With many different types of alcohol around the world, one that has withstood the test of time and remained among the most popular in the world is vodka. The common way of preparing vodka is a distilled mix of water and ethanol, giving it a very pungent and familiar taste. There have always been (and always will be) debates on how vodka got its start since there are so many different ways of preparing the drink.
These days, we see a lot of branded vodkas that have added flavors and varying amounts of alcohol by volume, but 40 percent ABV is by far the most common that we see. Obviously, if you’ve had vodka, you know that you don’t want to skimp on price and get the cheaper labels. However, if you splurge on a brand that’s been distilled to promote good taste, there are actually some health benefits you can get. Obviously, these benefits will come when you drink vodka in moderation. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at this breakdown of vodka and all of its health benefits.
Nutrition of Vodka
Vodka, unlike many of the other foods and drinks that we’ve reviewed (including beer and wine) has almost no nutritional value. It might come as a surprise that it’s even being listed on here, but don’t worry, there are some actual proven benefits. So what exactly is in each serving of vodka? Each 1.5 ounce serving (which is also known as a jigger) contains 97 calories, but that’s about all.
The only main ingredients of distilled 80 proof vodka are ethanol and water. This means that there’s no fat, no carbohydrates, no protein or anything of that nature. There are some very trace minerals in vodka, with 2.1 mg of phosphorus and 0.4 mg of both potassium and sodium. Those numbers aren’t enough to register on the daily recommended value scale, though. So why are we suggesting this drink that’s just two thirds water and one third alcohol? Keep reading, it will get better.
Won’t Hurt Your Heart
When drinking alcohol in excess, you’ll find that you’re doing some extensive damage to your heart. In moderation, though, vodka is one of the forms of alcohol that can actually help you out. A small amount of vodka can open up your blood vessels, allowing for better flow, which lowers your chances of heart attack and stroke. That’s not the only heart benefit that vodka can bring, either.
Studies have shown that vodka in moderation can also affect your cholesterol levels. More specifically, vodka has been linked with a raise in HDL (good) cholesterol. There are further studies that are trying to figure out if vodka has any benefits on LDL (bad) cholesterol, though there hasn’t been any conclusions.
The Diet Liquor
If you’re trying to lose weight, it can be hard to avoid social situations where people are often drinking around you. Thankfully, vodka is one of those few alcoholic drinks on the menu that won’t sabotage your diet. With under 100 calories per 1.5 ounce drink, having just one can certainly be made up in the gym. Since that amount isn’t likely to give you a hangover, it makes getting to the gym that much easier.
A big part of the reason that vodka’s so easy on the diet is because it’s mostly comprised of water. This keeps you well hydrated compared to other alcohols, so drinking in moderation does more good than harm, as hangovers are a result of extreme dehydration. For those that have successfully lost weight, one of the first alcoholic drinks that they suggest is usually a vodka with extra water added.
Easing the Brain
There are a couple of ways that drinking vodka in moderation can just make you feel better. Naturally, vodka is a huge stress reliever, improving your mood after a long day of work. Studies have shown that out of all alcoholic drinks (when you take one drink), vodka produces the most effective results in stress relief. Since there’s no sugar unlike other alcohols and eases the tension, it’s clear to see why it’s so effective.
In turn, drinking a small glass of vodka will certainly help you sleep better. Most people’s’ inability to sleep is a result of too much stress or overthinking at night. With a relaxed mind, you’re more likely to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Since other alcohols such as beer and wine contain more sugar, they can even keep you up more at night. Just make sure you’re not drinking an odd vodka with added caffeine.
The Cleaning Liquor
If you’re out in the wild and suffer a nasty gash, somehow forgetting a first aid kit but remembering a flask of vodka, you’re going to be in luck. Vodka has the properties that make it an effective antiseptic that can clean wounds when you’re in a pinch. Obviously, it’s not the first choice that you’d want to make (especially because of the intense temporary pain that it could produce), just know that it can come in handy.
That also means that vodka’s effective in helping with a toothache. Since most toothaches are the result of bacterial infection, swishing around a little bit of vodka in your mouth can help clean out that bacteria, causing almost instant relief. The same bacteria can cause bad breath, so while you’re eliminating one aspect of bad breath, you could be starting another. With that said, make sure to brush after using this home remedy.
They say that drinking alcohol makes you look older, but that’s mostly only true if you’re abusing alcohol. Drinking vodka in moderation will actually have the opposite effect as it can clean your pores and make your skin look tighter. For this reason, small amounts of vodka are being added to beauty products as they have astringent properties. Vodka even helps to cleanse the scalp so that you can grow more hair that comes in faster and fuller.
Summing it Up
Those that are familiar know that this is the part of the discussion where we point out some of the side effects and potential dangers of vodka. Most of them are very widely known, and it’s been said many times by a lot of different people that you should be drinking alcohol in moderation. One drink is plenty to get the health benefits that come with vodka, as drinking too much has some pretty familiar consequences.
It’s not just the short term effects like a hangover that come with drinking too much vodka, but you’d also be doing some serious damage to your brain, heart and liver, just to name a few. The recommended serving is just 1.0 to 1.5 ounces per day of something as strong as vodka. That should be more than enough to help you get the health benefits that come along with it, while avoiding the long term dangers. Know your limits with vodka, and reach out for help if you develop a problem with adding too much. Otherwise, vodka is a great drink to enjoy in moderation, so cheers!