There’s no denying that many of these carb-heavy, calorie-laden, sugar-filled drinks aren’t great for you, or your waistline. But choose wisely, and choose this drink, and you’ll find you can pour yourself an adult beverage with actual health benefits.
What drink are we talking about, you ask? Red wine gets all the positive press when it comes to an alcoholic drink with health benefits, but scientific research shows that it’s actually the bottle of whiskey you should be reaching for, and here’s why.
Back in ye oldest times, whiskey was once used for medicinal purposes. It was often found being passed around the battlefields in the bloody aftermath, and it was frequently used as an antiseptic. It’s a movie cliché, sure, but a study published in the Annals of Microbiology gave complete credence to the practice.
The study looked at just how many different types of bacteria could survive in the ice found at a bar or restaurant, and let’s just say that it’s not great news. There were 31 different species of bacteria found, including the kind that causes staph infections.
Researchers then measured their resistance to different types of alcohol, including whiskey and vodka, as well as different types of mixers and different environmental conditions.
Bacteria continued to thrive and swim and do whatever it is bacteria does in all the samples except one: The whiskey was the only drink to get rid of all different types of bacteria.
Should you take a flask of whiskey with you whenever you go out? Should you only order whiskey from restaurants and bars? We’re not here to tell you how to live your life. But, yeah, maybe pump the brakes on that one a little, pal.
But just because we’re not advising you to nurse a handle 24/7, that’s not to say that a reasonable drink every now and then can’t do wonders.
Case in point: In September 2018, Britain’s Grace Jones turned 112 years old. NPR spoke to this oldest woman in Britain, known to her friends as Amazing Grace, and asked her just what she attributed to her long life.
Her decades-long practice of having a glass of single malt whiskey every night before bed.
It sounds too good to be true, right? It might not be. A slew of scientific research has found whiskey has some fascinating properties. Take the high concentration of ellagic acid. Those are the antioxidants that help your body destroy rogue cells.
In other words, it helps fight a ton of different diseases. It’s the same thing that’s in wine, but whiskey has tons more of these little warriors. And speaking of antioxidants, let’s take a look at the age-old belief that a hot toddy is exactly what the doctor ordered when you’re suffering from a cold.
The drink, traditionally made with hot water, whiskey, honey, and lemon, is basically medicine, according to Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventative medicine at Vanderbilt University.
Okay, so maybe it’s not going to cure your cold, but it is going to lessen your symptoms. The hot water will help clear congestion, and the honey is going to soothe your sore throat. Meanwhile, that magic whiskey is going to dilate blood vessels, relieve that swollen feeling, and encourage your immune system to deal with the infection.
A hot toddy just before bed might also help you fall asleep faster, and sleep is the real hero here. Oddly enough, all this scientific research is just verifying what our ancestors already knew, says the Scotsman.
This traditional drink of Ireland and Britain was originally given the name Uisge Beatha, which translates to Water of Life, and a 16th century treatise by a historian named Raphael Holinshed shows just how valued whiskey was as a cure-all. He writes: “Being moderately taken,
it slows the age, cuts phlegm, helps digestion, cures the dropsy, it heals the strangulation, keeps and preserves the head from whirling, the tongue from lisping, the stomach from womblying, the guts from rumbling, the hands from shivering, the bones from aching… and it truly is a sovereign liquor if it be orderly taken.”
You can’t get more of a glowing recommendation than that, can you? Now that science is starting to backup all the praise whiskey has been garnering over the years and it’s becoming clear that there’s more to whiskey than meets the eye, you have all the reasons you need to keep a few bottles for more than just special occasions.
After all, everybody knows that age-old adage: “A shark on whiskey is mighty risky. A shark on beer is a beer engineer.” Or… something like that…
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