How healthy is non-alcoholic wine?
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?
The most obvious health benefit of drinking dealcoholised wine is not consuming alcohol. It’s an uncomfortable truth, but alcohol is associated with an array of poor health outcomes. Zero-alcohol option leave you feeling healthier and happier, but the health differences between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks don’t end with the alcohol content.
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.
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.
According to the UK’s National Health Service, a drink can be classified low sugar when it contains less than 5g total sugars per 100g. 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.
My Top 5 low-sugar wines
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 hair/skin/nails benefit from 40mg Vitamin C, 1.2mg Zinc and loads of B-vitamins including B12, B6 and Biotin!
1. 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 2.9g sugars per 100mls.
Health benefits of non-alcoholic drinks
Of course, there is more to health than calories. So it’s worth noting that there are actually some health to drinking non-alcoholic drinks.
Several studies show that drinking non-alcoholic beer actually improves blood circulation. It’s also been shown than non-alcoholic beer can help to reduce inflammation. 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.
[Disclaimer: 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 are also some health 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
Antioxidant rich alcohol-free wines
Plus & Minus Rose (vegan)
This rose from Australian brand Plus & Minus has the additional benefit of added antioxidant-rich grape seed extract.
Aussie Red Wine bundle
Our Aussie red wine bundle contains the classic Shiraz from McGuigan Wines, the Newblood Shiraz, Plus & Minus red Shiraz and Edenvale Pinot Noir.
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 by far the healthier option.