How healthy is non-alcoholic wine?

Mar 06, 2021

We all know that on the whole, non-alcoholic beers, wines and sprits are better for us than the original boozy versions – but just how healthy are they? 

Line up of Sans Drinks non-alcoholic wines

The biggest benefit of drinking non-alcoholic wine is avoiding the consumption of  alcohol. Non-alcoholic drinks can play an important role in maintaining routine and social engagements even when you are wanting to cut back or stop "drinking". 

Happy woman with her hands in the air

Non-alcoholic wine has less calories 

Let’s start with calories. Pure alcohol contains around 56 calories per unit, so standard measures of beer and wine are ahead on calories before you even consider the other ingredients. 

It’s not just the presence of calories though. The way that the body processes calories differs when alcohol is being consumed. The body starts to burn calories from alcohol it begins to deal with any calories from food. This means that if you’re drinking beer or wine with a meal, you may not be burning through the food calories effectively. 

On top of this, alcohol is associated with snacking – the more you drink, the more likely you are to be reaching for snacks like salted nuts, chips or cheese. And while there is nothing wrong with snacking in moderation, booze goes hand in hand with over doing it. 

And let’s not forget hangover calories – you can definitely avoid those by opting for a zero alcohol brand. 

Bottle and glass of Giesen 0 wine on a table

Alcohol-free drinks can also be low in sugar 

There is a common misconception that non-alcoholic wine is high in sugar, this idea likely comes from many people who have tried supermarket-bought options in the past which are often very sweet. But not now and not here! Technology and non-alcoholic choices have come a very long way over the last few years.

At Sans Drinks we categorise all of our drinks according to the official Australian Government rules: for a drink to claim low sugar it needs to contains 2.5g of sugar per 100ml and for a low calorie claim is needs to contain no more than 80 kJ (19 calories) per 100mls. You’re not likely to find many alcoholic drinks that fall into this category, but there are plenty of grown up, non-alcoholic options to choose from at Sans Drinks. Here you will find low sugar wines and here you will find low calorie wines.

5 Low-Sugar Non-Alcoholic Wine

1. Giesen 0% Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Our best selling SB, the Giesen 0% from New Zealand contains just 1.8g sugars per 100ml and 80% less calories than regular (12.5% ABV wine). 

2. Newblood Shiraz (vegan)

Our best selling red wine, the Newblood Shiraz from Australia contains just 2.4g sugars per 100ml. 

3. Wildlife Botanicals (vegan)

Bubbles with benefits! This delicious champagne alternative is from the UK has just 2g of sugar per 100mls, plus the additional benefits of Vitamin C, Zinc and Biotin!  

4. Newblood Chardonnay (vegan)

The buttery Aussie chardy from Newblood has only 1.3g sugars per 100ml and is triple distilled to retain the bold Chardonnay flavour and a crisp, balanced finish. 

5. Thomson & Scott Noughty (Vegan & Halal)

From the creator of Skinny Prosecco, this certified organic, alcohol-free alternative to Champagne is from the UK brand brand Noughty and contains just 14 Calories per 100mls. 

Benefits of non-alcoholic drinks

Other than calories there are many benefits to drinking non-alcoholic drinks.

In a 2012 study published in the journal Sports and Medicine, researchers asked male marathon runners to drink non-alcoholic beer for three weeks before and two weeks after a marathon. They discovered that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in the phenols in alcohol-free beer actually helped to reduce muscle inflammation after exercise.

I'm not a health professional, this is publically available/published information only, please refer to the sources below for research details and always discuss with your health with your GP.

There may also be some healthy benefits to drinking non-alcoholic red wine. Another 2012 study found that while red wine and zero-alcohol red wine both contain the same amount of antioxidants, the alcohol content of the traditional wine might even hinder the polyphenols from working effectively.

The research showed non-alcoholic red wine also led to a significant decrease in other health conditions compared to the alcoholic wines.

We stock the Edenvale range of wines which contain great ORAC ratings (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) which is the official measurement for antioxidant capacity in food, beverages and health supplements.

From the Edenvale Premium Reserve range, this sparkling shiraz is dry, delicious and has an ORAC antioxidant score of 4,030  

Irene Falcone drinking Edenvale Sparkling Shiraz

Antioxidant rich alcohol-free wines 

Plus & Minus Rose (vegan)

This rose from Australian brand Plus & Minus has the addition of added antioxidant-rich grape seed extract.

Aussie Red Wine bundle 

Our red wine bundles contain classic red wines like Shiraz and Pinot Noir and are a great way to start trying non-alcoholic reds.

All of this goes to show that whether you’re cutting down on alcohol or making a permanent change, alcohol-free beer and wine are a far better choice. 

Sources: Effect of alcohol consumption on food energy intake: a systematic review and meta-analysis – Cambridge University Press – 29 Jan 2019; Non-Alcoholic Red Wine May Boost Heart Health, WebMD, September 2012; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Alcohol and Your Health; Non-alcoholic Beer Reduces Inflammation and Incidence of Respiratory Tract Illness, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Jan 2012, Volume 44. 

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