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Are Non-alcoholic & Low-alcohol drinks bad for you?

Are Non-alcoholic & Low-alcohol drinks bad for you?
Across the world, our eating and drinking habits are changing. As we become an increasingly health-conscious society, more and more people are looking for ways to look after their bodies. One way people are looking to live a healthier lifestyle is by reducing their alcohol consumption. As a result of this trend, it is predicted that by 2024 the low & no drinks market will have grown by 31% (IWSR).
Low alcohol and alcohol free drinks are no longer just for pregnant women, dedicated drivers, and the teetotal - they are a growing trend that is helping people achieve their health goals, no matter what their motivation is.

What are No & Low alcoholic drinks?

As the name suggests, No & Low drinks are those that either have significantly reduced alcohol percentages or no alcohol at all. ‘Low-alcohol’ drinks have an ABV of between 0.05 and 1.2%, whereas ‘reduced alcohol’ drinks have an alcohol content lower than the average strength of that particular type of drink. There are three categorisations that apply to drinks produced in the UK:

Alcohol-free: no more than 0.05%ABV
De-alcoholised: no more than 0.5% ABV
Low alcohol: no more than 1.2% ABV

In response to the increased demand for No & Low alcohol options, it is now possible to get a No & Low version of pretty much every type of alcoholic drink, including beer, wine, and even spirits like gin! Many popular brands and brewers have started offering Low & No versions of their staple drinks, and new brands dedicated exclusively to No & Low have emerged, such as Nocktail, who we are proud stockists of here at DrinkWell.

Are No & Low alcoholic drinks bad for you?

In general, No-Alcohol & Low-Alcohol drinks are not damaging to your health when enjoyed in moderation. This is particularly true when compared to their alcoholic counterparts; opting for the No or Low version of a drink will always be less damaging to your health than choosing the full-ABV version. You don’t need us to tell you that alcohol in itself can have serious health consequences, so reducing the amount you consume can only be a good thing.

Additionally, No & Low alcohol drinks tend to be lower in calories and sugar, so they are certainly not worse for the waistline than their alcoholic equivalents. That being said, their effect depends largely on the type of drink, the brand, and how it's been made - low alcohol doesn't always mean lower calorie! For example, many ‘mocktails’ still contain large amounts of sugar and calories due to the mixers used in their formulation.

You should always be careful when mixing low alcohol drinks with standard alcoholic drinks on a night out, as even though they are lower in alcohol, consuming a large number of low alcohol drinks alongside standard drinks could easily push you well over the safe alcohol consumption limit. Similarly, be careful to not fall into the trap of drinking bucket loads of low-alcohol drinks because you are using them to replace soft drinks rather than to replace alcoholic drinks. Due to the lower alcoholic strength, it can be easy to drink too many No & Low alcoholic drinks at once, leading to the same negative side effects as drinking a couple of standard alcoholic drinks.

Are No & Low alcohol drinks healthier?

There are two stand-out health benefits to choosing No & Low Alcohol drinks - consuming less alcohol and intaking fewer calories. Let's take a look below at what that could mean for you.

Consuming less units of alcohol

Obviously, the biggest and most undeniable health benefit of opting for a Low-Alcohol or No-Alcohol drink is that you will be consuming less units of alcohol. Here at DrinkWell, we appreciate an alcoholic drink as much as anyone. But as we all know, when consumed in excessive amounts, alcohol can have serious health implications, such as liver disease, cancer, mental health problems, and heart disease. To keep health risks from alcohol at a minimum, The Chief Medical Officer’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines recommend not to drink more than 14 units per week on a regular basis.

Opting for Low & No drinks will be particularly beneficial if you are a heavy drinker who regularly consumes more alcohol than the recommended limit. By swapping your after-work glass (or glasses!) of wine for a Low & No alcohol version, you can dramatically reduce the number of alcohol units you are consuming each week, reducing your risk of long-term harm and health problems.

Better mental health

The hangover that follows a night of heavy drinking often leads to tiredness, low mood, low energy, and anxiety. Low & No drinks can help you reduce or eliminate these symptoms all together, boosting your mood and energy, and allowing you more time to do things that you enjoy and which further your wellbeing.

Better sleep

It may feel like a good glass of wine helps you fall asleep, but alcohol has a negative impact on your body’s ability to go into deep, restorative sleep. This means you will likely wake up feeling tired if you habitually drink in the evenings.

Switching your night-cap to a low alcohol or alcohol free version of your favorite drink, could help improve the quality of your sleep, which in turn will have a positive effect on your energy levels, concentration, memory, and overall health.

Healthier appearance

Although it may be counter intuitive, drinking lots of alcohol does not hydrate you. In fact it does the opposite, its diuretic effect makes you eliminate water and sodium at a higher rate, leaving your body dehydrated. Being dehydrated will make your skin look dull and dry, it is also a trigger for rosacea, a condition that leads to redness and flushing. Switching to No & Low alcohol, and being mindful to consume plenty of water along with your drinks on a night out, can help mitigate the dehydrating effects of alcohol.


No & Low alcoholic drinks available at DrinkWell


At DrinkWell, we are so excited to welcome a brand new range of No & Low alcohol drinks to our collection. Our expert taste testers have sampled hundreds of low-alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks to bring you healthier options that are almost too good to be true. DrinkWell aims to support you in making better choices, without sacrificing taste or quality. Below is a small selection of some of the No & Low alcoholic drinks we offer.

Vilarnau Sparkling Brut Rose 0.0%

A perfect way to celebrate when you are cutting down on alcohol, this pink fizz is alcohol-free, low calorie, vegan & 100% organic - that in itself gives you reason to celebrate! This wine originates from the San Sadurní d’Anoia region in Spain, using the Garnacha grape. With notes of strawberries and cream, raspberry sorbet, cherry blossom, and tropical fruits, Vilarnau’s sparkling non-alcoholic rose wine is a sophisticated guilt-free sweet treat. And when we say guilt-free, we really mean it - a 125ml glass of this sparkling wine contains just 28 calories! There really is no reason to say no to this wine - why not pick up a bottle from the DrinkWell website for just £7.99!

Champions Cider Rhubarb & Strawberry

With Champions, there is no need to sacrifice flavour for a healthier option. Carefully developed with the sweet-toothed cider fan in mind, Champions delivers a full, refreshing flavour that is a welcome reprieve on a hot summer day. Champions was created by former rugby players who love cider but don’t love the high calories and high sugar content found in most ciders. It was this conundrum that led them to develop Champions, a delicious low-alcohol cider with only 50 calories per bottle and no added sugar. In addition, this 0.5% ABV cider is gluten-free & suitable for vegans. You can order a case of 12x500ml bottles for £24 from the Drink Well website.

Lowlander Wit 0.00%

If you are looking to go completely alcohol-free, the dutch Lowlander Wit is the beer for you. Lowlander Wit is a true alcohol-free beer with a refreshing witbier taste and crisp citrus undertones. We love how the citrus notes have been created in Lowlander Wit. Lowlander collaborated with Peel Pioneers who collect used orange and lemon peels from Dutch bars and restaurants and repurpose them for use in multiple industries, including for use in this tasty beer! What’s more, it has only 92 calories and is vegan friendly. You can purchase a case of 12 bottles from the Drink Well website for £23.99.

Why not try the Lowlander Wit 0.00% today, or browse the Drinkwell collection to find the perfect No or Low drink for you. 

Browse Our No & Low Alcohol Range

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