Whiskey is popularly known as the “Water of Life,” and whiskey lovers all around the globe will quite literally say, “I’d drink to that!” Whiskey is an alcoholic beverage that is made from fermented grains. There are various grains that are used to create some of the finest whiskies known to humankind. Some of these grains include barley, corn, rye, and wheat.
Before being available for sale, our favorite whiskey bottles are aged in wooden casks to enhance their flavor. Some of the best brands age their whiskies in barrels made of charred, white oak. It is a piece of common knowledge that the older the spirit, the better, and the more expensive too!
Whiskey is probably one of the only alcoholic spirits that are advised for consumption by doctors in moderation. It is said that one glass or peg of whiskey three to four times a week can do wonders for you, and the health benefits of whiskey are what we’ll cover for you with this article.
Also, check out what to do when your cat is high on alcohol.
Health Benefits of Whiskey: Different types of Whiskies
Before knowing the various health benefits of whiskey, we feel that our readers should also learn about the different types of whiskies consumed throughout the globe.
Whiskey is categorized across the globe based on the following parameters:
- The geographic location of where the whiskey is locally found
- Its distillation process
- The grains that are used for making it
Based on the parameters mentioned above, five main types of whiskey are commonly consumed by whiskey lovers everywhere. They include:
#1 Scotch, Scotland
#2 Bourbon, USA
#3 Irish Whiskey, Ireland
#4 Canadian Whiskey, Canada
#5 Japanese Whiskey, Japan
A closer look at the types of whiskey available in the United States shall tell you that Americans do not just drink bourbon. There are three main types of whiskey that are both produced and consumed in the United States of America. They include:
Bourbon is that one whiskey that has been linked historically to the “Bluegrass State” or Kentucky. Most of the bourbon in the US is still prepared in this southern state.
It is primarily made from at least 51% of corn as the primary grain ingredient. Bourbon is prepared with no additives at all but water that is also allowed in a specific quantity to prepare the spirit. This particular whiskey needs to be aged in charred, new oak barrels for at least two years to be known as “straight bourbon.”
The charred, new oak barrel lends bourbon a caramel-like sweetness with hints of vanilla tones and smokiness in its taste. There are many famous brands of bourbon that are consumed across the globe. Some of these brands include Evan Williams, Jim Beam, and 1792, to name a few.
#2 Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey/ Tennessee Bourbon
The Tennessee Bourbon is made in a similar way as the usual Southern bourbon. The Tennessee bourbon contains 51-79% of corn grains in its preparation. What makes this variant different from the regular bourbon is an additional distillation step. The Tennessee bourbon needs to be filtered through maple charcoal chunks before starting its ageing process. This process is popularly known as the Lincoln county process by whiskey distillers.
Whiskey lovers are an advocate that the Tennessee bourbon is somewhat richer in its taste while it is still light at the same time compared to the normal bourbon. One Tennessee bourbon brand that is known by whiskey lovers and non-lovers alike is Jack Daniels.
#3 Rye Whiskey
Rye whiskey, as the name suggests, is made primarily from rye. Close to 51% of the drink is made from rye grains. The rye whiskey is crispier, spicier, and sharper in its taste than the other two types of whiskey commonly found in the USA. Rye whiskey, just like bourbon, is prepared without any additives but water. It is aged in charred new oak barrels for a minimum of two years before it is sold for consumption.
Some of the famous rye whiskey brands you can find in the US include Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey.
Check out the list of best whiskey in the world.
Health Benefits of Whiskey: Nutritional information
Just like any other alcoholic spirit, whiskey, when consumed in moderation, can bless you with a shocking number of medical benefits. In historical times, whiskey was used as an antiseptic for treating wounded soldiers in war. There are myriad benefits that one glass of whiskey can give to its drinker.
To understand these benefits better, let us take a closer look at the nutritional value that one glass of whiskey contains.
A 30 ml glass of whiskey contains the following:
- Calories 123 gm
- Protein 0 gm
- Fat 0 gm
- Carbohydrates 0 gm
- Fiber 0 gm
- Sugar 0 gm
A glass of whiskey is a powerhouse of nutrients. These nutrients are what adds to the health benefits of whiskey. Whiskey contains the following vitamins and minerals:
- Niacin or Vitamin B3
- Thiamine or Vitamin B1
- Ellagic acid
Another noticeable feature of whiskey is the fact that it contains zero sugar, carbohydrates, and fat. Let us now take you through the health benefits of whiskey for your overall well-being.
12 Health Benefits of Whiskey
When consumed in moderation, adding a glass of whiskey to your diet can do wonders. The health benefits of whiskey include the following:
#1 Whiskey helps in maintaining the heart’s health
Consuming whiskey in moderate quantities helps to keep your heart healthy. Whiskey increases the level of polyphenols in our bodies. Polyphenol is a plant-based antioxidant that helps in decreasing the bad cholesterol, or LDL, and increases the level of good cholesterol, or HDL.
Bad cholesterol or LDL clogs your arteries, while good cholesterol or HDL helps to keep them clear.
Apart from this, whiskey is also instrumental in decreasing the content of triglycerides in our bodies, which further helps limit the fat in our blood. All of these allow you to maintain the health of your heart and reduce the risk of a stroke.
#2 Health benefits of whiskey for cold and flu
How many times have you heard that whiskey is the best tonic for a cold or the flu? Untempt number of times, right? Whiskey with hot water is considered the best tonic when you are trying to nurse a cold. Whiskey contains ellagic acid that is an infection-fighting antioxidant.
Consuming whiskey when you are suffering from a cold helps to help clear the mucus collection in your sinuses and chests. It helps in providing relief to the congestion that is caused due to the cold. Whiskey helps in cutting phlegm and helps in relieving the pressure that you feel in your nasal cavities and chest.
Whiskey widens our blood vessels, which help numb the discomfort we feel during a cold and rest better. The next time you have a cold and cough or wheezing, be sure to consume a glass of whiskey- preferably not on the rocks!
#3 Health benefits of whiskey for strengthening the immune system
The presence of ellagic acid in whiskey is a significant contributor to strengthening the immune system. Ellagic acid helps in reducing bodily inflammation and gives our body a fair chance to fight against an infection,
Apart from this, studies show that consuming whiskey helps in improving our body’s response to diseases and even to vaccines! Whiskey consumption has also been linked to better antibody response, all of which adds to a more robust immune system.
#4 Health benefits of whiskey for brain health
Consuming whiskey in moderation helps in maintaining a healthy chemical balance in our brains. It also increases the strength of the nervous system’s functions and memory. Studies also show that individuals who consume one to six glasses of whiskey in a week have a lower risk of getting dementia than those who do not.
There is also a reduction in cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease when they consume whiskey in moderate quantities. Whiskey is a tonic for our brains because of its numerous benefits. Apart from the ones mentioned, whiskey also helps in reducing the risks of neurological disorders and prevents internal blood clotting.
#5 Health benefits of whiskey for weight loss
Yes! You read us right! Whiskey can help you from shedding those extra pounds, but no, that does not mean you should stop hitting the gym right away either! While drinks like beer give rise to the famous “beer belly,” such is thankfully not the case when you drink your favorite glass of scotch.
Whiskey contains next to little or no fat and sodium at all. It also does not contribute to the increase in body mass. It has fewer calories than any other alcoholic beverage and no carbohydrates and sugar at all! Even if in cases it does nothing to speed weight loss, whiskey does not add to weight gain either when consumed in moderation.
The presence of ellagic acid also contributes to aiding weight loss since it lowers the risk of obesity and related problems. Whiskey helps in the utilization of stored fats in our body for energy and helps you lose weight.
#6 Health benefits of whiskey for stress
After a long, hard day at work, a glass of whiskey is all you need to relax yourselves and take off the edge. Whiskey helps in calming down the nerves, which enables you to deal better with the stress and anxiety of your daily lives. The sedative-like properties of whiskey help relax the muscles in the body and help you to sleep better.
However, alcohol should never be used as the only means to destress. We are strong advocates of moderation, and your favourite glass of whiskey is no exception to this rule. When consumed in moderate quantities, whiskey can be a great stress buster.
#7 Health benefits of whiskey for Diabetes
Studies have shown that consuming whiskey in moderation reduces the risk of diabetes by 40%. Drinking whiskey helps your body to regulate insulin levels and glucose levels in a better way. Whiskey is made up of simple sugars which are quickly processed by the body. This alcoholic drink helps you balance the sugar levels in your body and cut down the risk of getting Diabetes. You can even consume whiskey in moderate quantities if you have Diabetes already. Its zero sugar content ensures that your glucose levels do not spike up.
#8 Health benefits of whiskey for skin health
Yes, you heard us correct! Consuming whiskey in moderation is beneficial for the quality of your skin too. Whiskey has antiseptic properties. It controls the production of excessive oils and also helps your skin to dissolve dirt and bacteria. Whiskey also helps in bringing down inflammation of blemishes and enables you to maintain spotless skin.
Whiskey can also be used as a toner to help fight pimples and blackheads. You can also add some whiskey to a homemade face mask to directly derive the benefits of this magical drink.
#9 Health benefits of whiskey for the digestive system
Consuming a glass of whiskey regularly can act as a natural digestif for your intestinal system. Whiskey is considered to be a digestive aid as it increases the secretion levels in the pancreas and gallbladder. Apart from this, whiskey also helps stimulate the production of stomach enzymes like pepsin that better enables you to digest and process the food you consume.
Whiskey helps in breaking down protein into polypeptides. If you have been feeling nauseous after consuming that big meal, a glass of whiskey can do wonders to help your body in speeding up digestion and providing you relief.
#10 Health benefits of whiskey for longevity
A 2010 study shows that individuals who drank whiskey in moderate quantities had a lower mortality rate than those who do not.
The presence of antioxidants in whiskey has been shown to increase longevity. Consuming whiskey in moderation helps in fighting the signs of aging and age-related disorders. The presence of ellagic acid in whiskey promotes longevity and helps our body fight infections of any kind.
#11 Health benefits of whiskey for cancer
Studies have shown that consuming whiskey in moderation can help in fighting cancerous cells. The magical ingredient ellagic acid in whiskey is a powerful antioxidant that can help in eliminating free radicals and cancerous cells from the body. Fruits like berries and wine contain ellagic acid, but the ellagic acid content is higher in whiskey.
The myriad health benefits of whiskey make it the perfect nightcap that you can enjoy in moderation every once in a while. The health benefits of whiskey date back to historical times when doctors would use whiskey while operating on soldiers’ wounds, to now when the drink provides you with a plethora of health benefits.
#12 Health benefits of whiskey for blood clotting
When our bodies suffer from an internal injury, our blood naturally clots to speed up recovery. It may be so that the clot spreads to other parts of your body, like the heart and lungs. Blood clotting is one of the scariest things that can happen to your body.
The health benefits of whiskey help to cut the risk of blood clotting in our bodies. Whiskey acts as a natural blood thinner and reduces blood clotting. Whiskey also helps control the cholesterol levels of our bodies and reduces the amount of bad cholesterol.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. Can you consume whiskey every day?
The health benefits of whiskey might make you want to drink some every day. However, this question might pop up in your heads simultaneously- is it safe to drink whiskey every day?
Moderation is continuously emphasized when it comes to alcohol. Drinking whiskey in moderation every day is something which you can do.
Research studies say that one can drink up to 21 units of whiskey in a week, where 1 unit equals 25 ml. Studies also show that the amount differs for men and women. While a man can consume up to 21 units in a week, the number is 14 units for a woman.
For a man, the quantity that specifies heavy drinking is more than four units a day, while the number is three units for a woman.
Irrespective of one’s gender, doctors advise humans to have at least two detox days in a week without consuming any alcohol.
Q2. What happens to your body when you consume too much whiskey?
It is essential for us to know the detrimental effects along with the health benefits of whiskey. There is a reason why experts everywhere in the world continuously ask you to practice moderation while consuming alcohol.
Too much whiskey can lead to the following complications in your body.
- Hypoglycemia: Too much whiskey can disrupt the glucose levels in our bodies, resulting in a condition called hypoglycemia.
- Alcohol addiction: consuming copious amounts of whiskey can lead to dependence and addiction. This dependence can be both emotional and physical.
- Digestion issues: Overconsumption of whiskey can lead to many digestive problems like gas, bloating, diarrhea, or painful stools.
- Reproductive health: Too much alcohol also hurts our sexual health, leading to significant problems like infertility.
- Liver damage: Liver damage is one problem you are constantly warned about when you consume too much alcohol. Fatty liver and liver inflammation are the two common liver problems that arise due to too much whiskey.
Apart from these significant problems, too much whiskey also causes issues like slurred speech, memory loss, behavioral changes, and mood swings, and vision impairment, to name a few.
Q3. Can bourbon be made outside the United States of America?
Bourbon is only limited to sales outside the states. Distillers cannot start to produce this whiskey if they are not located in America. The federal rules of the United States of America clearly state that bourbon cannot be made outside the USA. The standards note that the word bourbon is a distinctive product of the United States, and no other distillers outside the US can use bourbon to describe their whiskey.
Q4. What is the difference between whiskey and whisky?
The central point of difference between whiskey and whisky is the place of its origin. At the same time, whiskey is used to signify single malts and scotch prepared in the United States and Ireland. Whisky is used to indicate the ones that are produced in Scotland and Canada.
The preparation method also differs in these different locations, which in turn affects the taste of the drink.
Mark Twain, the famous American author, once said, “Too much of anything is bad but too much good whiskey is barely enough.”
Whiskey lovers all over the world will agree to this gospel truth stated by Mark Twain. Whiskey has been given the status of the sovereign drink amongst liquor drinkers, and rightly so too!
Whiskey is that one drink that speaks for itself. Whiskey lovers claim that drinking bourbon or scotch is an acquired taste. A glass of whiskey is all you need after a long, tiresome day.
Apart from being a royalty statement amongst drinkers, whiskey is known for the myriad health benefits one glass of whiskey provides to your body. You can drink it straight or dilute it with other substances, whichever works best for your tastes.
It is always best to exercise your discretion and caution while consuming any liquor. You can only derive the benefits from a substance when you drink it in a balanced way.
If consumed in moderation, whiskey can prove to be an elixir of life, and if not, it is as good as drinking poison straight from the bottle!