Healthy and Unhealthy Summer Drinks
Which alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks are the healthiest for summertime drinking? Experts give their advice.
By Star Lawrence
Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD
Summertime -- when you're hot and thirsty -- is drinking time, whether your taste runs to alcoholic or nonalcoholic libations. Which drinks are the worst in terms of sugar, salt, alcohol content, or empty calories -- and which can actually enhance your fun without ruining you diet or health?
And no, this does not limit you to water.
First, a Word About Alcohol
Alcoholic beverages contain different percentages of alcohol. According to the National Institutes of Health, a standard drink of beer contains about 5% alcohol; wine contains 12%, and spirits has 40%. Distilled alcohol is classified by "proof." For example, 100-proof alcohol contains 50% alcohol; 80-proof contains 40% alcohol, etc.
A standard drink is considered to be:
Many studies have been done that seem to suggest that alcohol in moderation -- especially wine -- can have health benefits, although perhaps not enough for people to start drinking if they don't care to do so.