Let’s face it — sometimes a cold beer on a warm day really hits the spot.  Most people like to imbibe on occasion, however, drinking four to five beers on a warm day is neither good for your body or your health.  So are there healthy ways to drink alcohol?  The definitive answer is no, abstinence is healthiest.  However, there are ways to cut down on the calories and carbs associated with happy hour drinks.  Here’s a guide to “healthier” drinking below:

  1. Avoid mixers if possible

If liquor is your poison, the best way to drink it is neat or on the rocks.  Avoid caloric mixers such as juices and colas, which can cause you to drink more as your body craves the sugar.  Drinking liquor straight should be a slow process, sipping is imperative — no big gulps.  Clear liquors (vodka and gin) are easier on the body and less calories as well.

  1. The health benefits of wine

In moderation, drinking wine may have the most benefits to your health.  A proper pour, which is 5 ounces, is recommended — one glass for women and two for men.  A few benefits include:

  • Wine has antioxidants
  • It increases bone density
  • It can reduce the risk of stroke
  • The tannins in red wine reduce the risk of heart disease
  • The risk of colon, prostate and breast cancer can be reduced by drink a glass of wine
  • Drinking a SINGLE glass of wine a day has show to improve brain function
  1. The big, bad beer

Again, sometimes there is nothing like a cold beer.  Unfortunately, almost every beer is high in both calories and carbs.  If you must have a frosty mug, opt for a light beer with low carbs.

To reiterate, drinking alcohol is not healthy, but there are healthier drinks should you choose to partake every so often.  Always remember to drink in moderation and include a glass of water as you drink your happy hour cocktail.