6 nonalcoholic alternatives to alcoholic beverages

Alcohol consumption is on the decline. In a recent study that followed college students’ drinking habits from 2002 to 2018, alcohol abstinence increased from 20% to 28%. More and more, adults are seeking nonalcoholic drink alternatives to help them either cut back on their drinking or stop altogether. And in an increasingly fitness-conscious world, people are also turning away from sugary drinks like juice and soda. So what are the healthy alternatives to alcohol? Here are six ideas for nonalcoholic drink alternatives.

SPARKLING WATER

Sparkling water is nothing new, but it is reliable. And more popular now than ever.  The more people turn away from alcohol and sugary soft drinks, the most varieties of flavored seltzer you see on your supermarket’s shelves.

Our favorite sparkling water is Spindrift.  Most sparkling waters come in a variety of flavors. We like Spindrift because it has real fruit juice for flavoring. The small amount of juice is delicious without the chemical taste some other flavored seltzers have. And there are no added sweeteners to turn this beverage into a diet-busting calorie bomb.

CANNABIS DRINKS

While alcohol consumption is generally decreasing, marijuana use is increasing. Across the U.S. more and more states are legalizing marijuana. So the market for cannabis-based products is growing at a rapid pace, including in the beverage sector.

We think Cann, a California-based “cannabis-infused social tonic,” is a fresh alternative to alcohol without the hangover. It comes in interesting flavor pairings like cranberry sage and grapefruit rosemary. As with alcohol, you must be at least 21 to buy these drinks. And for now it’s available only in California, Nevada and Rhode Island marijuana dispensaries. But we suspect Cann will gain popularity as it becomes available in more locations.

HEMP DRINKS

Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is the second most active ingredient in marijuana. But CBD does not come from the hemp plant’s flowers, so it contains no psychoactive ingredients. In other words, CBD doesn’t get you high. And the World Heath Organization has stated that there are no dependence issues with CBD. People use CBD and CBD products to relieve health issues such as anxiety and insomnia.

Recess is a brand of sparkling water infused with hemp and adaptogenic herbs to induce feelings of calm. Recess uses hemp to create the feeling of calm; American ginseng to help focus and improve memory; L-theanine to help booster mood; and lemon balm to boost vitality and promote balance. Its six flavors derived from real fruit juice include blood orange, peach ginger, pomegranate hibiscus, black cherry, coconut lime and blackberry chai.

NONALCOHOLIC SPIRITS

Sometimes it’s hard to go cold turkey and completely cut something out of your life. There are many commercially available nonalcoholic spirits to help you cut back on the booze if that’s what you want to do. A cool alternative is to make a delicious “mocktail” (an alcohol-free cocktail) with nonalcoholic spirits. We’ve come a long way since “near beer.”

We recommend Seedlip Spirits. This is a brand of nonalcoholic and sugar-free spirits designed to be the main ingredient in any number of nonalcoholic cocktails. Currently, Seedlip produces three varieties to create a wide mixture of drinks. Grove 42 is a citrus blend. Spice 94 features an aromatic blend of allspice and cardamom. And Garden 108 has a more herbal/floral flavor.

KOMBUCHA

Kombucha is a kind of fermented tea that contains probiotics, so it’s supposed to help balance your gut microbiome. As health-conscious consumers grow more away of their gut health, kombucha has exploded in popularity. It’s available in lots of brands and easy to find at any grocery store and even gas stations. Kombucha is here to stay.

We recommend Health Ade kombucha. Not only does it come in 16 flavors, but it contains fresh juice sourced from local farmers. Some kombuchas contain a tiny percentage of alcohol due to its fermentation process. But Health Ade products are alcohol-free and made from fermented tea. And it’s widely available. You can find it at grocery stores, liquor stores and gas stations across the country.

COCONUT WATER

Coconut water is an excellent alternative not only to alcohol but also to water. It boasts a ton of nutritional benefits including preventing diabetes, reducing blood pressure, supporting heart health and being extremely hydrating.

There are a lot of brands of coconut water available at your supermarket. Harmless Harvest Coconut Water commits to making the best coconut water in the most ethical way. All coconut farms with which they work are organic. This the cleanest coconut water we found on the market.

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