THE BAD, BETTER & BEST OF ALCOHOL
Updated: Nov 11, 2022
This blog was written for: www.getoffyouracid.com
Disclaimer: I am not suggesting or encouraging you to drink even a drop of alcohol. However, if you do want to responsibly enjoy some libations, keep reading to learn how to not get kicked in the acid and continue to feel healthy and amazing.
We all know that alcohol can make us feel weird in more ways than one—from calling your crazy ex to leaving your toilet a wreck. Ekk! Alcohol is flowing with acid, but not all drinks are created with acidic equality.
Less acid and sugar in your glass = waking up feeling like kicking ass, no matter what is on your plate.
More acid and sugar = feeling like you totally got kicked in the ass and just want to lay in bed and complain all day.
You got big things to do in your career, kids to dance around and giggle with at home, sweat to drop on a run, and a life to happily live. Let’s toast to your life—just with a smarter drink in hand. Cheers!
Bad: Alcohol to Avoid at All Costs
Craft, IPA, Belgium, lager, a cheap 6 pack…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 fish oil, chia seeds, quality eggs, etc.)
And just like a bad night out, 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, raches, inflamed lungs, dementia, cancer. I could go on all day, but you get the point. Suds aren’t your body’s best buds.
Dr. Daryl, bottoms up—I found a loophole: gluten-free beers! I really wish that was true. 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! Beer contains a lot of simple carbohydrates with few to no minerals, adding to the high acid load, making it an even more pour decision.
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.
Liqueurs & Premixed
The popularity of RTD (ready-to-drink) canned beverages has increased by 86.6% since Covid-19 mixed the world around. Perhaps it is a bit of just wanting something new, the convenience of a canned premixed drink while at the park or beach, or just great marketing during a crazy time.
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.
Better: Alcohol That’s Okay to Drink Rarely
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 found yeast in 100% of the samples. Yep, every single sample.
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 army 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 below–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 wine are about the same.
Although, red wine will give you more antioxidants in your glass while white wine will give you fewer sulfites which are additives that preserve the shelf life of the wine. So pick your poison, literally.
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 do not have sugar, and in this family situation, not being sweet is a good thing. But they are on the “rarely” list because they are made from grains, including wheat, and can contain trace amounts of gluten.
But, is trace amounts of gluten the real problem? No, below the surface, at the end of the barrel, the real issue is that all grains are stored and have the potential to become impregnated with fungal mycotoxins. This makes them acidic, causes inflammation, promotes cancer, and other horrible health conditions that last way longer than a bad hangover.
The best: Alcohol That’s Okay In Moderation
Cheers, you made it to the best section!
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 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.
Sober or a few shots deep, you may be confused about how tequila can be made from 100% blue agave AKA overflowing in fructose, and 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 is a relatively alkaline choice. Pirates really did know a thing or two—at least when it came to booze!
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:
Glen’s (sugar beets)
Boyd & Blair (potatoes)
Blue Ice (potatoes)
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 of the acids and are not squeezing 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, so moderation is manageable. Deprivation just leads to devastation and frustration.
To give yourself the best shot at feeling better the next morning, drink a full glass of filtered alkaline water with a slice of lemon before and after your alcohol consumption. To double up your shot of feeling great, 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. I’d also drink it first thing in the morning, and you might be surprised how this powerful alkaline drink will save you from a hangover.