Disclaimer: I am not suggesting or encouraging you to drink even a drop of alcohol. If you want to enjoy some libations and not experience their acidic effects, keep reading to learn how to KICK THE ACID and stay balanced.
I’m a person who loves a Christmas party with friends. Those parties often flow with holiday “spirit(s).” Therefore, I am sharing one of the most viewed blogs—so you won’t feel like the round, bloated big man in the red suit afterward!
Alcohol is loaded with acid, but not all alcohol is created equally.
The next time you want to toast to the new year or pair a wine with your dinner—remember this main rule:
Choose a drink with the least amount of sugar and acid and drink Acid-Kicking Minerals before your first drink and 30 minutes before bed.
It will replenish the minerals you will lose—and to wake up better, not as...well, you know…
Picking the best option is often confusing because alcohol companies don’t print in bold letters on the front of a bottle the amount of sugar and acid inside and what it will do to your body. That definitely would be bad for sales!
Therefore, I did the research for you—based on the literature, my personal experience working with 130,000 patients over the last 22 years, and endless evidence-based research that happily consumes my days.
You’ve got big things to do in your career, children to dance around and giggle with at home, sweat to drop on a run, and life to live happily. Let’s toast to your life—with an Alkamind mindset and a smarter drink in your hand.
Bad: Avoid These Alcohols Like The Plague
Craft, IPA, Belgium, lager…it’s all the same. No matter your pursuit of hoppiness, beer is the single most acidic alcohol on the market. It is crushing to learn, I know. But once you know how beer damages your body, you might not crave it as much.
Beer is a unique combination of fermentation, yeast, sugars, grains, and wheat that contain gluten–all of which are VERY acidic. The wheat, in particular, makes beer acidic because it spikes insulin levels, causing massive leaky gut issues.
Beer also contains pro-inflammatory Omega-6 fatty acids (very different from the good Omega-3s from supplements, chia seeds, quality eggs, etc.), which not only inflames your body but your brain as well.
It gets WORSE...Grains (from the beer) are stored and become contaminated with mold and fungal mycotoxins, which are carcinogenic. This process can also lead to chronic fatigue, depression, brain fog (or what I refer to as “brain debilitation”) skin rashes, inflamed lungs, and dementia.
Beer also contains a lot of simple carbohydrates with few to no minerals, adding to the high acid load, making it an even more pour decision. Suds aren’t your body’s best buds.
If you drink beer often, you haven’t even tapped into how energetic and wonderful you could feel. Time to kick the can and feel great!
Cider is another bad apple in the brewski family. Hard cider is highly acidic because, like beer, it combines sugar (a lot of it), fermentation, and in many cases, added gluten.
As a doctor, I can’t sign off on cider either—no matter how good a cider company’s marketing department is at convincing people it is healthy because it is made from a “fruit.”
Liqueurs & Premixed
These include drinks like Ketel One Peach Vodka Spritz and Cutwater Tequila Margarita. Vodka and tequila, on their own, actually made the “best of alcohol” list (woohoo, I bet that put you in better spirits 😉), but their pre-mixed friends are poppin’ off in sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and acidic ingredients.
Did you know that over 50% of Americans consume half a pound of sugar per day?! Just one can of Cutwater Tequila Margarita sneaks in 27 grams! In short, if you often feel sick, eating sugar could be the culprit, and you can learn more here.
Better: Alcohol That’s Okay To Drink In Moderation
A little wine is fine as it is high in minerals and antioxidants. However, don’t let that fool you because it is also super high in sugar and yeast. In the last 200 live blood samples of average Americans, I've literally found yeast in EVERY SINGLE live blood cell test I've drawn.
It all gets there via your gut. If you have had antibiotics ONCE, you have wiped out your gut for 2 years, period! That’s leaky gut. Your gut guards are sleeping on the job, 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 to the left—the black lines point to all the yeast in this blood sample. Yeast (small white balls next to black arrows in a live blood cell sample) is a parasite.
This is the real reason someone craves sugar and carbs.
More sugar = more acid. More minerals = more alkaline.
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.
When it comes to how acid-forming they are, red and white wines are about the same.
Although red wine will give you more antioxidants in your glass, white wine will give you fewer sulfites, additives that preserve the shelf life of the wine.
There are a few other things you can do to pour yourself a healthier glass:
- Buy sulfite-free wine or get a sulfite filter
- Drink lower-sugar wine—go for descriptions like dry and crisp rather than sweet or dessert
- Go organic—grapes, in any form, are on The Dirty Dozen list for pesticides
Whiskey, Bourbon & Scotch
Here’s the deal with the whiskey family— they don’t have sugar, and in this family situation, not being sweet is a good thing. But they are on the “moderation” list because they are made from grains, including wheat, and can contain trace amounts of gluten.
However, is trace amounts of gluten the real problem? No, the real issue is that all grains are stored and have the potential to become impregnated with fungal mycotoxins. This makes them highly acidic, driving up inflammation in your body and other horrible health conditions.
The BEST: This Alcohol Has My Blessing!
Cheers, you made it to the best section!
Here’s a general rule of thumb…The clearer and harder the alcohol, the better. Darker or opaque drinks with less alcohol content are usually more acidic and sugary.
Here’s the secret these spirits are holding: All alcohol is fermented, but then liquors are distilled, which removes water, sugar, carbohydrates, and impurities.
Go for gin! It is the least acidic, contains no sugar, and is distilled. Gin is also made from botanicals like juniper, licorice, or coriander. All of which contain minerals, making it gin-uinely better for you. (Be sure to avoid any gins that come from grains)
Sober or a few poolside margaritas in, you may be confused about how tequila can be made from 100% blue agave AKA overflowing in fructose, and still be on the best list. Here’s the real story: the way it’s processed by distillation, you’re not consuming any fructose (no sugar at all). This makes it okay to drink, unlike other agave products.
Although it’s made from sugarcane, rum actually contains no sugar, gluten, or preservatives. So surprisingly, rum made my best list with one caveat—watch out for flavored rums, as they will throw in some artificial ingredients.
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. 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)
Smirnoff, Absolut, Grey Goose, Three Olives, Ketel One, and SKYY are all popular brands that are grain-based vodka, which puts them on the naughty list.
Mix it up!
What you mix into your drink, could actually be worse for you than the liquor itself. Fruit juices, sodas, and many other mixers are sugar-water with no nutritional value and tons of acidity.
Even more dreadful is using diet sodas as mixers since they are loaded with artificial sweeteners, AKA the #1 most acidic ingredient on the planet! Also, not to burst your bubbles, but a sugar-free, carbonated water option is actually acidic and not as hydrating as alkaline water.
The answer is to add some zest to your drink. Lemon or lime slices make great mixers because they neutralize some acids and do not squeeze artificial ingredients into your adult beverage.
The big takeaway I want you to remember is that one drink is not going to do irreparable damage on special occasions. 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! You are a human, not a robot. Therefore, moderation is a manageable lifestyle. Deprivation just leads to devastation and frustration.
To double up on feeling great, drink Acid-Kicking Minerals before your first drink and 30 minutes before bed.
It will replenish the minerals your body needs to sleep well and wake up refreshed. I’d also drink it first thing in the morning.
You might be surprised how this powerful alkaline mix will save you from feeling blahhh the next day. Cheers to optimal levels of health and energy!