Wine and Health

How to strike a balance between health and wine

Enjoying a bottle of Chablis with dinner or a glass of Rioja before bed may be among the highly valued experiences in life for fine wine lovers, but all good things are best had in moderation. For wine lovers, a common concern is how to maintain a balance between health and wine drinking. It is important not to lose sight of your health and wellbeing, and these tips curated by the Ideal Wine Company will help you stay healthy while you enjoy your favourite wines.

Count your calories

Pay attention to what you are drinking and keep a count of the calories. Most wines contain about 90-150 calories per glass. Generally speaking, a 5-ounce glass of white wine contains about 120 calories, while a 5-ounce glass of red will set you back by 125 calories. The calorie count per ounce of most wines can be found online, and you can accordingly adjust the number of glasses you drink based on your vintage of choice. A good measure to remember when drinking is that higher the alcohol content, higher will be the calorie count.

Eat before you drink

Common sense tells us that drinking on an empty stomach is not a smart idea. This also applies to wine, because drinking on an empty stomach can lead to overindulgence and intoxication as the alcohol gets absorbed into the bloodstream much faster. Eating first helps your body metabolise slowly. Plus, if you get drunk first, you are much more likely to make poor food choices later, such as ordering a cheeseburger instead of a chicken salad.

It is also a good idea to pace yourself and hydrate as you go along. Alcohol is a diuretic, so sip water between your drinks to avoid getting dehydrated and waking up with a hangover the next morning.

Watch what you eat

Aside from eating before you drink, you should also pay attention to what you are eating. It is good to have a healthy balanced meal, with complex carbs, healthy fats, and lean proteins. When having a glass of wine outside meals, stock up on healthy snacks like nuts, fruits, and cheese.

Watch when you eat

As with what you drink, when you drink also matters. The effect of alcohol in our body is similar to that of carbohydrates, so to drink wine and stay lean, don’t drink too late in the evening. Drinking too late or too close to bedtime can also impact the quality of REM sleep. This can lead to daytime drowsiness or irritability the next day as well as poor concentration and lack of adequate sleep. A glass or two at night may seem to help you fall asleep, but overall, it is more disruptive to the quality of sleep you get. Experts recommend a gap of three hours between drinking and sleeping.

Get some exercise in

This is an obvious one, since regular exercise is intrinsic to any healthy lifestyle. You don’t need to hit the gym every time, as long as you include some form of physical activity into your day. Simply walking regularly can support your metabolism and slow down impulse cravings at the end of the day. If you want to burn off one glass of wine, a 28-minute walk will suffice. Short of time? Go jogging for 12 minutes instead.

Opt for the red

Among alcoholic beverages, wine does offer several health benefits if you drink it in moderation. Emerging research suggests that the optimal daily intake of wine is 1 glass (150 ml) for women and 2 glasses (300 ml) for men. Among wines, there is plenty of evidence of the positive benefits of red wine. It is linked to resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant, which helps lower the risk of some diseases and can be made part of a balanced diet.

Supplement your diet

Consider taking multivitamins to supplement your diet. Since alcohol depletes the body’s vitamin levels, a standard multivitamin can help offset these effects. Folic acid, a folate supplement, may be particularly beneficial since it helps lower the risk of various diseases, especially of the heart. You should however always consult your doctor before taking any medication.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle does not have to come at the cost of giving up happy hours and bottomless brunches. Health and wine can go together, if you know how to balance the two. Wine itself has several health benefits, and when consumed in moderation alongside a balanced diet, it can contribute to a happy healthy lifestyle.

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