As more and more consumers look to limit their alcohol consumption, the market for low- or no-alcohol alternatives has exploded. Booze-free beer, wine, spirits, and seltzer alternatives abound.
It is a promising sign that more people are shifting away from drinking, Rissetto says. “We have so much research out there that directly links poor health outcomes to chronic consumption of alcohol,” she says. “It’s really cool that people are sober-curious and they’re trying different things.”
The downside? Many of the alcohol-free products on the market use sugar or artificial sweeteners to re-create a boozy flavor — or replace alcohol with caffeine or more buzzy superfoods. Rissetto recommends making your own mocktails instead. You can easily mix up something satisfying with just sparkling water and juice — garnish your drink with herbs or a slice of lemon if you’re feeling extra fancy.
Overall, Rissetto warns against jumping on the latest trend just because everyone else is. “You have to honor yourself. Don’t do the things that other people are doing because you think that’s the only way to be healthy,” she says. For example, Rissetto hates the taste of sweet potatoes, so she’ll probably never get on board with sweet potato fries — and that’s OK.
To build a healthy lifestyle you can sustain in the long term, Rissetto recommends making small changes that will work for you. “Let’s say you drink juice every single day. Why don’t you just start for the month — or maybe even just for the week — to drink juice every other day? And then if you’re successful for the month or the week, move on to every two days,” she says. Succeeding at one small goal motivates you to keep going. “It shouldn’t be a chore,” she says. “If it’s a chore, you’re not going to do it long-term.”