Oh what fun summer has been so far! We're definitely well into it and I'm sure many of you have been to your fair share of backyard parties. There are so many things to love about patio season - fresh salads, grilled veggies, in-season fruit, the fact that it is bright enough to actually see your friends well into the night!
For many, BBQs are also accompanied by a few (or a few too many) drinks. I'm talking alcohol here. I've seen recycling bins filled to the brim with nothing but beer bottles. I will never understand the appeal of that beverage. To me it tastes like cat pee mixed with perrier and maybe a squeeze of turpentine. I know you know what I mean! Other types of alcohol just taste like pure yuckiness to me and I suppose that's why they are often mixed with delicious juices to make cocktails. So why do you need the icky tasting stuff in there if the juice is so delicious tasting by itself? It's not like tequila is doing anything for your health that it's actually worth the nasty taste and corosive heart-on-fire feeling you get from downing it.
Yes you heard me. Alcohol is not good for you. I know I know: Dr. Superstar of the month said that 175 mL of red wine a day is good for your heart and will keep you young, but really let's be serious here: It's not the alcohol he's talking about. It's the antioxidants from the grapes!
What your body has to say about booze:
- Liver On Overtime.You drink the drink and it enters your stomach and bloodstream within the first minute. Your liver now has a very difficult task of breaking down that alcohol and has to hold off on its other jobs, like processing the nutrients from food consumed. Over the course of the next half hour, the liver converts alcohol into "acetaldehyde" which is a known carcinogen. Eventually, acetaldehyde is broken down further and leaves your body as carbon dioxide and water.
- Scrambled Brain. This process requires a lot of energy from your liver, and alcohol therefore backs up into your bloodstream and affects your brain. It interferes with nerve cells in the area of the brain which controls memory. It also affects the area that is responsible for movement, as well as the region responsible for mood. These disruptions are what happy hour enthusiasts recognize as being pleasantly drunk. Inhibitions suddenly seem to disappear and you're all loosey goosey wiggling all over the place. Dance party anyone? Yeah, you wouldn't normally get up on the table without a few shots under your belt would you?
- Red In The Face. And that warm feeling and flushed complexion? The influx of alcohol causes blood vessels in your skin to expand. This is why some people have a serious case of red-apple cheeks when they've been guzzling the booze.
- Bustin' Out The Beer Belly. What if you sipped on something a little sweet? Say a posh little cosmo or one of those bright green apple martinis? All that sugar in the drink spells trouble for your poor blood sugar sending it spiking and crashing. This has you reaching for any fatty, sugary, salty treat you can get your hands on. Not to mention the fact that the alcohol itself packs 7 calories per gram. And most people don't have just one drink. Since your poor liver has been so busy neutralizing all the booze, your body stores these excess calories as fat.
This does not sound like a good time to me! No need for those horrible tasting beverages when you can make super tasting amazingly healthy ones. Try these fantastic drinks and I promise you will not miss the booze one bit.
Question Of The Day: What is your favourite alcohol-free beverage?