The Seven Benefits of Whiskey
Is there a classier drink than whiskey? Not in our opinion: a drink that is known worldwide to represent high class and sophistication. But are there benefits to drinking whiskey for health? Apparently so! Both for the body and for the mind. So let's take a look at what your glass of best whiskey has to offer. Make sure you've got one in your hand while you're reading this because as you'll find out, whiskey can improve your mental performance.
Whiskey Can Lower Stress
It's a movie or film cliché that when their character, a tough private eye, for example, is stressed they will grab a glass of whiskey to calm themselves down. And weirdly this is actually supported by scientific research. In small to moderate doses, whiskey can actually lower stress levels. Obviously downing a bottle of good whiskey is not going to lower your stress but a small glass of whiskey neat can really help. Just one example of life imitating art.
Whiskey Can Improve Happiness
Picture the scene, you've just found out that your wife is pregnant and you want to celebrate (in this scenario you want a child). Whilst you would have been perfectly happy celebrating without alcohol, grabbing that 40-year-old bottle of your best whiskey just seems to make the celebration that bit more special. And it has been scientifically proven that whiskey can improve your happiness.
Whiskey Can Lower Depression
Now you may want to be careful with this one because it can be a bit of a tightrope between helping you get out of a funk and treating clinical depression with alcohol (not a good idea). In this example depression means being in a temporarily depressed state.
With that out of the way we can continue, it has been proven that whiskey in small to moderate doses can help lower your temporary depression. For example, if your wife has just left you a nice whiskey cocktail might make you feel slightly happier about the whole situation (you now have more time to learn how to make whiskey cocktails for one!).
It isn't going to make you get over the situation altogether, though! Unless we're talking some seriously good whiskey. And it doesn't work past small to moderate doses, whilst a glass of whiskey neat might improve your mood, 10 glasses will probably lower your mood. Stay within your limits.
Whiskey Can Help with Problem-solving
Again, small doses can help large doses will hinder. But if you have a difficult problem to solve a glass of whiskey can actually help! As crazy as it sounds, alcohol can relax your mind and let your more creative side let loose. Is there a health benefit to this? Anyone who has solved a difficult problem can attest to the stress relief that this creates.
Whiskey Can Improve Short-term Memory
As with the last point, whiskey drinks can have excellent mental health benefits. Imagine, you're in a bar with your buddies and you're trying to remember whose round it is. Having a glass of whiskey will seriously help all of you to remember due to alcohol's effect on cognitive performance.
Regularly Drinking Whiskey May Lower the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease
This point is a lot more complicated than the others. Scientists describe alcohol's effect on coronary heart disease (CHD) as a U-shaped relationship. So if you have a high risk of CHD and don't drink nothing will happen, if you drink small amounts of whiskey regularly your risk of CHD will lessen, but if you drink large amounts of whiskey regularly your risk of CHD will increase again.
One study suggests that it is possibly due to whiskey's effect on stress (mentioned earlier) or the way it alters certain behaviors that can be associated with CHD. Many studies suggest it is due to alcohol removing cholesterol from tissue (high cholesterol being one of the main causes of CHD).
Due to the unique situation here, it would be recommended to drink your whiskey neat or diluted. If you are planning on drinking whiskey for health reasons, rather than just being pleased that your drinking has some benefits (but not caring either way), then keeping the calories as low as possible is a good idea.
A single measure of whiskey equals around about 100 calories, whilst a whiskey and mixer can equal 240-300 calories. Some whiskey cocktails such as an "Old Fashioned" can be quite low in calories (166 cals) so they would be acceptable if you don't enjoy your whiskey neat.
Diluted Whiskey May Help Treat Diabetes
As with point number six, please consult a doctor before sprinting towards the nearest bottle, but there is evidence to back up this claim. The theory is that alcohol may improve glucose tolerance, also because alcohol boosts HDL (good cholesterol) it can help diabetics. This is because diabetics have lower HDL than non-diabetics. So grab a glass of good whiskey, water it down (most whiskey experts say this actually enhances the taste so don't worry about it ruining it) and enjoy yourself!
There you have it: seven darn good reasons to be drinking whiskey right now. It will lower your stress levels, improve your mood, fight temporary depression, help you solve problems, improve your .... Wait a second ....
Improve your short-term memory, lower your chances of suffering from coronary heart disease (so long as you don't overdo it), and finally, help improve your glucose tolerance.
Remember to drink it in moderation, and regularly as most of the health benefits require you to be consistent. Don't think that you can just save all of your alcohol for Saturday and knock back an entire bottle! Sadly, it doesn't work like that.
Get yourself a really decent bottle, buy a pair of whiskey stones (much better than ice which melts and changes the consistency) position yourself in an armchair by the fire and re-read the seven benefits of drinking whiskey. Trust us, it will improve your mood substantially!
How to Serve Whiskey
A cocktail that has become really popular recently, the Old-fashioned cocktail is actually quite simple to make, all you need is some whiskey, a sugar cube, Angostura Bitters, and some water.
Place a sugar cube in a glass, add 3 drops of Angostura Bitters, add a drop or two of water, pour in a measure of whiskey, and serve with ice. Simple, and only 166 calories
Use a tumbler glass, pour a measure of whiskey into it. Don't add anything to it just drink. If you like your whiskey cold but don't enjoy diluting it (even if it does help treat Diabetes as mentioned above) you can purchase whiskey stones. These can be put in the freezer and will get as cold as ice but never melt.
Many whiskey connoisseurs proclaim whiskey to be improved when water is added, we must stress that it is a small measure of water. Don't drown it!
On the Rocks
This just means you add ice, as the drink gets warmer the ice will melt and dilute the whiskey which will alter (some would say improve) the taste.
What is Whiskey to Purchase?
There are four main countries that sell whiskey (or whiskey if you're buying from Scotland or Ireland). These are; the United States, Canada, Scotland, and Ireland. England has also started selling whiskey, but it is very early days. American whiskey is normally the sweetest tasting, whilst Scottish is the smokiest (most likely to make a new drinker cough), Irish and Canadian whiskeys are quite light in comparison.
When it comes to age, the older the whiskey the smoother it tends to be when drinking. This is why you will find that older whiskeys cost more and have a higher value to true connoisseurs. Higher alcohol whiskeys are not necessarily better whiskeys either, they tend to numb the taste of the drink.
At the end of the day, the best whiskey to purchase is the one that you personally enjoy the most. If you like the $6 whiskey that your buddy gave you for your 21st birthday, then that's the whiskey for you.
Whiskey and Exercise
It is probably obvious that exercise and whiskey don't mix too well, training after drinking would be just plain irresponsible (though possibly hilarious). But what about drinking after a workout? Many people only seem to exercise to allow them to eat badly or go drinking.
Sadly, drinking after exercise is a bad idea for a number of reasons. Firstly, it slows down recovery, and can prevent your muscles from growing. This is because it stops muscle protein synthesis from happening properly. Muscle protein synthesis is the process where the protein is used by the body to repair and grow muscles after exercise.
The main downside to drinking after exercise is that exercise will dehydrate you, and if you are already dehydrated ingesting a diuretic such as alcohol will leave you even more dehydrated. If you are going drinking after a workout just make sure that you eat first and drink a lot of water. Otherwise, the next day will bring with it the hangover from hell!