t a “magic pill” that will fix all your problems, but it is a very realistic and effective step that will more than likely make a positive impact on your overall health and who doesn’t want that! Might as well try it, right?

CON’S |

This way of life should not be continued long term due to the damage it can have on your metabolism, muscle maturity, and energy levels. I made the mistake of doing this rigid schedule for 5 months and started to really see the negative consequences of it. I was ALWAYS tired, my muscles were weak, and I plateaued in my workouts/fat loss.

MYTHS |

♡ Skipping breakfast makes you gain weight.

♡ Eating more frequently burns more calories (it ALL depends on the thermic effect of the specific food NOT the frequency).

♡ You need to eat often for brain function (our bodies can burn the glucose storage in our bodies for brain function w/o extra food).

♡ Fasts put your body into starvation mode, this is more or less a mindset. You can easily go from not eating to eating everything in sight if you have no self-control.

♡ You will lose too much muscle during fasting, this is ONLY true if you are not consuming the needed nutrients the rest of the day including your protein intake.

4 WEEK RESET |

♡ Intermittent Fasting 8 – 10-hour window

♡ Calorie deficit (gradually lowering not extreme)

♡ 3 days of 1 hr long cardio

♡ 3 days of lifting and 30 minutes cardio

♡ 21 Day Detox by Flattummyco

♡ 96 oz of lemon water a day

♡ 5 high-fat calorie days, 2 high carb calorie days

What other questions do you have about IF? Comment below! 

My Experience With The Keto Diet: How It Works, How Much I Lost!

Hey my loves! So at the end of December, I decided to try the keto diet, aka the ketogenic diet. Keto is working really well for me so far and I’m super happy with my results… But, before I get into that and how it all works, I want you to know that it’s worth discussing any drastic diet changes with your doctor first, and although I have enjoyed this diet, it’s not something I recommend to everyone. I want to share with you my experience, and the advice and help I’ve had from a food consultant.

So, first of all, you’re probably wondering what the keto diet actually is, and why everyone is talking about it right now! It’s essentially a very low-carb, high-fat diet, which can lead to fast weight loss (mostly water weight in the first two weeks).

Here’s everything you need to know about what and how the keto diet works, the advantages, and also the downsides associated with this quite drastic change in diet.

Believe it or not, the ketogenic diet was developed nearly 100 years ago to help reduce epileptic seizures amongst children. Due to the nature of the diet with its low-carb, low to medium protein, and high-fat content, many people often compare it to the Atkins diet. The main difference is that the Atkins diet works in stages, and the keto diet follows a consistent meal plan. The keto diet gets its name from the process the body uses to burn energy, aka ketosis, which is a metabolic state where the main source of fuel for the body is fat.

How does ketosis work?

Our bodies are naturally used to burning glucose (sugar) as a primary source of energy and when you start to consume less of it, restricting your general carb and sugar intake (yes, sugars are also carbs), we force a switch in our metabolism – burning stored fat instead of glucose. This sometimes occurs on a lower scale when we sleep for longer periods of time, accidentally skip meals, and when we fast.

Without carbs in your system, the body starts to release fatty acids from stored fat, and they get broken down in the liver. This results in the production of ketones, and these energy molecules are then used to fuel your body.

What you should and shouldn’t eat on the keto diet:

The positives of keto:

If losing weight is something that you want to do, then the keto diet can help. Researchers have also stated that the keto diet can aid in lowering blood sugar levels, reducing inflammation of the body (if you have high amounts of insulin circulating within your system), and achieving the feeling of being ‘full’ most of the time because of the specific contents of your meals.

Many participants have also claimed that they developed a stronger sense of mental focus after a week or two of being on the diet.

The downsides of keto:

Sure, you’ll lose quite a few pounds on your initial journey, but most of the starting weight that you’ll drop will be from water weight, so remaining consistent is the key to reaping continual benefits and gradual weight loss. In the first two weeks, I lost about 4 pounds (1.81kg), and my stomach flattened out a little. This dramatic loss is mostly down to a drop in the water that your body usually stores – carbs need water to stay in your body. You also need to ensure you consume more water during this period so that your body doesn’t get dehydrated, which can lead to constipation. The first two weeks are when you’ll notice the most dramatic drop in weight, while the second two weeks will be slightly slower, but this is the point when your body will begin to burn fat.

It can be quite challenging for the body to switch metabolic states and if you’re not used to these changes, you’ll feel sluggish and tired for the first few weeks. I didn’t experienced trouble sleeping like some claim. If you’re exercising a lot or trying to build muscle, you should speak to a dietician or doctor to see if this is the right diet for you.

Due to one of three ketones being produced, acetone is the one that can be monitored when expelled from the body through urine and breath analysis. One way that many have said that they’ve noticed ketosis is from the strange taste in their mouth accompanied by an odor caused by this ketone.

So is keto worth it?

Like all diets and nutrition plans, being strict with yourself and fighting temptation from certain foods is the key to success. You can easily search the web for foods that you should and shouldn’t consume. The keto diet may assist in weight loss on a short-term basis, but there’s still more research to be done on the long-term effects, so remaining on this diet isn’t recommended. When choosing your fat sources, try and pick healthy choices like coconut and olive oil, fats from nuts, avocado, and fish. Try to compose your meals with a small amount of saturated animal fats, and if you do decide to enjoy them – it’s recommended that you consume organic and grass-fed products.

My personal experience with keto:

I was planning to do this for one month and be done with it, but I love the results so much, and I don’t find it that difficult to do, that I’m going to continue it for a little longer. I actually find it the easiest diet that I’ve done; I can have a bun-less burger (I love burgers) and although I can’t have French fries, I’m okay with that surprisingly – but I have to say I really miss macaroni and cheese! The thing with this diet is, you can eat as much cheese as you like, which definitely makes you feel like you get to cheat! You can eat Mexican food, and Greek food, but you can’t eat beans and hummus, or pasta and bread.

I’m really pleased with the results I’ve had so far, and as well as the initial weight loss, my back fat (an area I struggle with), as well as my arms, has also slimmed down. I’m naturally curvy, and I love my figure, but these are just little areas that I wanted to improve, and I’m really happy with the results so far. My clothes looks and fits better.

The other thing with the keto diet, is you can’t cheat; otherwise, it ruins the process of ketosis. I admit, I cheated a few times, and I still lost a little weight but I gained some back too– at the end of the day, you’re still cutting a lot of carbs. I think after another month of this, I’ll be able to fully eat healthy without the temptation. Now and again, I like to try these diets out, but ultimately, I think having a balanced diet, good rest, and exercising regularly is the most important thing to do. It’s okay to be naughty now and again, but I find if I eat lots of vegetables and fruit, organic meats and avoid too many simple carbs (like sugar, baked goods, pasta), that I generally feel energized and healthy.

Most importantly:

I know a lot of people have been talking about this diet lately, so I wanted to share my experience with you guys and give you as much info on it as possible. I definitely don’t recommend this diet to everyone, and if you do choose to try it, please consult your physician or doctor before starting. Also, remember that everyone’s body is different and people lose weight at different rates, so don’t feel disheartened if the results you expected take a little longer.

Keto will be different for everyone, and once you’ve consulted with a physician, you can use an online keto diet calculator, or consult a dietician to obtain your required daily intake of protein, carbs, and fats. You should also take into consideration how active you are throughout the day. A general rule of thumb would be to consume roughly 75% healthy fats, 20-25% protein, and 0-5% carbs.

Let me know in the comments if you have any personal questions you would like to ask me about the keto diet, and your experiences with keto if you’ve tried it yourself.