Cheers! Health-conscious drinking is not an oxymoron. Research has linked red wine in particular to heart health benefits, and new research shows that people in a high-intensity interval training program who drank a beer or two with meals benefited just as much as exercisers who didn’t. And while experts don’t exactly recommend taking up booze for the potential health boost, if you’re already going to drink, there are healthy and unhealthy ways to do it. Stay away from the sugar bombs that are concentrated juices like grape and apple, and look for a 100% juice like orange, pineapple or even guava to mix with a sparkling wine, gin or vodka, suggests Joy Dubost, a registered dietitian nutritionist in the New York City area. Sparkling water to keep it simple and use something bubbly and calorie-free to make your cocktail last longer, cut its alcohol content and up the festive factor. Put down the Red Bull vodka and pick up a black or green tea cocktail instead. The compounds in green tea may help prevent memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease, support brain and eye health and deliver an all-natural energy boost to boot. You can also try 100% coconut water, which is packed with nutritional benefits, including calcium “and a ton of potassium,” Angelone says. It’s also chock-full of electrolytes, which are depleted when drinking, and so can help prevent dehydration and the associated hangover. The fifth ingredient being fruit, try making your own “frozé” – frozen rosé – by freezing rosé in ice cube trays, then blending a few of the cubes with strawberries or watermelon, Dubost recommends. Cantaloupe blends well, too, she adds, and is packed with vitamin C.
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