There’s no doubt that whiskey is country music’s favorite drink. We all learned in elementary school that alcohol is a drug, but believe it or not, consuming whiskey in the right dosage may have a positive effect on your health. Whiskey gets its name from the Gaelic word “uisge beatha,” meaning “water of life,” so raise your glass and toast to these 10 potential health benefits of drinking whiskey.
10. Weight loss aid
Yes, you read that right. Because whiskey is a low-carb drink, it makes it the perfect choice for anyone who is watching their weight. The American Society for Clinical Nutrition published a study in 1991 that suggested that moderate intake increases energy and decreases the desire for sugar (sucrose) intake. If you’re counting your calories, a shot of whiskey is 64. So put down that Michelob and have a shot of Wild Turkey instead.
9. Cancer Prevention
Another great health benefit of whiskey is its high concentration of ellagic acid, a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize cancer-causing free radicals in the human body. Single malt whiskey is said to contain more antioxidants than red wine. So she can be his glass of wine, and he can be her shot of whiskey, and they’ll both reap the health benefits.
8. Stroke Prevention
As with all the health benefits of whiskey, the key is to consume in moderation. Because of its blood-thinning properties, a daily shot of whiskey can lower a person’s risk of ischemic (clot-caused) stroke.
7. Whiskey treats the common cold
You probably grew up hearing that drinking a Hot Toddy is a great palliative for a cold. Unlike other home remedies, this one has its basis in science. The ingredients of this favorite winter beverage have many of the same properties as a dose of Nyquil. Whiskey acts as a decongestant by dilating your blood vessels, while the honey, lemon and herbal tea have anesthetic properties and can loosen mucus.
6. It’s a stress destroyer
You’ve probably headed to the bar after a bad week at work to try to erase your troubles, but you may not know that a shot of whiskey can actually help you relax. The barbiturate affect of the alcohol can reduce stress, and also has sedative properties to help you sleep if you’re experiencing anxiety. This is why whiskey is a classic choice of nightcap for badasses the world over.
5. Lowers the risk of dementia
If you’ve ever woken up from an evening of heavy drinking unable to remember what you did the night before you may not believe it, but a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information concluded that drinking one to six drinks weekly could lower your risk of dementia over and above avoiding alcohol completely.
4. Aids digestion
Whiskey has historically been used as a digestif in many cultures throughout the ages. If you’ve had a heavy meal, an after dinner shot of Maker’s may be just what you need to finish it off properly.
3. Helps prevent diabetes
Whereas consuming alcohol is not recommended for patients with diabetes, studies have shown that long-term moderate alcohol intake can help the body regulate insulin, which could potentially reduce your risk of contracting type 2 diabetes. However, heavy drinking can increase your risk.
2. Can soothes a sore throat
Maybe it’s the whiskey river that gave Willie his sweet voice, because it’s certainly good for a sore throat. Mix whiskey, warm water and honey to make a delicious cure for a sore throat. The alcohol in the whiskey acts as an antiseptic and numbing agent on aching tonsils and the honey creates a thick coating that will help the healing effects last longer. You can gargle it, sip it or both if you like.
1. Prolong Your Life
A 2010 study released by the Research Society on Alcoholism found that middle-aged and older adult moderate drinkers had a lower overall mortality rate than heavy drinkers or even non-drinkers. So raise a glass of your favorite uisge beatha and toast to long(er) life!