9 Drinks That Give You a Buzz Without the Hangover
Everyone loves to have a cocktail or two to unwind but no one likes to feel hungover from it either,
So what if there was a way that you could enjoy the relaxing effects of a couple of drinks but not feel like a truck ran over you the next day?
No, I am not yanking your chain at all and now there is a healthier way to enjoy but not feel guilty over it either.
People are finding out the glories of herbal and fermented beverages. These beverages are gaining mainstream attention as alternatives to alcohol. These beverages can provide good options to people who want to cut down on their alcohol consumption as well as those who are in recovery from alcohol misuse. “People are trying to find a way they can enjoy their food and drinks… without causing those long-term effects,” Revée Barbour a naturopathic physician based in Sacramento, California says.
Before I dive any deeper here are some disclaimers that I feel I should share.
Before saying “cheers,” keep in mind that even non-alcoholic and minimally alcoholic drinks need to be purchased and consumed responsibly. Companies that sell herbs, for example, aren’t regulated in a way that guarantees what you see is what you get, so it’s important to do your research and look to established manufacturers before buying (often potent) products.
Talk to your doctor too, to make sure the herbs won’t interact with your medications.
1. Matcha tea
The popularity of matcha tea – a type of green tea – has soared in recent years. Matcha tea, like other types of green tea, is made from the plant Camellia sinensis, but is grown slightly differently. The difference is the amount of exposure to sunlight, which results in matcha tea having higher chlorophyll and amino acid content. Also, the whole leaf is utilized, resulting in higher amounts of caffeine and antioxidants compared with other types of green tea, says Courtney Barth, a registered dietitian with Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Human Nutrition based in Cleveland, Ohio.
Research suggests that consuming matcha tea is associated with an array of health benefits, such as:
- Improved heart health.
- Better liver function.
- Weight loss
If you crave the refreshing fizziness of beer, you’ll feel satisfied sipping on kombucha, an easily accessible fermented drink typically made from black tea, sugar, and “SCOBY” – an acronym for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.
“The byproduct is this awesome probiotic-rich drink” that contains B vitamins, glucosamine, and other nutrients that support liver and immune health, Barbour says. And because kombucha can contain a small amount of alcohol and caffeine, you may notice a slight – albeit fleeting – buzz.
Cap your intake at two cups daily. “It’s not about numbing yourself, it’s about drawing attention to the areas that need the most support,” Barbour says. “That’s where these beverages shine.”
You’ve heard of eating like a caveman, but what about drinking like one?
“Mead … is one of the most ancient beverages humans have been consuming,” Barbour says of the sweet, carbonated drink that can go down like cider. Made from fermented honey, mead has antifungal, antibacterial, immune system-supporting and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as varying levels of alcohol, though it’s typically about half the alcohol content of wine.
Typically more sour than mead, the drink boasts B vitamins, fiber and protein. “It’s an overall health tonic” that can be found online, in some stores and even some bars, Barbour says. You can also make it at home; Barbour recommends finding a starter kit. “All of this stuff you can make yourself – you don’t have to go somewhere to get it.”
Crataegus is another name for hawthorn, the same herb in Barbour’s mixologist friend’s mocktail. Sometimes used to treat heart conditions since it helps open up blood vessels, hawthorn can also be used to heal emotional wounds, Barbour says. “If someone comes to me and they’re getting over a broken heart or getting over huge loss in life, it’s a fabulous thing to give,” she says.
Are you stressed out about a work assignment or can’t shake the tension from an argument with your spouse? Linden – an herb a bit more bitter and savory than hawthorn, which is sweeter since it comes from the rose family – might help.
7. Low-fat and fat-free milk
There are a number of ways to enjoy low-fat or fat-free milk, either of which can give you a boost of energy. You can enjoy a cold glass of either type of milk straight or use it in hot tea, coffee or with cereal.
8. Beet root
When people order a warm drink made with beet root from Alchemy, a juice bar and cafe in Columbus, Ohio, its pink hue can make them feel better before even taking a sip.
“The self-care movement really (promotes) looking at food as more of an experience, as opposed to fuel or energy or fiber,” says Alexis Joseph, a registered dietitian and the cafe’s co-founder.
Once they slurp, customers can feel more relaxed too, thanks in part to beet root’s blood vessel-opening effects. Warm drinks of many varieties can warm your body, Joseph adds. “They have that warming, calming, soothing feeling about them,” she says, “and they happen to be really healthy.”
Know that feeling of lightness after a deep meditation or massage? That’s similar to the feeling Singletary gets after sipping a drink made with Cup of Sunshine, her company’s tea that includes kanna, a strong, earthy South African herb.
“That to me, out of the herbs we sell in tea form, feels the most akin to the buzz-like feeling,” she says. Try pairing it with milk and a sweetener. “It tastes reminiscent to the earthy notes of a chai tea; you could even add in some powdered cinnamon and cardamom for extra flavor.”
So, next time you are out see if your area has any of these in town. They all sound delicious and much easier to recover from if you have let’s say, one too mamy.