You probably know that alcohol is acidic, but did you know that not all alcohol is created equal?
It’s true. And today, I’m going to let you in on the simple swaps you can make if you want to drink alcohol.
This is especially important as we head into the holidays. There are lots of parties, family events, and social gatherings.
And in many groups, that means there’s going to be a lot of drinking.
I’m certainly not going to encourage you to consume alcohol since it’s acidic. I’m the first to skip out on a drink even if others around me are imbibing, but there are going to be times when you may want to celebrate and have a glass of wine or a cocktail.
So, it’s a good idea if you’re going to drink to try to minimize the acid (and fungal load as you will soon find out).
Less acid means less of a hangover in the morning, more energy, and a decreased chance of getting sick within the next few days. We could all use help with that over the winter months, right?
So let’s get started with the worst beverages you can drink.
Bad: Alcohol to Avoid at All Costs
Beer is the single most acidic alcohol there is.
Why? It’s a unique combination of fermentation, yeast, sugars, and wheat, which contains gluten – all of which are acidic. The wheat in particular makes beer acidic because it spikes insulin levels, causes massive leaky gut, and contains pro-inflammatory Omega-6 fatty acids.
If that weren’t bad enough, here’s the worst part. Grains are stored, and most defintoely will become contaminated with mold and fungal mycotoxins which are carcinogenic.
Now you might be thinking, there are a lot of different types of beers. Are they all bad?
It’s true, and there’s even gluten free beer these days.
However, even gluten free beer contains grains, and all grains WILL become contaminated with fungus, so the risk is higher that you ARE consuming more than just alcohol in your beverage!
Sorry for the bad news beer lovers…I’m just the messenger. 😊
Lastly, beer contains lot of simple carbohydrates with few to no minerals, adding onto the high acid load.
Along the same lines, hard cider is highly acidic because like beer, it combines sugar (a lot of it), fermentation, and in many cases, added gluten.
Liqueurs & Premixed
Liqueurs are super-sweetened alcohol like Grand Marnier and Bailey’s for instance. You definitely want to avoid these. They have loads of sugar and other acidic ingredients and no nutrient value.
Another thing you want to beware of is any alcohol with added sweeteners.
These days, there are lots of premixed alcoholic drinks sold right alongside straight alcohol without the added ingredients, so you’ll see premixed margaritas right next to the tequila. They are very different animals!
Look at the ingredients if you’re not sure what you’re buying and choose an option without added sugar, artificial sweeteners, or preservatives.
Better: Alcohol That’s Okay to Drink Rarely
Red wine is high in minerals and antioxidants but also high in…SUGAR & YEAST!
And a little side note, IF you think yeast is not a problem for you, you need to think again. The research reveals that 80% of the American population has leaky gut, but I’m here to tell you that number is flat our wrong.
100% of Americans have leaky gut, if my research is indicative of the greater population.
For example, in the last 200 LIVE blood samples, I found yeast in 100% of the blood samples we looked at.
Well, you may ask, “How did it get there?” THE GUT!
If you have had antibiotics ONCE, you have wiped out your gut for 2 years, period! That’s leaky gut.
In other words, your army guards are sleeping on the job, and they are allowing all the poisons and toxins in your gut (yeast, fungus, mold, mycotoxins, undigested food particles, etc) to get past the barricade and INTO your blood where they don’t belong.
See the example below – the black lines point to all the yeast in this blood sample. Yeast (small white balls next to black arrows in LIVE BLOOD CELL sample) is a parasite and is the TRUE reason why you are craving sugar and carbs if you do.
Once here, it makes your blood acidic, and then your body will leach minerals from your bones and muscles to neutralize all that acid, and it literally becomes a vicious cycle.
Remember the acid equation…
More Sugar = More Acid More Minerals = More Alkaline
So, because red wine has both minerals and sugar, it’s still acidic, but less so than other alcohols with high sugar content and few minerals.
When you compare red wine to white wine, they’re by and large the same when it comes to how acid-forming they are. They both are high in sugar and minerals so they’re both mildly acidic.
The difference is that while red wine has far more antioxidants than white, white wine has fewer sulfites, additives that preserve the shelf life of the wine.
Many people have a bad reaction to sulfites due to intolerance.
Red or white, you want to choose:
- Organic – remember, grapes are on The Dirty Dozen list for pesticides, and that doesn’t change when you’re drinking the grapes!
- Sulfite-free or buy a sulfite filter – they’re inexpensive and easy to use.
- Lower sugar wine – there’s a wide range in both reds and whites, so you want to go for descriptions like dry and crisp rather than sweet or dessert wines.
Whiskey, Bourbon, and Scotch
Beverages in the whiskey family are all made from grains including wheat and can contain trace amounts of gluten. While they don’t have any sugar, they still should be avoided in favor of other hard liquors whenever possible.
But again, here’s the deal. SO MANY people are on this gluten craze. While I’m not advocating gluten, but, is gluten the real problem?
OR, is it the fact that all grains are stored, and have the potential to become impregnated with fungal mycotoxins which are acidic, cause inflammation, and promote cancer!
Best: Alcohol That’s Okay in Moderation
Here’s a general rule of thumb to go by… The clearer and harder the alcohol, the better. Darker or opaque drinks with less alcohol content are usually more acidic.
That’s why all of the alcohol in this category is hard liquor. It’s generally closer to clear, harder, and low in sugar.
The other secret behind why hard liquor is less acidic lies in how it’s made. All alcohol is fermented, but then liquors are distilled, which removes water, sugar, carbohydrates, and impurities.
The least acidic alcohol you can drink is gin. It contains no sugar, it’s distilled, and it is made from botanicals like juniper, licorice, or coriander, which contain minerals. That also gives it a unique flavor, so it’s a great alternative to flavored liqueurs.
Tequila has some confusion about it because it’s made out of 100% blue agave, which when used to make a sweetener is one of the worst sugars you can consume because it is all fructose. However, the way it’s processed by distillation, you’re not consuming any fructose, (no sugar at all in fact) so that’s what makes it okay unlike other agave products.
Although it’s made from sugarcane, rum actually contains no sugar, as well as no gluten or preservatives. So surprisingly, rum is a relatively alkaline choice.
Vodka really belongs in all 3 categories, depending on which brand you choose. It’s only on the Best list if you buy vodka made from grapes. The most common brand made from grapes is Ciroc, so if you drink vodka, I highly suggest you seek it out.
Vodka made from potatoes or other vegetables are better than most, so if you can’t find Ciroc, look for:
- Chase (potatoes)
- Glen’s (sugar beets)
- Boyd & Blair (potatoes)
- Blue Ice (potatoes)
- Cirrus (potatoes)
- Tito’s (corn)
All the rest use wheat or similar grains so they can contain gluten (although most of it is filtered out) so I recommend you avoid these if you want vodka. This includes Smirnoff, Absolut, Grey Goose, Three Olives, Ketel One, and SKYY.
|Alcohol Swap This For That|
|Swap This Out:||Better Choice:||Best Choice:|
|Hard Cider||White Wine||Tequila|
|Liqueurs||Whiskey (includes Bourbon & Scotch)||Rum|
|Premixed Drinks||Vodka (Ciroc brand)|
Don’t Forget About Mixers!
Since we’ve determined that hard, clear liquors are the best way to go if you want to drink, the next thing to think about is what you’re mixing those alcohols with.
Fruit juices, sodas, and many other mixers are sugar-water with no nutritional value and tons of acidity. Even tonic water has sugar! Or worse, you mix with diet sodas with artificial sweeteners, the number one most acidic ingredient on the planet.
Even if you stay sugar-free, remember that carbonated water is also acidic and it’s not hydrating you the way alkaline water is.
Instead, lemon or lime slices made a great mixer because they neutralize some of the acid.
If you’re going to drink…
The big take away I want you to remember is that on special occasions, one drink is not going to do irreparable damage. Yes, it’s acidic, but you can make choices to minimize the acid.
Just like my whole philosophy, moderation is key. It’s all about moderation, not deprivation!
More than one drink is probably going to leave you feeling awful anyway – especially the next morning. Drink a full glass of filtered alkaline water with a slice of lemon before and after your alcoholic beverage to minimize acid and prevent a hangover.
The best thing you can do is go home and drink Alkamind Daily Minerals 30 minutes before bed. It’s going to replenish the minerals that your body needs to sleep well and wake up refreshed and hangover-free. And then I’d drink it first thing in the morning, and you might be surprised how this powerful alkaline drink will save you from a hangover.