We’ve talked before about how alcohol is acidic, but did you know that alcohol may be leading to more weight gain than you think?
It’s true. And today, I’m going to let you in on what to do if you want to drink alcohol on occasion but keep from gaining weight.
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 summery cocktail.
So if you’re going to drink, you want to do what you can to minimize the acid and weight gain.
By following this advice, you can experience less of a hangover in the morning, less weight gain, more energy, and a decreased chance of getting sick within the next few days – all just by following a few simple rules when it comes to alcohol.
Before we get to my 5 easy rules to follow, I want to let you in on WHY alcohol leads to more weight gain than you might think.
You probably already know that alcohol is often filled with “empty calories,” which don’t offer any nutritional value but do deliver lots of calories from sugar.
What you may not realize is the affect alcohol has on your body. We’ve talked before about shifting from burning carbs to burning fat as your body’s primary source for fuel, right? Well, guess which fuel source alcoholic beverages fall into?
You guessed it… Your body takes alcohol in as carbs, which leads to craving more carbs. If you’ve ever craved pizza or nachos after a night of drinking, you know this part already.
Burning alcohol and other carbs as your fuel source leads to excess belly fat in particular. That’s where the “beer belly” idea comes from, but it’s not just beer you have to be concerned about.
All of that is bad enough, but that’s not all. Alcohol, like all acidic food and beverages, slows down the digestive tract, negatively impacting the metabolism and leading to weight gain.
So if you’re going to imbibe, you want to do so smartly. That’s why I’ve got 5 simple rules for you to drink alcohol occasionally without taking on a lot of excess acid or weight.
My 5 Easy Alcohol Rules to Follow
Rule #1: Avoid Grains
If there is one thing I want you to remember from this article, it’s that beer is the single worst alcohol you could drink.
Why? It’s a unique combination of fermentation, yeast, sugars, and wheat, which contains gluten – all of which are acidic. The wheat in particular spikes insulin levels, causes massive leaky gut syndrome, and contains pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.
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.
But the way the grains used to make beer are stored before use means they most definitely will become contaminated with mold and fungal mycotoxins, which are carcinogenic – even if the beer is gluten-free.
The same, sad to say for many people, goes for whiskey, bourbon, and scotch. Beverages in the whiskey family are also made from grains. Even if they contain NO wheat or gluten, they will contain mold and fungal mycotoxins.
Sorry for the bad news, whiskey and beer lovers…I’m just the messenger.
Rule #2: Avoid Sugar
This is the biggest problem with most alcoholic beverages – sugar content. Think about all of the super-sweetened drinks you can choose from like hard ciders, sweet wines, and most liqueurs like Grand Marnier and Bailey’s.
And don’t forget about mixers! Fruit juices, sodas, and many other mixers are sugar-water with no nutritional value and tons of acidity. Even tonic water has sugar! And no, Diet Coke does not make a good sugar-free mixer choice! Artificial sweeteners are the number one most acidic ingredient on the planet.
You definitely want to avoid all of these sugary options. 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. Premixed alcoholic drinks are often 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 in terms of ingredients!
Look at the ingredient lists if you’re not sure what you’re buying and choose an option without added sugar, artificial sweeteners, or preservatives.
Rule #3: Avoid Sulfites
Red, rosé, and white (non-dessert) wines have both high mineral content and sugar, so they are acidic and will lead to weight gain. But less so than other types of alcohol with even more sugar as we discussed in Rule #2.
So in other words, wine is a better choice than more sugary alcoholic beverages or beer.
When you compare red wine to white wine, they are by and large the same when it comes to how acidic they are and their sugar content. 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. You can find all types of wines made sulfite-free, so that’s my top recommendation when it comes to wine.
Red, rosé, 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.
Rule #4: The Clearer the Better
This is a bit counter-intuitive. Darker or opaque drinks with lower alcohol content are usually more acidic and higher in sugar. On the other hand, clear, hard liquor is generally low in sugar and acid.
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.
Gin – 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 – Tequila has cause for confusion 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.
Rum – 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 – How acidic vodka is really depends on which brand you choose. The least acidic is made from grapes like Ciroc. Vodka made from potatoes or other vegetables are better than most, so if you can’t find Ciroc, look for:
- Chase (made from 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 should be avoided if you drink vodka. This includes Smirnoff, Absolut, Grey Goose, Three Olives, Ketel One, and SKYY.
When it comes to mixers with these clear, hard alcohols, you want to keep it simple. The best option is lemon or lime slices because they neutralize some of the acid.
Remember that even seltzer water is acidic because of the carbonation, so despite being sugar-free, I suggest you skip it.
Rule #5: Moderation is Key
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, it’s about moderation, not deprivation! 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.
More than one drink is probably going to leave you feeling awful anyway – especially the next morning.
Then, the best thing you can do for yourself is go home and drink Acid-Kicking 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. If you wake up feeling less than fantastic, you can also drink it first thing in the morning. It’s not going to make you sleepy. And you might be surprised how this powerful alkaline drink will save you from a hangover.
Finally, start your day the next morning with Acid-Kicking Greens, you’re not only getting a dose of the most powerful, alkaline food on the planet, you’re also replenishing your immune system and helping to stave off weight gain.
What sets Acid-Kicking Greens apart is that the wheatgrass is broken down into a powder in a way that it’s practically predigested for you – with little to no degradation whatsoever.
So unlike other brands, you’re going to absorb more of the wheatgrass and other beneficial ingredients.
We’ve combined that with cabbage, collard greens, parsley, romaine, dandelion, beets, carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, and celery. So by taking your Acid-Kicking Greens first thing every morning, you’re getting a dose of the most powerful, alkaline food on the planet!
GET OFF YOUR ACID!