Cracking open a cold one is starting to include cracking down on alcohol consumption thanks to popular “sober” drink alternatives.
From Dry January to Sober October, ditching alcohol continues to climb in popularity. With the trend not stopping anytime soon, products are hitting shelves marketed specifically to alcoholic drink ditchers.
But with ingredients like CBD, THC, nootropics and descriptions that boast mood-altering effects without alcohol, are these options really sobriety-friendly? Experts I spoke with say there are a few things to consider.
“It really just depends on somebody’s definition of what sobriety means to them and how much they feel comfortable depending on the effects of these on their bodies and brains,” says Hilary Sheinbaum, author of “The Dry Challenge: How to Lose the Booze for Dry January, Sober October, and Any Other Alcohol-Free Month.”
Though a sober scale may be defined a bit differently by everyone, there is no question that these products are popular.
“People are looking for options that aren’t going to have the damaging effects of alcohol but still allow them to sit back, relax, have a beverage that is considered sophisticated or more adult-like than a soda or sparkling water,” Sheinbaum says. “It allows people to congregate and be social without the added pressure of imbibing.”
Health has also become more top-of-mind.
Dana Amaya, a registered dietitian at Lenox Hill Hospital, increasingly sees consumers choosing alcohol alternative drinks over alcoholic beverages due to “mounting health and wellness concerns.”
“Consumers are also interested in avoiding the empty calories in alcohol, as well as ‘next day regrets’ often associated with alcoholic beverage consumption, resulting in reduced inhibition,” she adds.
And no hangovers? Seems like a pretty good deal to me!
To read my full story, click here.
Common flu vaccine myths debunked
It’s that time of year! As temperatures drop, we roll up our sleeves for some extra protection: the flu shot. But some of the things you think about the seasonal vaccine are wrong.
To help clear things up, Dr. Michael Daignault wrote this week about myths and misconceptions. Here are a couple of his points:
Myth: You can get the flu from the flu vaccine
The flu strain used in the vaccine is killed, or inactivated, virus. You cannot get the flu from dead virus. Period.
If someone gets the flu soon after getting the vaccine, this is likely coincidence.
Myth: The flu shot doesn’t work
Studies show that flu vaccines reduce the risk of illness by 40-60% on average. Remember, the goal of the flu vaccine, like the COVID-19 vaccine, is NOT to prevent any and all infections but to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death.
To read the whole column, click here.
No, Ye’s mental health does not excuse antisemitism
It’s hard to ignore Kanye West’s string of controversies, so instead, my colleague Jenna Ryu spoke to experts about the issue of connecting his mental health with his problematic behavior. Here’s an excerpt of her piece:
In the past few days, the critically-acclaimed rapper has been making headlines for wearing a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt at Paris Fashion Week, bullying Vogue fashion editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, and, most recently, sharing antisemitic statements before being locked out of his social media accounts.
The rapper, also known by his given name Kanye West, has opened up about his bipolar disorder diagnosis, though we don’t know what role it is playing in his recent behaviors.
In some cases, it’s true that suffering from a manic episode can influence “aberrant behavior” that isn’t indicative of one’s general moral values. On the flip side, it can also expose suppressed personal beliefs.
“We want to recognize that this person may have their own very strong beliefs on religion or politics, and we want to call that out as being separate from the mental health diagnosis,” says Carla Manly, a clinical psychologist and author of “Joy from Fear.”
“There are many people who don’t have mental health issues who are racist and bigoted. And there are people with mental health issues who are not racist or bigoted. We want to see those as two very different issues.”
To read Jenna’s full piece, click here.
We’re bringing back an autumnal submission from last year that never made it into the newsletter… until now! “He is ready for Halloween,” Sandra Peterson writes of her adorable rescue dog.