Tequila, once known for wild nights and college parties, is now making a resurgence as a trendy drink of choice. With its presence in high-class bars, social media feeds, and even its own national day, tequila is capturing attention. It’s often touted as a healthier alcoholic option due to its low sugar, no carbohydrate content, and relatively low calorie count (excluding sugary mixers). But before you raise your glass and say “cheers,” it’s important to understand the truth behind tequila’s “nutritional value” and discover alternative, health-conscious ways to enjoy it. In this article, we’ll debunk the myths surrounding tequila as a health drink and provide tips for a healthier tequila experience.
Is Tequila Really Beneficial for Your Health?
You may have come across articles claiming various health benefits of tequila, such as weight loss, bone health, or even keeping the doctor away. However, it’s important to separate fact from fiction. While there have been studies highlighting potential health benefits in the agave plant and its sugars (agavins), no direct benefits of drinking tequila in humans have been found.
The properties that researchers find interesting in Agave tequilana are not present in tequila after the distillation process. Therefore, despite the hype, tequila isn’t the miracle health drink it’s often made out to be.
That being said, tequila can be a better choice compared to other cocktails or alcoholic beverages. Here are a few noteworthy nutritional notes:
- Pure agave tequila (100 percent agave) is low in sugar.
- It contains only 69 calories per ounce and has no carbohydrates due to the distillation process.
While tequila may offer some advantages in terms of its nutritional profile, it’s essential to consume it responsibly and in moderation.
Tips for a Healthier Tequila Cocktail
While no alcoholic beverage can be considered truly healthy, there are ways to make your tequila consumption healthier by making informed choices and avoiding excessive sugar and calorie intake. Here are some tips for a healthier tequila cocktail experience:
1. Skip the Soda
Soda, including 100-percent-juice options, adds excessive sugar and calories to your drink, especially if it’s primarily soda with a splash of tequila. Instead, opt for healthier alternatives like seltzer water or club soda to add bubbles without the unwanted junk. Sparkling mineral water can also be used, but keep in mind that its mineral and sodium content may slightly alter the taste of your cocktail.
2. Say No to Margarita Mix
Store-bought or mass-produced margaritas often contain food coloring, sugars, additives, artificial sweeteners, and high-fructose corn syrup. To avoid these unnecessary additives, stick to homemade margaritas or choose establishments where bartenders use fresh ingredients and provide transparency about the drink’s composition.
3. Opt for Silver Tequila
Choosing clear liquors like silver tequila can help minimize the presence of congeners. Congeners are compounds formed during alcohol fermentation that are associated with more severe and longer-lasting hangovers. Although it’s important to consume alcohol in moderation, opting for silver or blanco tequila may result in a less painful next day and be less taxing on your body.
4. Go for Pure Tequila
Tequila made from 100 percent agave doesn’t contain common additives found in other varieties, such as caramel coloring and grain alcohols. These additives can increase the sugar and calorie content of the drink. Additionally, individuals with gluten or wheat sensitivities can safely enjoy 100 percent agave tequila since it’s free from grains.
5. Moderate Your Consumption
Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to serious health problems, but even occasional overindulgence is detrimental. Alcohol is inflammatory and can negatively impact your digestive system, blood sugar levels, and nervous system. It also increases the risk of developing colon, mouth, and breast cancer. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend women consume up to one alcoholic beverage per day and men consume up to two. Remember, moderation is key to a healthier tequila experience.
Low-Sugar Tequila Cocktail Recipes
While it’s important to understand the limitations of considering any alcoholic beverage as healthy, if you choose to indulge occasionally, opting for low-sugar tequila cocktails can be a better choice. Here are a few recipes to try:
Sparkling Paloma Cocktails
- Fresh grapefruit juice
- Lime juice
- Sparkling water
This citrusy and refreshing cocktail is perfect for celebrations or relaxing by the pool. Combine fresh grapefruit juice, lime juice, and sparkling water for a bubbly and flavorful drink.
- Fizzy ginger kombucha
- Lime juice
- Triple sec
Combine fizzy ginger kombucha with a splash of tequila, lime juice, and triple sec to create a delicious margarita with no added sugar.
Sunny Winter Cocktail
- Clementine soda
- Triple sec
- Marjoram sprig
If you enjoy clementine soda or the refreshing taste of clementines, this cocktail is for you. Mix clementine soda, triple sec, tequila, and a sprig of marjoram for a bright and vibrant winter cocktail.
While no alcoholic drink can be considered truly healthy, tequila can be a relatively better choice due to its low sugar and calorie content. By making informed choices and following the tips provided, you can enjoy tequila in a healthier manner. Remember to always drink responsibly and in moderation. Cheers to a balanced approach to tequila enjoyment!