Let’s pretend tequila is the new green juice

An article about the supposed health benefits of tequila has gotten the SheKnows editors talking lately. Apparently, tequila is starting to get a reputation as the healthier liquor. We all started swapping stories — everyone seems to know someone who claims they never get hangovers from tequila. One editor admits she’s ditched brown liquors and only drinks tequila.

More: Mezcal: 6 things to know about the best spirit you’re not already drinking

But is this idea that it’s actually good for us just wishful thinking?

The important thing to point out is that when we talk about tequila as a healthy drink we’re talking about blanco or silver tequila. Your “gold” tequilas have sugar (like corn syrup) added, and aged tequilas have traces of other alcohol from the used barrels they’re aged in.

So we’re not talking your frothy frozen margaritas from a machine or even those shots of Jose Cuervo Gold.

That said, let’s look into the case for and against tequila blanco as a healthy-ish beverage.

More: What you really should be drinking with your tequila: Sangrita

Why tequila blanco could be good for you

  • Anecdotally, many people claim they never have hangovers after drinking it.
  • It’s grain-free, so safer for celiacs and friendlier to gluten-free eaters.
  • It’s lower in congeners, substances created in the fermentation process that have been shown to worsen hangovers.
  • It’s made from the blue agave plant, which contains agavins, sugars that have been shown to lower blood-sugar levels and reduce appetites in lab mice.
  • Agavins have also been shown to improve bone density in mice.
  • Compounds in blue agave have been shown to make medications more effective because they protect drugs from the acids in your intestines.
  • Doctors used to recommend tequila to treat colds.
  • Agave is both probiotic and prebiotic.

Why thinking of tequila as a health beverage is delusional

  • Agavins aren’t present in tequila. So forget what you just read about congeners, low blood sugar, drug carriers, probiotics and prebiotics because none of that applies to tequila. Sorry.
  • Also, we are not mice.
  • Anecdotal evidence = not science
  • It’s still alcohol, which is a depressant.

Let’s face it. Are you even drinking tequila neat? Because once you add the sugary triple sec and who knows what other margarita fixings, it’s starting to look more like a boozy dessert.

In our conversations about tequila there was one thing everyone seemed to agree on: Tequila makes you do boozy things because, oh, yeah, it’s booze. As one editor put it, “It might be good for you, but it always leads to bad decisions.” And it’s not even that good for you.

That said…

Tequila as a health beverage is dead. Long live tequila! Come on, why are we always looking for health benefits to booze? It’s like our never-ending quest for healthy desserts. That’s madness. I think the bottom line is, blanco tequila does seem to minimize your risk for hangovers. Otherwise, drink tequila in moderation just like with any other alcohol.

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

27 magical margaritas guaranteed to make any fiesta more fun
Image: Brandi Bidot/SheKnows


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