These days, it seems like every social gathering has alcohol consumption involved.
And we get it: Alcoholic cocktails can help you loosen up, feel more confident, and socialize to your heart’s content. But it’s what happens the day after that we’re not so crazy about.
Even if you don’t wake up with a hangover, alcohol can dehydrate you, dull your skin, and increase inflammation — all seemingly overnight.
Because we’ll never suggest skipping a fun night out with your friends, we think your best option is to grab yourself an alcohol alternative.
Not your typical mocktails, alcohol alternatives are made with ingredients that can calm you, lift your mood, and make you a better version of yourself — minus the side effects of alcohol.
Keep reading to discover Sunwink’s 10 favorite health alternatives to alcohol — which are sure to curb your alcohol use.
If you’re craving a fizzy drink, like apple cider, then kombucha definitely won’t let you down.
Kombucha is made from tea, sugar, and SCOBY — which stands for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.”
Thanks to the fermentation process, kombucha isn’t exactly zero alcohol — it may still contain small amounts. However, this won’t give you an alcohol buzz. Most of kombucha’s feel-good effects come from its healthy contents.
For instance, kombucha is rich in gut-nourishing probiotics. This means that kombucha, unlike alcohol, can support the immune system.
Kombucha also contains some antioxidants, B vitamins, and L-theanine. And some brands may even add caffeine, a powerful nootropic known to boost energy, focus, and mood.
Kvass is definitely not as well-known as kombucha, but trust us: It’s just as delicious.
Kvass is a fizzy, fermented drink that’s made from wheat. It takes its roots in Eastern Europe, where it’s consumed as a healing herbal tonic.
Kvass is rich in B vitamins, which are known to promote energy. It also has some gut-nourishing fiber, helping to promote a healthy, happy gut.
You can find kvass in some health food stores. But if you can’t get your hands on the store-bought stuff, it’s pretty easy to make at home — as long as you have a starter culture set.
Kava is one of the most popular alcohol alternatives in the South Pacific. It’s made with native plants — some of which belong to the pepper family — that have relaxing (and even slightly sedating) effects. These effects are thought to come from compounds called kava-lactones.
Kava has been a booze-free social brew for over 1,500 years in the South Pacific. While it’s part of traditional rituals, participating in one isn’t necessary to get kava’s calming effects.
Kava is typically brewed as a tea, producing a concoction that can best be described as “earthy.” Adding lemon and honey to it can mask the taste, but we promise: After a few sips, it starts to grow on you.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in the marijuana plant. Unlike THC, it doesn’t get you, well, high. Instead, it relaxes, de-stresses, and even helps with falling asleep.
CBD can best be described as a mellow buzz you’ll get from taking an adaptogen, like ashwagandha (more on below). It keeps you awake and alert but super chill at the same time.
These days, there are tons of ways to get CBD. You can find it in extracts, tinctures, or drink infusions — in virtually any flavor you can think of.
Of course, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.
With CBD, anything over two infused drinks can put you in a slight haze come morning time — which can be annoying if you have an early work meeting or an A.M. spin class. So, imbibe with caution!
5. Cacao Clarity Powder
There are tons of adaptogenic plants out there, but they work similarly by decreasing stress levels and increasing wellness. If you’re feeling tense, adaptogens can start working their magic almost instantly, helping to balance stress while bringing greater peace to body and mind.
Our favorite adaptogens — Ashwagandha, Reishi Mushroom, and Lion’s Mane Mushroom — are the stars of our Cacao Clarity Superfood Powder. Together, these powerful superfoods can give you a nice dose of calm while lifting your mood.
And let’s face it, who doesn’t love chocolate? You can use our Cacao Clarity Powder to put a unique spin on classic cocktails, like the mudslide, chocolate martini, and spiked hot chocolate. With zero sugar or artificial sweeteners, you won’t only give your mind a break but also show some love to your gut.
6. Hibiscus Mint Unwind Tonic
Combining adaptogens with healing plants can intensify their restorative effects on the mind and the body. In our Hibiscus Mint Unwind Sparkling Superfood Tonic, we mixed Ashwagandha — a long-time favorite of Ayurvedics — with Mint and Hibiscus for a delicious non-alcoholic beverage.
Did you know that hibiscus is super high in antioxidants? Not only do antioxidants give us that coveted glow, but they can support a pleasant mood.
Plus, mint is a super refreshing plant that’s long been used in herbal medicine to awaken the senses and invigorate a tired spirit.
With our Hibiscus Mint Unwind Tonic, you’ll get a fresh energy boost and unparalleled mental calm.
7. Matcha Tea
There’s no better pick-me-up than a matcha latte, and there’s a reason it hits so much better than a plain cup of coffee.
Unlike regular green tea, Matcha tea gets a lot of sunlight, giving it that stunning rich green hue. This looks impressive and gives matcha a high chlorophyll, amino acid, and antioxidant content. Plus, the whole tea leaf is used to make matcha powder — which means more caffeine.
Matcha tea is something of a youth elixir. Studies show that it promotes anything from weight loss to glowing skin and a healthier heart. And a healthier you is a happier you!
Matcha tea also contains L-theanine, an amino acid known for boosting energy levels while simultaneously promoting calm. This means no caffeine jitters!
If you’re looking for something to replace a chilled cocktail, we recommend making an iced matcha latte. It’s super easy: All you need is some matcha powder, a little bit of honey, and your favorite milk. Just make sure to buy high-quality matcha to experience its full effects.
Many people will have a cocktail to de-stress after a tough day at work or an intense argument with an S.O.
If you’re particularly on edge but are not drinking alcohol, there are plenty of ways to get a quick boost of calm.
Linden — which is brewed as a tea — is one herb that’s known for reducing tension. It may also promote healthy digestion, relax the muscles, and help with sleep.
Linden tea is slightly bitter, but you can mellow out the taste with your favorite sweetener.
9. Lemon-Rose Uplift Tonic
If your to-go drink is a chilled glass of wine, we promise you won’t ever miss it with our Lemon-Rose Uplift Sparkling Superfood Tonic.
Our tonic is made with fresh rose petals, which can help to ease tension while promoting a deep sense of tranquility. Plus, Lemon Balm has been shown to support brain health, so you’ll have your wits fully intact. Last, Hibiscus is full of antioxidants for supporting boundless energy.
Our Lemon-Rose Uplift Tonic is great for social gatherings and chill nights in alike.
10. Beet Root
It may not strike you as an alcohol replacement, but beet has been shown to dilate blood vessels, which can boost healthy circulation. This may also support healthy blood pressure in the seriously stressed-out, promoting relaxation at the physical level.
Plus, they’re something so comforting about beets. Their sweetness, combined with their effects on circulation, makes a favorite “warm” food.
Beet juice is a versatile ingredient that can be mixed with different flavors to create a delicious “cocktail.”
Something To Keep in Mind
Non-alcoholic alternatives are definitely milder than alcohol, but some of them can still pack a punch.
You may know to stay within your limits regarding boozy drinks. Well, the same is true with certain alcohol-free alternatives. For instance, having too much of a CBD-infused drink can leave you feeling hazy or drowsy.
If you have a medical condition or take some medication, you may want to check in with your doc before trying certain ingredients or drinks. For example, you may not want to drink too much caffeine if your blood pressure is really high.
That said, the healthy alternatives listed above are full of superfoods that are generally considered safe while helping you feel amazing. Cheers to that!
More and more people are realizing the harmful effects of alcohol. Instead, to unwind at a social gathering (or the end of a long night), people are turning to alcohol-free “cocktails” — and there are many.
Whether you’re turning to an adaptogenic tonic, a cup of matcha tea, or a glass of kava, the end result is the same: Tons of calm, improved mental clarity, and boundless energy. The only thing missing here is a nasty hangover.
For alcohol alternatives that look scrumptious and taste even better, Sunwink’s got your back. Our superfood tonics and powders are made from superfood ingredients that nourish you from head to toe, while giving you the healthiest buzz of your life.