Six Awesome Reasons Why Alcohol-Free Drinks are Growing in Popularity
In partnership with Sans Drinks
If the thought of an alcohol-free night conjures up images of you having to sip at a sugar-loaded soda drink, rattling your car keys in your pocket and intermittently glancing at your watch to see if it’s time to leave yet, think again! Not only have alcohol-free alternatives taken a delicious turn, they’re no longer considered the ‘no-fun’ or ‘boring’ substitutes. In fact, as health and wellness becomes a priority for many of us, and the so called ‘sober-curious’ movement grows, picking up a non-alcoholic drink in place of your usual tipple hasn’t only lost it’s stigma, it’s becoming trendy! It seems that Australia is finally catching up with the rest of the world in realising you don’t have to get ‘juiced’ ‘smashed,’ ‘maggoted’ ‘hammered’ or even ‘halfcut’ to have a good time!
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) triennial survey, the number of people who ditched the drink rose from 1.5 million to 1.9 million between 2016 and 2019. And whilst recent credit and debit card data from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia shows an increase in spending in bottle shops during the pandemic – sales of alcohol-free beer, wine and spirits at major alcohol retailers have doubled in the past 12 months according to sales data from The Endeavor Group.
So why are people reaching for drinks with the alcohol removed? Well, there are many, MANY reasons. But we’d like to start off with sharing just six excellent reason why you should consider trying an alcohol-free drink, if you haven’t already had the pleasure!
You Can Still Get That Lovely Dopamine Hit
We’re starting with this one, because this one literally blew our minds! When you drink alcohol your brain releases dopamine, a chemical that literally makes you feel good. Unfortunately, it also stimulates the brain to produce Glutamate – the chemical responsible for anxiety – which is why the feel-good factor doesn’t last and some of us wake up the next day with the dreaded ‘hangxiety.’
Amazingly, alcohol-free drinks can also boost production of dopamine. A 2013 study found that drinking non-alcoholic beer also increased your dopamine levels, (assuming you already associated the taste of beer with alcohol). Researchers used Positron emission tomography (PET) scans to measure the dopamine levels of 49 men when they drank non-alcoholic beer compared with a sports drink, and found that drinking the non-alcoholic beer resulted in significantly higher levels of dopamine.
Similarly, a 2018 study looking at parts of the brain associated with feelings of reward, found that 0% ABV non-alcoholic beer and 4.8% standard beer produced no difference in brain activity!
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They’ll be Kinder on Your Waistline
The high kilojoules in alcohol mean that if you drink regularly, or a lot, you’ll likely gain weight – usually around the abdomen. A standard glass of wine (and nobody I know EVER pours a teeny tiny 150ml glass of wine for themselves at home) contains between 110-120 calories. So, the chances are, even if you have just two ‘generous’ glasses after dinner, you’ve already drunk the equivalent (or more) in calories of a fast food burger! The alcohol also prevents your body from burning fat, so it’s little wonder you’ll notice the extra weight around your abdomen.
In contrast, non-alcoholic wines and beers contain significantly fewer calories, and you’ll likely be satisfied with one or two, even when socialising with friends, instead of popping back and fore to the fridge or bar for top-ups!
You Don’t Have to Miss Out Because You are Pregnant or Breastfeeding
Non-alcoholic beers, wines and spirits are perfect for mums-to-be, and new mums who want to join in the party celebrations, or who miss having a wind-down drink at the end of the day.
Can Help You to Cut Back on Drinking
Whether you are taking part in a month-long challenge to give up alcohol, simply want to reduce your alcohol consumption, or move towards a more permanent alcohol-free lifestyle, alcohol-free alternatives can help you achieve your goals more easily, thanks to the dopamine hit we discussed earlier! The great thing about the products available from retailers like Sans Drinks is that not only do they look like alcohol, they actually taste like it too!
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They are Suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans
Did you know that animal ingredients are often used in the processing and filtration of alcoholic products? In contrast, a large range of alcohol-free options are vegetarian and vegan-friendly.
Let’s be honest, none of us has ever woken up feeling fresh and fabulous after an early, alcohol-free night and thought, “Damn it! I wish I had a hangover!”
Not only do hangovers leave you feeling tired, anxious, moody and dehydrated and just generally miserable, they are also a huge waste of time. Just think how many hours or days you’ve lost lying in bed feeling sorry for yourself the day after a big night out. Besides, a hangover when you’ve got kids to care for is a whole new level of hell you don’t want to live through! Amiright?
Win a $200 Voucher to Spend at Sans Drinks
Are you keen to discover some new non-alcoholic favourites? Our friends at Sans Drinks are giving Mums Lounge readers the opportunity to win a $200 voucher to spend online or in their flagship store (if you happen to live near Freshwater, NSW.)
For your chance to win, complete the entry form below. Good luck!
Only open to residents of Australia.