Do you love going out for drinks with friends but feel guilty about the alcohol and calories? Don’t worry; you can still enjoy cocktails without ruining your healthy eating habits!
In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the best healthy cocktails to order at a bar and how to make smart drinking decisions to stay on track with your health goals.
Things You Can Do Before Hitting the Bar
Complete a workout in advance
Working out enhances your metabolic activity for at least 24 hours. If you work out before going to the bar, your body can break down alcohol faster. Additionally, you can reduce fat deposition and weight gain by exercising before a night of drinking.
Use supplements to your advantage
A clinical trial concluded that consuming vitamin B1 regularly reduces alcohol cravings and abusive drinking patterns.
So if you often go out with family and friends to drink, start consuming vitamin B1 supplements to reduce the number of alcoholic beverages you consume and the calories associated with them.
Eat before going out
When drinking on an empty stomach, your body will absorb the alcohol faster in the bloodstream resulting in higher intoxication. The higher the alcohol in your body, the more you crave food. The chances of passing out also increases.
On the other hand, eating carbohydrates decreases the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream. You’ll also satisfy your appetite in advance, leading to fewer drinks and calorie consumption at the bar.
8 Tips to Order Healthy Drinks at a Bar
When you’re out at the bar, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and order drinks without thinking about their calorie or alcohol content. However, if you’re watching your weight or trying to be healthy, it’s important to make smart decisions when it comes to your cocktails.
1. Go with local craft beers and liquors
Most large liquor companies package their alcohol with many additives like corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, coloring agents, etc. These ingredients are detrimental to your health and add to the calories.
A simple way to stick to health-conscious drinks is to choose local craft beers and liquors. Some well-known local brands include Stonewall Inn IPA, Brooklyn Gin, Catahoula Common, etc.
Some liquor companies include these additives to improve liquor taste or shelf life. Since the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) doesn’t require them to have an ingredient list, they can add anything without disclosing it to the consumer.
2. Opt for clear liquors
Choose clear liquors like vodka, gin, or tequila, and avoid anything sweet. You can order a vodka soda with lemon or lime, which is low in calories and sugar. Or, you can try tequila with club soda and a splash of lime.
If you’re looking for something sweeter, you can try a Vodka Martini with sugar-free syrup. And if you’re in the mood for a fruity drink, you can order a Vodka Cranberry or a Gin and Tonic.
3. Keep tabs on the quantity
According to a study, alcohol can dehydrate you pretty fast. Even health-conscious drinks consist of liquors and spirits, which means that all your effort can go down the drain if you don’t keep tabs on the number of cocktails you consume.
Unfortunately, there is no fixed number of drinks you can stick to. Instead, pace your drinking session rather than downing one drink after another. Here are some tips to get started:
- Sip the cocktail slowly to ensure you don’t finish more than one drink per hour.
- Add ice to your cocktail to dilute the alcohol.
- Use a long glass while drinking alcoholic beverages. As per this study, your drinking pace can reduce by up to 60% if you stick to tall glasses rather than curved ones.
Pacing helps you to limit the number of drinks and reduce the calories you consume while still enjoying alcohol but in limited quantity.
Pro Tip: Consume a glass of water after every drink. This will help you stay hydrated, slow your drinking and reduce calorie consumption.
4. Avoid sugary mixers
When making healthy cocktail choices, it’s also important to be mindful of the mixers you use. These products can contain calorie-laden syrup, sugar, and other ingredients.
The best approach is to ask for your drink to be made with fresh fruits or vegetables instead of processed mixers. Avoid sugary mixers like juices and sodas; choose club soda or seltzer instead. Order a spritz or glass of wine instead of a mixed drink if you want to keep things light.
5. Stick to healthy snacks
According to a study, even moderate alcohol drinkers end up overeating junk foods. That’s why, if you truly want to cut down on calorie consumption at the bar, you must be conscious about the food you consume during and after drink sessions.
We recommend munching on healthy snacks like fruits, nuts, carrots, or salads.
6. Stay away from frozen drinks
These drinks are loaded with sugar, syrup, and preservatives. Even when you consume something as simple as a Frozen Margarita, it has more calories than a freshly made one.
Opt for a classic cocktail that doesn’t rely on a slushy base, such as a Gin and Tonic or Vodka Soda.
7. Avoid large groups
A study in 2017 concluded that people in large groups tend to consume alcohol more frequently throughout the gathering. The study was conducted on undergraduate students, but research indicates similar behavior among young adults.
If avoiding a large group is not possible, use an intervention strategy like drinking water in between, having salad and nuts, or limiting your drinks to one serving per hour. It would be best if you didn’t fall into the trap of ordering a refill every time someone on your table orders a drink.
8. Stay hydrated
Ghrelin is a hormone in our body that increases our appetite. When its production declines, our appetite decreases, and so does the craving.
As per scientific research, drinking water and staying hydrated during an evening at the bar reduce Ghrelin production. So if you stay hydrated, you will crave less alcohol and are less likely to overeat after a drinking session.
11 Healthy Drinks to Order at a Bar
When it comes to healthy drinking, making smart choices at the bar is key. Many healthy cocktail options are available, whether you’re trying to cut back on calories or consume less alcohol.
1. Bloody Mary
A Bloody Mary is not only a healthy drink choice, but it’s also a great way to start your night out. The tomato juice in this cocktail provides vitamins and minerals that can help keep you healthy, and the vodka can help you relax.
Go with a freshly made Bloody Mary if you’re looking for a healthy version of this cocktail. If you opt for a premixed Bloody Mary, calories can be over 200 kcal using traditional garnishes.
2. Wine Spritzer
Wine Spritzers offer you the best of both worlds. Not only does this beverage have limited calories, but it also has lower alcohol content.
If you stick to a small serving, it is the lowest-calorie drink on this list. However, a lot depends on the wine used. Choosing a wine with less than 10% ABV is ideal, like Moscato, Riesling, and so on.
3. Vodka Soda
The best way to have a healthy version of this drink is to use diet soda. That way, you can limit the number of calories while staying hydrated.
This cocktail is low in calories – only about 112 per serving. Plus, vodka has been shown to have some health benefits. So if you’re looking to drink responsibly and still enjoy a healthy cocktail, Vodka Soda is a great choice.
4. Fresh Lime Margarita
The healthy tequila cocktail is made with fresh lime juice, agave nectar, and 100% blue agave tequila. That’s it. No added sugars, high-fructose corn syrup, or artificial flavors and colors.
This healthy margarita clocks in at just 110 calories per serving, making it a much lighter choice than most cocktails you’ll find at the bar. And it’s packed with healthy antioxidants thanks to the fresh lime juice.
5. Whiskey Ginger
Whiskey Ginger is not only a healthy cocktail choice but also a delicious one. This drink contains ginger, which has health benefits like reducing nausea, inflammation, and headache. Whiskey is also known to have antioxidants that can help protect your cells from damage.
6. Skinny Mojito
The mojito is a refreshing Cuban cocktail that has become popular worldwide. While the traditional mojito recipe calls for white rum, mint leaves, lime juice, sugar, and sparkling water, many bar versions are loaded with calories from added syrups and juices.
A typical mojito can have over 250 calories, but a Skinny Mojito has just about 100 calories per serving. Ask the bartender to eliminate syrup and other sugary ingredients in your cocktail the next time you’re at the bar.
A Gimlet is one of the healthier cocktails you can order at a bar. The traditional cocktail recipe is made with gin and lime juice, and though there are variations, most contain relatively few ingredients and are low in sugar.
8. Low-Carb Moscow Mule
A Moscow Mule is a refreshing drink typically made with vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice. While it’s delicious, it can also be high in calories due to the added sweeteners in ginger beer. This healthy version uses diet ginger beer instead, which saves you calories and sugar.
9. Gin and Tonic
Gin and Tonic is another low-calorie option, coming in at only about 125 calories per serving. And like vodka, gin is also a low-carbohydrate alcohol. Tonic water is calorie-free and contains quinine, which has been shown to boost metabolism and help burn fat.
So if you’re looking for a healthy way to stay hydrated while enjoying a refreshing cocktail, this is an excellent choice.
Champagne is not only a luxurious way to start celebrations, but it’s also one of the healthiest alcoholic drinks you can order at a bar.
A glass of champagne has fewer calories than a slice of bread, and its antioxidants can help protect your heart and brain from damage.
Drinking brandy in moderation can offer some health benefits. It’s high in healthy antioxidants, which can help improve cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease. Additionally, it has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases.
If you’re looking for a healthy cocktail option, ask your bartender for a Brandy Alexander or a Sidecar. Both cocktails are made with healthy ingredients like milk and fresh citrus juice.
Can You Drink Alcohol and Still Lose Weight?
The quick answer is yes. However, you must be strategic about your choices and moderate your consumption to see results.
As we mentioned, there are a few things you should keep in mind regarding healthy cocktail choices. First, look for drinks that are lower in sugar. Many cocktails are loaded with sugar, which can quickly add up and sabotage your weight loss efforts.
Second, choose drinks made with healthy ingredients like fresh fruits and vegetables. These will give you some added nutrients and help to offset the effects of the alcohol.
And finally, make sure to drink plenty of water in between cocktails. Alcohol can dehydrate you, so it’s important to rehydrate your body as you drink.
What Alcohol Has No Sugar or Carbs?
If you’re looking to make healthy choices when you’re out at the bar, you might wonder what alcohol has no sugar or carbs. The good news is that there are plenty of options to choose from! Here are a few of our favorites:
- Vodka: This clear spirit is typically made from grain or potatoes and has zero sugar and carbs. Mix it with seltzer or club soda for a refreshing, low-calorie drink.
- Gin: Like vodka, gin is a clear spirit with no sugar or carbs. It’s traditionally made from juniper berries, but you can find all sorts of flavor variations these days. Mix it with tonic water or sparkling water for a refreshing drink.
- Tequila: This Mexican spirit is made from the agave plant and has zero sugar and carbs. Whether you like it neat, on the rocks, or in a margarita, tequila makes a great choice for those looking to watch their sugar and carb intake.
- Rum: It is made from sugarcane, so it doesn’t have any sugar or carbs. It’s a great choice for mixed drinks and cocktails. Just be sure to watch out for sugary mixers!
- Whiskey: This liquor is also made from grain, so it’s naturally sugar-free and carb-free. Whether you like it neat, on the rocks, or in a mixed drink, whiskey is a great choice for those looking to limit their sugar and carb intake.
Does Alcohol Make Your Face Puffy?
Unfortunately, it can. Alcohol is a diuretic, which causes your body to eliminate water and can lead to dehydration. This can cause bloating and puffiness, especially in the face, since the body continuously tries to retain water to keep itself hydrated.
So there you have it – our top tips for drinking smart at the bar. Following these guidelines, you can indulge in your favorite cocktails without feeling guilty or bloated.
The next time you’re out with family and friends, skip the sugary cocktails and go for healthy drinks and skinny alternatives. Your body will thank you for it!