The use of alcohol in rituals and celebrations has been around for centuries. Social occasions, family gatherings, sporting events, and communion at your local parish----it symbolizes different things to different people, yet most seem to enjoy its effects and experiences when used in moderation.
Does Alcohol Have Nutritional Value?
Some staunch supporters of whiskey and moonshine production might state that alcohol is the “elixir of life,” but the reality is that it is not needed for survival. We consume alcoholic beverages for many reasons---to relax, to interact socially with others, to celebrate. Regardless of your health, your age, and your beliefs, it is necessary to understand how alcohol works and how it is metabolized in the body to conclude whether it should be added to the food pyramid. Here we go:
The basics of proper nutrition
Proper nutrition is essential to creating good health and staving off disease. Your body needs essential nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water to properly build and repair tissues, as well as provide the right kinds of detoxification processes such as digestion and elimination of food waste. Any deficiency in these critical building blocks can result in the development of disease and chronic illness that can impact your health. While one might argue that most alcoholic drinks have certain trace amounts of trace minerals, vitamins, and water, it should be an addition to an already healthy diet, rather than foundational nutrition.
How is alcohol made?
Alcohol is created through a process of fermentation; during fermentation, yeast compounds break down grain sugar into ethanol and carbon dioxide. Fermentation occurs most efficiently in an anaerobic environment----one where air does not come into contact with the mash liquid. When fermentation is complete, the carbon dioxide byproduct is released into the air, leaving only the ethanol behind. A distillation cycle continues when water and ethanol are separated, and the end products become those spirits that we have come to know and love---gin, vodka, whiskey, moonshine, and beer.
How does the body metabolize alcohol?
Once your spirit of choice passes your lips, your body begins to metabolize it immediately. The bulk of this breakdown process is passed onto the liver, which can effectively process alcohol at a rate of between ¼ and ⅓ oz. per hour. At this slow and steady rate, it is easy to see why many of us feel the effects of a few social drinks within the first hours of imbibing. Contrary to what some of you might hope, there is no substitute for regaining sobriety once more--the only effective way to metabolize and remove alcohol from your system is time. Not to worry--have a little good, clean fun in the meantime, and let us worry about how to get those delicious beverages into your hands.
Can alcohol cause nutritional deficiencies?
The short answer is….yes. If alcoholic beverages replace your consumption of quality food, vitamins, and minerals, you will eventually find yourself deficient in several vital nutrients needed for healthy cell growth and tissue restoration. Alcohol is not meant to be a substitute for eating properly---always prioritize proper nutrition overindulging in your favorite beverages, and you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
How much alcohol can I consume in good health?
While everyone has different health circumstances and conditions that may affect the way that they metabolize alcohol, the following guidelines are here to assist you in making the right choice for you and your health.
Healthy men age 21-60: No more than four drinks in a day, or 20 drinks in a week
Healthy women age 21-60: No more than three drinks in a day, or 15 drinks in a week
Moderation is the key to enjoying life with delicious drinks in hand. Choosing to drink responsibly opens the door for some wonderful experiences with friends and family, times that you will look on fondly, and be able to share with nostalgia.
Palmetto is primed for some celebrations: Are you ready?
Palmetto Distillery in Anderson, South Carolina, is a premier distributor of all things delicious. From their award-winning whiskey to moonshine made “just like grandpaw” did, our rich heritage and rock-solid traditions of making good spirits shine through in every glass. We are not able to fulfill your daily requirements of vitamins and minerals, but we can contribute to your daily dose of fun and enjoyment! Come and see what the flavor of the South has to offer you! Visit www.palmettodistillery.com for more information and to place an order today.