30 Day Paleo: Day Nineteen – Stop Drinking Beer & Optimize Social Alcohol

Looking to make healthier choices? Perfect! This is Day 19 of 30 of my 30 Day Paleo Plan. For more information on 30 Day Paleo as well as 30 Minute Paleo, check out the get started page. Post each day on your 30 Day Paleo journey to Twitter or Instagram and show me by tagging me with @dranthonygustin — get after it! 

Remember all of the nasty stuff we talked about with gluten on day seven? You are chugging down gluten bombs every time you drink a beer. I know, beer is tasty. So are Snickers bars. But they’re ruining your progress towards health and optimal function. It is time to stop drinking beer.

If you are having gluten free drinks, that is a step in the right direction. If you were to go from smoking two packs of cigarettes a day to one pack of cigarettes a day, that would be a step in the right direction, but that wouldn’t be the right choice to make towards optimal health.

Other alcohol is typically extremely sugary itself or mixed with soda or fruit juices that provide you with enough sugar for days. We will highlight the best options for drinking if you are in a social setting or for those who have reached health goals and want to enjoy some alcoholic beverages. This is not us endorsing you to drink. This is us saying that the best option is to NOT drink, but if you’re going to, we’re going to provide you with the best ways to optimize it.

Yes, there is some empirical evidence that drinking alcohol can improve several different health markers. Let’s be real though. Alcohol is a poison to your body that your liver has to process and secrete so you don’t die. If the positives also come with substantial negatives, it is not a great choice. If having a few drinks now and then relaxes you or lights a fire for social situations, so be it. Just know you are not making the best choice. If the positives outweigh the negatives in your particular situation, make an educated decision on what you want to do.

Red wine that is either imported or manufactured in the United States is typically laden with sulfites and other preservatives that are great for keeping the wine last longer, but not for your health. This is where your wine hangover headache is coming from, not the alcohol. Stick to as dry of red wine as you can. Sweet red wines and white wines are loaded with sugar.

Clear liquors with water or soda water will technically be your best bet here – clear meaning translucent. Whiskey, vodka, tequila and gin are some that come to mind. Stay clear of any flavored variants and watch the mixer as it can be the source of loads of unwanted sugars. Don’t obsess over if a liquor is made from a grain or not and that it isn’t “paleo”. No alcohol is “paleo” and the negative parts of the grain are nonexistent after distillation anyway.

If you’ve met your goals, there is no problem with some red wine or a clear hard liquor every now and then. Just stop drinking beer. Drinking alcohol can and will happen for a lot of people, just make the best decision with what you have available.

TIP: If you are going to drink, there’s a way to supplement your body with what it needs to detox the alcohol.

With each drink, consume:

500 mg N-acetyl cysteine, a compound which upregulates glutathione production in your body – the main detoxifying agent.

1000 mg vitamin C to help combat the free radical behavior and destruction alcohol has on your cells.

At the end of the night:

500 mg activated charcoal to help bind to the remaining alcohol and pull it out of your system.

Remove alcoholic beverages containing gluten. Limit and optimize alcohol.