Sober Curious? For Health & Happiness, Try Going Alcohol-Free
Are you looking for non-alcoholic drink options that can boost your health? You’re not alone. Ordering a non-alcoholic beverage will no longer get you curious looks—instead, mocktails and alcohol-free health elixirs are taking the world by storm. If you’re sober curious, stick around—we've got some facts that might satisfy your curiosity.
We’ll look at the rise of non-alcoholic drinks, explain why choosing one is good for your health, and even give you some options to try at home. But first, let’s look at what it means to be “sober curious.”
Feeling sober curious?
If you’re starting to question the command alcohol has over your life, in your career or relationships, or you’re realizing alcohol doesn’t always make you feel or act the way you’d like to, then you’re what many are calling “sober curious.” Maybe you’re looking for ways to have fun without worrying about how you’ll feel the next day. Or perhaps you just want healthier options when you’re out on the town.
You’re not alone. Around 40% of people globally express a desire to decrease alcohol consumption for health reasons.
Being sober curious doesn’t mean giving up on alcohol altogether. It’s more about “recognizing drinking habits and acting on that understanding,” as Ruby Warrington says. Warrington, a British journalist who got “sober curious” herself and then wrote a book about it, says sober curiosity is about deciding whether or not alcohol determines your fun, intimacy, relationships, and experiences.
If alcohol is affecting your everyday life, it might be time to look at other options.
The rise of non-alcoholic beverages
More people are adopting a wellness-oriented mindset—not simply trying to eat right or exercise more often, but fundamentally changing their daily thought patterns and habits to improve overall wellbeing. For example, half of American adults are trying to drink less.
So many people making this switch that low-to-zero-alcohol beverages are expected to increase by 32% by 2022. That’s great news for those of us who want to cut back on our alcohol consumption but still enjoy a nice beverage with friends.
Enter the mocktail and other health-based beverages.
Distill Ventures—a group that invests in and supports spirits entrepreneurs—has conducted surveys all across the U.S. and the U.K., with encouraging results for the “sober curious.” They’re calling non-alcoholic drinks “the most exciting trend in the drinks industry” worldwide.
In Los Angeles, over 40% of restaurants surveyed in 2018 featured non-alcoholic drinks on their menus. And by non-alcoholic drinks, we don’t mean standard soft drinks, but “sophisticated drinks”—quality beverages crafted from herbs, fruit, simple syrups, sparkling water, and even probiotic substances like kombucha.
But mocktails aren’t the only options for the sober curious. In May 2019, Heineken announced its first booze-free beer. Budweiser did the same last year. If you’re looking for something simple, you’ve got options on the table.
Three health benefits of switching to non-alcoholic beverages
Choosing a non-alcoholic drink is about more than just avoiding a hangover the next morning. If you’re not quite sure you’re ready to make the switch, here are three health reasons to choose a mocktail on your next night out:
- Damaging effects of alcohol—research on the number of ways alcohol damages your physical health is only growing. Researchers and health organizations across the globe are encouraging people to cut back on their alcohol consumption to boost mental health and acuity, sleep better, improve liver and digestive health, and much more.
- High-nutrient ingredients—many bars and restaurants select high-nutrient ingredients for mocktails that are not only flavorful but function essentially as an instant “health shot.” Fresh citrus, pomegranates, and berries are often used to provide a punch of flavor—along with their vitamins and nutrients.
- Saving your brain—not only does alcohol damage your body, but it also affects your mental health: immediately and in the long run. By sticking to a non-alcoholic drink, you aren’t draining your inhibitions—no worries about what happened last night—and will think more clearly when you wake up.
The choice to go sober—completely or partially—is about feeding your body and your spirit.
Try going sober now
There has never been a better time to cut back on your alcohol consumption. The new and increasing trend of non-alcoholic drinks means you have an ever-growing array of options, both at home and on the town. When you go out this weekend, ask what non-alcoholic options your favorite bar has. Your brain and your body will thank you.
You can start your sober journey now with this alcohol-free mocktail suitable for the whole family.
Note: Those addicted to alcohol or who continuously have high levels of alcohol and have a tolerance to it should be aware that complete removal of alcohol (or 'going cold turkey') as a resolution, can create intense withdrawals, creating a serious health situation. Please talk with your doctor before you make drastic changes.