Women Giving Up Alcohol Get a Big Health Boost

There's bad news for the mommy drinking culture. A study highlights the benefits of women giving up alcohol. Learn why, and score a few mocktail swaps to help.

Three women click champagne flutes

The kids are tucked in, your work for the day is done (well, not counting laundry) and you can finally have a moment of relaxation before you call it a night. If this picture involves reaching for a glass of wine, you’re not alone.

Many parents use alcoholic beverages to unwind, and the growing #winemom trend is proof – although it’s not without controversy. Still, the “mommy drinking culture,” as it’s sometimes called, is alive and well – and there’s no doubt there’s plenty of support among dads, too.

Still, is it healthy for women – not just physically but also mentally?

A new study out of China suggests that it isn’t.

The perils of mommy drinking

The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in July 2019, found that quitting alcohol is good for women’s health and may improve overall quality of life and mental well-being.

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“Our findings suggest caution in recommendations that moderate drinking could improve health-related quality of life. Instead, quitting drinking may be associated with a more favorable change in mental well-being, approaching the level of lifetime abstainers,” Dr. Michael Ni of the University of Hong Kong cautioned in a recent report about the findings.

The researchers studied drinking patterns among a population of more than 10,000 people – among those, 64 percent of men were nondrinkers and 88 percent of women were nondrinkers – and how those patterns “influence changes in physical and mental well-being.” The results were then compared with a U.S. survey that studied the drinking habits of 31,000 people.

Ultimately, women who quit drinking during the course of the four-year study had greater improvement in mental well-being than those who abstained from alcohol throughout the course of their lives. This was the case even after adjusting for factors like sociodemographic characteristics and smoking status, according to the report.

Although the study has some limitations – the data was self-reported, for example – other studies have pointed out the benefits of the no-alcohol lifestyle in the past, too.

Mocktail swaps to enjoy

If you’re ready to put your #winemom days behind you – or maybe you already have – it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a delicious drink to unwind at night or to celebrate special occasions.

Consider Metro Parent’s list of “mommy mocktails,” where you’ll find these three suggestions.

1. Baby Bellini

Love the classic brunch cocktail made with peach juice and champagne? Try this switch-up instead. Pour 2 ounces of peach nectar into a champagne flute and slowly add chilled sparkling cider. You won’t miss the champagne – trust us!

2. Mackinac Mock-hito

Who doesn’t love a refreshing mojito on a hot summer day? Not to worry – there’s a yummy option for the non-drinkers among us, too. This recipe is fresh from the Grand Hotel Mackinac Island, courtesy of AAA Michigan.

To make it, just place two lime wedges into a glass with some fresh mint sprigs and one tablespoon of brown sugar. Muddle it until all the sugar is absorbed into lime juice, then add half a glass of ice and ginger ale. Stir it up and top with the ginger ale.

3. Mamarita

This alcohol-free drink is from Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom-To-Be – and it sounds like the perfect beverage to offer up at your next moms night in. The recipe calls for the following: 2 tablespoons of rimming salt, 1 ounce agave nectar, a 1/2 ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 ounce orange juice, 3 ounces limeade and 1 lime wedge.

To start, salt the rim of a margarita glass. Stir agave and lemon juice in the bottom of a mixing glass until the nectar dissolves; then add the orange juice, limeade and ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a margarita glass and serve with a lime wedge.

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