A Naturopath’s Guide to Drinking Alcohol

Okay, let me start off by stating that alcohol is not good for your body. It never has and it never will be in the recommended food groups for humans.

But, as an Australian who loves a good beer now and then, and a therapist who prides herself in providing REAL advice to REAL people (most of whom are majority social drinkers), I feel it is only fair that I prepare some ground rules on how to party with poise.

Now the obvious solution to maintain optimal health is to avoid alcohol altogether (hope I haven’t lost you already) but this can be difficult for many and also… we love a drink! So the next best thing you can do is to drink in moderation and make smarter choices.

I can hear you rationalising that you “only have a few anyhow”, but for those with weight loss goals, health issues or simply zero self control when it comes to the party season – the allure of a few carefree, square-dancing hours of drinking booze with friends can derail the most diligent of health nuts.

The healthiest way to drink alcohol (apart from not drinking it)

  • Drink less alcohol by drinking slower.

    Use a straw, order less ice so you get more mixer, drink from tall glasses, have a wedgie (water in between) and don’t get into shouts.

  • Drink clear alcohol.

    Generally speaking clear liquors are lower in kilojoules – think Vodka or Gin for a win-win!

  • Mix everything with Soda Water.

    Soda water not only re-hydrates you, but also doesn’t have the sugar levels of other mixers. Plus, it can go in just about anything! Compare that with a vodka and cranberry juice with 160 calories or 2 teaspoons of sugar per drink.

  • Stay away from Tonic Water.

    I know we said go clear, but a 200ml glass of tonic water has about 10g of sugar in it. While you’re at it, stay away from juices or softdrinks too. Just buy 20 bottles of Soda Water and you should be okay.

  • Have a Wedgie.

    This is Australian bush-slang for drink some water, you goose! Have a glass of water in between each drink or even have a plain soda and lime in between drinks and no one will even notice you’re being a closet party pooper. If you have to take extreme measures, I highly recommend tasking a buddy system to get the water wedgies.

  • Eating is not cheating. Unless it’s dirty fries.

    Always eat food before drinking alcohol. The best thing you can do is eat a balanced meal of protein, fats and carbs as it will help slow down the effects of alcohol and metabolise better. But even if you can’t bring yourself to eat something good, just eat. For the love of god EAT!

  • It’s not more fun on the heavies.

    Choose lighter alcoholic drinks such as a light or mid strength beer or if you’re on the spirits – ask for a half nip or extra mixer! If you’re on the hard stuff – dilute your drink with a bit of, you guessed it, SODA WATER to tone down the alcohol content and keep you happy. Remember, go soft or go home.

  • Drink ALL the water right before bed.

    As a last ditch attempt to save your poor liver from the perils of what’s to come, get yourself a giant bottle of water and pop it into the fridge before you go out. When you get home, I don’t care how drunk you are, the fridge is almost guaranteed to get a look in so hopefully somewhere in your inebriated brain you will see that glistening beacon of hope and down it clumsily before you flop into bed covered in KFC crumbs. It’s your only hope.