A Cocktail of Hot Flashes & Alcohol

by Kirsten

Ever raise an eyebrow (or two) when your favorite glass of wine or G&T suddenly seems to hit you harder in your 40s or 50s? Well, it’s not your imagination, for women, it can be a big part of perimenopause. Our body’s relationship with alcohol genuinely changes during this time, and it can significantly worsen the dreaded hot flashes and sleep problems. Thankfully the adult drinks world is changing and there are more non-alcoholic grown-up options available than ever, and alot of them are not only tasty but also pretty good for you.

The Hormonal Mix

As you transition towards menopause, your body goes on a hormonal rollercoaster. One of the main players is oestrogen, a hormone that keeps everything running smoothly. But during perimenopause, oestrogen levels start to surge and dip, and your body reacts in many ways, including how it handles alcohol.

A Recipe for Trouble

  • Body Composition Shuffle: As oestrogen levels change, your body shape might shift too, with an increase in body fat. Alcohol is like a party crasher – it dislikes hanging out in fat cells. This means there’s less water for the alcohol to dilute itself in, leading to a higher concentration of alcohol in your bloodstream. Think of it like pouring the same amount of alcohol into a smaller glass – the cocktail gets stronger.
  • Liver on Light Duty: Your liver is the ultimate detox center, breaking down toxins like alcohol. While liver function naturally declines with age, fluctuating oestrogen can further slow down how quickly your body gets rid of alcohol during menopause.
  • Hormonal Havoc: Alcohol disrupts the natural way your body processes hormones. This can worsen perimenopausal symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances, leaving you feeling even more out of sorts.

Punchy Alcohol-Free Options

  • Mother Root: A delicious ginger switchel and apple cider vinegar (ACV). The “mother” in ACV is a good source of probiotics, beneficial bacteria that contribute to a healthy gut microbiome and estrobolome, which regulates oestrogen.
  • Citizen Spritz Pink Grapefruit: A vibrant switchel perfect for summer evenings, easily mixed with soda and a sprig of rosemary.
  • Seedlip Grove 42: A great sugar-free, calorie-free alternative to gin for a non-alcoholic G&T. Made with a zesty blend of bitter orange, lemon peel, lemongrass, and sansho peppercorns.
  • Anon Nogroni: This clever dupe for a Negroni uses natural herbs and botanics to replace traditional gin, red vermouth, and bitters, making it a wonderful bar staple. They also offer other zero-alcohol alternatives like “Spiced Cane” (warming rum), “English Garden” (Pimms-like mixer), and “Bittersweet” (Aperol).
  • Gimber: This natural, organic drink comes in three flavors: Original, Brut & Sweet Lily. It’s a powerful blend of ginger, lemon, herbs, spices, and cane sugar, enjoyed as a mixer in hot or cold drinks.

Adaptogenic Drinks for Balance

Since alcohol can worsen symptoms, many women are turning to and adaptogenic drinks specifically designed to support their well-being during this transition. Adaptogens are herbs and plants that help the body adapt to stress, a major factor during this time.

Friendly Ingredients

  • Ashwagandha: A popular adaptogen known for its stress-relieving properties. Look for drinks specifically formulated with Ashwagandha to help manage stress and anxiety.
  • Maca: Maca is another adaptogen that can help with energy levels and mood. Explore drinks with Maca to combat fatigue and mood swings.
  • Red Clover: An adaptogen sometimes used to alleviate hot flashes. Consider trying drinks containing Red Clover to see if they help manage this uncomfortable symptom.

You’re Not Alone At The Alcohol Free Bar!

Many women experience changes in alcohol tolerance during perimenopause. By understanding your body and exploring alternative options, you can navigate perimenopause and menopause with confidence and keep yourself feeling your best.

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