Christmas time is here! That's all the more reason to start drinking, whether it's because you're celebrating or because your family's coming over. And don't worry, health nuts, these are perfectly acceptable ways to get drunk & get healthy! :)
Key ingredient: Voli light vodka, which has 25-40 per cent less calories than a standard vodka.
Plus: Slimline tonic water, lemon or lime slice.
The science: “Vodka and slimline tonic is renowned as the ultimate low- calorie alcoholic drink [typically 59 calories]. It also has a low congener content – the toxins that contribute to a hangover. Top up with plenty of tonic as alcohol has a diuretic effect, meaning more water is needed to filter out acetaldehyde – a toxic metabolite that causes nausea and vomiting.”
Key ingredient: A berry-flavored sports drink such as NeuroSonic, which contains L-Theanine to boost cognitive function.
Plus: Champagne, Amaretto, Campari, fresh cranberries.
The science: “Replacing fruit syrup with a mixer of antioxidants is a good way of countering some of the negative side effects of drinking. Antioxidants seek out and destroy free radicals that damage healthy cells. But be warned: while champagne is one of the lowest calorie-containing alcoholic drinks at 100 calories per glass, it’s highly carbonated, so will be absorbed quickly. Pace yourself.”
Key ingredient: Fresh ginger acts as a circulatory stimulant and improves the delivery of blood to the liver for increased detox.
Plus: Vodka, dry vermouth, lemon twist.
The science: “The good news is that dry vermouth is extremely low in calories – 32 calories per 30ml – but make sure you avoid the fruity martinis packed with fructose. Choose a gingertini with a generous twist of lemon. The high vitamin C content helps reduce inflammation and protects cells against free-radical-induced damage from the build-up of acetaldehyde – an occurrence that’s caused by alcohol consumption.”
Key ingredient: Lemongrass is rich in vitamin C & counteracts inflammation of the gastric lining caused by alcoholic irritation.
Plus: White rum, ginger beer, water, rosehip tea, guava juice, passion fruit pulp, lychees and strawberries.
The science behind each sip: “Like vodka, rum has a low congener content. Drink an iced tea with lemongrass and rosehip-infused water to defend against alcohol-related nutrient deficiency. Lemongrass leaves and stems are high in zinc, potassium, calcium and B-group vitamins, which are essential for the liver to break down the harmful metabolites from alcohol.”
Key ingredient: Agave syrup – it’s 1.5-times sweeter than sugar, but has a low GI score (27) compared to that of honey (83) and sugar (92).
Plus: White rum, lime juice, soda water, mint.
The science: “The metabolism of alcohol is an intricate procedure that demands most of your body’s energy and attention, which leaves little room for other important processes to occur,” says Eyre. “One of the main functions affected is glucose production, which leads to low levels of blood sugar. A significant drop causes the fatigue and cravings associated with a hangover. A low-GI, unrefined sweetener stabilises your blood glucose levels, preventing those undesirable effects.”