Can you imagine a party or celebration without alcohol? What a bore, don’t you think? Most social gatherings involve alcohol –that’s just the way it is.
Here’s the problem: alcohol, especially when consumed in high amounts, is not only bad for your brain, but also for your body and overall health. In fact, it shuts down your central nervous system; hence the impaired memory, slurred speech, questionable balance, and blacking out, among others. Nootropics like Momental Mind can help you get back on track and recover from the occasional binge, but it’s not meant to be a remedy for your choices to drink excessively.
Let’s take a look at what you need to know.
Know How Alcoholic Drinks are Made
Alcoholic drinks undergo a process called fermentation. This is when the yeast, which contains special enzymes, breaks down sugar and turns it into alcohol (ethanol) and carbon dioxide. Then, carbon dioxide will bubble out the fermenting solution into the air, thereby leaving a water and ethanol mixture. Nonetheless, not all alcoholic drinks are created equally. What sets a drink apart from others in the family is the type of sugar compound used to form a particular drink.
Consider beer. Its main ingredient is barley, which is broken down into sugar maltose, the sugar compound yeast will act on. In the case of wine, sugar comes from the crushed grapes (although the type of wine produced will depend on the type of grapes used during fermentation).
What happens next when you drink alcohol?
This depends on the type of drinker that you are and how much alcohol you consume. Some of the effects include:
- Dizziness or headache
- Memory impairment
- Blackout, which is common if you drank alcohol with an empty stomach
- Slurred speech
- Balance issues
- More accident prone
For heavy, chronic drinkers, the alcohol’s effect on the brain includes:
- Diminished brain size
- Cognitive issues
- Impairment of intellectual functioning
Here’s the secret: there are alcoholic drinks you can drink without compromising, or at least minimizing the harmful effects, your brain’s overall health. In fact, some people even mix nootropics in their alcoholic drinks to help prevent hangovers.
The question now is this: what type of alcoholic drinks should you choose to keep your brain health intact?
Alcoholic Drinks and Nootropics: The Best Choices
Not all alcoholic drinks are bad. In fact, there are types of alcohol that are highly recommended to boost your brain, although this must still be taken in moderation. One of the best brain-boosting drinks is red wine.
Red wine contains phenols, a type of antioxidant that lowers the risk of hypertension, thereby reducing your risk of heart disease. Apart from promoting cardiovascular health, red wine is also recommended to lower your risk of dementia. It may also promote longevity of genes, thanks to powerful antioxidants called flavonoids and resveratrol.
Red wine is packed with nutritional values such as iron, potassium, and magnesium. A five-ounce glass gives you between 110 and 130 calories, - not bad.
Do you want to make the most out of red wine? Try making sangria.
Here’s how to do it:
- Steep fresh fruit like oranges, lemons, raspberries, or apples and mix it with red wine. Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon will do, but if you want authentic Sangria, use Spanish red.
- Pour in a bit of sugar and another type of liquor like rum or brandy. You may want to skip the sugar for healthier Sangria.
Red wine is good for the heart and brain, but white wine deserves some attention, too.
White wine is a product of grapes, although grape skins were removed during production, hence the color. It contains antioxidants, although maybe not as powerful as those found in red wine . Aside from that, it has less calories than red wine. For those looking for the lowest calories, Pinot Grigio and Riesling are excellent choices and also have lower alcohol content. You can also make your own white wine Sangria. Simply substitute the red wine with white and you’re good to go.
The rule is: the clearer the drink, the better it is for your nootropic health. If you are looking for something clear (aside from white wine), then vodka soda is your best choice.
The combination is simple: vodka and soda water. Vodka soda is among the alcoholic drinks with the lowest calories, with 96 calories for every 1.5 ounces. Soda water has no calories, so weight gain is not necessarily an issue. Unfortunately, this drink has no nutritional value compared to red wine.
Whiskey and Gin
A vodka soda may not be your cup of tea and whiskey or gin might give you the kick you need.
1.5 ounces of bourbon offers a mere 97 to 110 calories, depending on the brand. Scotch is another option and gin can be good for nootropic health (try the flavored gins since they have added carbs that may be good for the brain). These drinks give you a few more calories than vodka, but with added flavor that won’t bore you. Tequila is also good since it is not made with added sugar or flavoring; hence a zero-carb choice.
Still, whiskey and gin have little nutritional benefits and too much of any of these drinks could cause harmful effects on your brain. If you want to make the most out of these alcoholic drinks, go neat or on the rocks and skip the sugary mixers.
Champagne and orange juice – could it be any simpler?
It is already established that clear alcoholic drinks are better choices for nootropic health, including champagne. A mimosa can give you that.
Champagne is a sparkling white wine; hence comes with several antioxidants. Orange juice is rich in vitamin C that neutralizes free radicals, contains folic acid for healthy red blood cells, calcium, vitamin B6 for production of new cells, and thiamine for DNA repair. Just keep it light on the orange juice, remember it's pretty much sugar water. High pulp varieties of orange juice are better because they include a beneficial fiber content.
Raise your hand if you want a beer gut. *crickets*. Beer is known for giving you that belly. If you want to keep it (slightly) healthy, go for the lighter versions. It may be higher in carbohydrates, but the good news is alcohol is spread out in larger volume. This means 12 ounces of light beer could give you as little as 60 calories.
Here are some light beer options: These are not good beers by any means, but most craft beers are very high in calories and higher in alcohol content. If you must indulge, these are a better option than their heavy counterparts.
- Bud Select 55
- Natural Light
- Michelob Ultra
- Bud Select
- Miller Life
If you are looking for the healthiest alcoholic drink, Bloody Mary should top the list. A Bloody Mary is low in calories with high levels of nutrients that are good for your brain.
What’s in a Bloody Mary?
- Worcestershire sauce, which contains vitamin B6 that builds red blood cells and maintains proper function of your nervous system
- Tomatoes, preferably fresh, which are rich in flavonoids and other cancer-preventing nutrients
- Horseradish, which has antibiotic properties
- Celery, which lowers blood pressure
- Momental Mind: make your Bloody Mary a smart one!
What about chasers? Here are some of your best options:
- Sugar-free carbonated water
- Diet tonic water
- Seltzer water
- Stevia instead of white sugar
- Mio Liquid Water Enhancer
- Sugar-free drinks, preferably something that contains natural sugar-free options such as Stevia
Drinking Rules to Remember for Nootropic Health
- Remember this: one drink means 12 ounces of beer, four to five ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor or 80-proof spirits.
- Avoid sugary, alcoholic drinks like margaritas at all costs. This drink may be tastier and more manageable to drink, but it could cause deleterious effects on your brain.
- Skip full carb beer and wine. Some carbs are good for the brain, but too much of this (coming from a not-so-good source) could reduce the positive effects on brain health.
- Women metabolize alcohol more slowly than men. This makes them more vulnerable to alcohol’s damaging effects on the brain. For the ladies, reduce your intake to “one drink” per every 2-3 that your male friends drink to minimize damage. If you’re out to party try and stay 3-5 drinks behind your mail counterpart. It still depends on your size but the average female at 130lbs shouldn’t be consuming more than 3-5 drinks in an evening.
- Eat before you drink. Alcohol and an empty stomach is never a good combination, plus it makes you more prone to blacking out.
- B vitamins are a must before you drink alcohol. Remember that alcohol reduces the level of B vitamins in your body
- Take nootropics supplement such as Momental Mind the morning after you had a drink. This type of supplement will help you restore your energy levels, provide relief against hangover symptoms, and replenish the lost nutrients in your brain to help you bounce back again.
- Stronger alcohol content is often preferred, and try to buy above rail drinks. Clear liquor is less harmful than dark, but still quality alcohol can go a long way. Drinking straight or on the rocks without added sweeteners is the best way to minimize or eliminate a hangover. With stronger alcohol content and no added sweeteners you should sip, and not down, and your brain and body won’t have to take on such a massive onslaught of crappy ingredients, but you still get the feeling you desire.
Here’s the better tip: reduce – or better yet, eliminate – your alcohol consumption. We know, good luck. It does give you a confidence boost, but there are better ways to survive a social situation without leading to damaging effects on your brain. If social anxiety is a problem for you, Momental Mend can drastically reduce your stress and anxiety, helping you feel calm, and prevent anxious feelings so you can just have fun. So don’t wait for that day when your brain is already paying for all the abuses it endured throughout years of drinking. Start making good choices today.