The Healthy Swap You Can Try Instead Of Alcohol

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In December 2018, author Ruby Warrington released her book, "Sober Curious," in which she explored society's relationship with alcohol and the benefits of giving up booze. Since then, Millennials and Gen Z-ers, in particular, have started to drink considerably less (per Insider). While the trend has grown in recent years, it was the onset of "Dry January" in 2013 that first caught people's attention. According to Insider, a group in London coined the term "Dry January" with the goal of motivating people to develop healthier lifestyles sans alcohol.

Though drinking has picked up again, courtesy of the pandemic and civil unrest (per the American Psychological Association), many people are still holding on to their sober lifestyles — or at least they're trying. The benefits of not drinking are undeniable. WebMD notes that being sober lowers your risk of accidents, improves heart health, heals the liver, aids in weight loss, and improves your sleep quality. If that's enough, these delicious and healthy drink swaps are sure to make sober living worth your while.

3 healthy alcohol-free beverages for non-drinkers

Kombucha is a popular pick because of its potential probiotic benefits. According to Healthline, kombucha is a fermented tea believed to originate in China or Japan. Kombucha is full of antioxidants that benefit the liver and kill bacteria. It's also linked to reducing heart disease, managing type 2 diabetes, and protecting against cancer.

Club soda and sparkling water are fun substitutes for alcohol because of their bubbles and mix-ability. Instead of adding a couple of ounces of vodka, try adding a couple of ounces of juice, herbs, or light seasonings for a mocktail that's nothing short of delicious and delightful. Bon Appétit recommends trying a chile, lime, and pineapple recipe or mixing warm spices like chai, cinnamon, cardamom, and star anise with citrus for a creative twist.

A study by the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona suggested that non-alcoholic red wine is much better for you than regular red wine (per The Atlantic). While they had equal amounts of antioxidants that benefit the heart, according to the study, the non-alcoholic version actually allowed the polyphenols to protect the heart. Non-alcoholic red wine can be found at most grocery stores. If you're having trouble finding a brand, cranberry juice is another red, full-bodied option that may provide heart health benefits (per WebMD), as is pomegranate juice (per the Mayo Clinic).