The Next Round: What happens after you change your drinking?
Club Soda is not just sparkling water; we are an international mindful drinking movement. You can read more about us, what we do, and how we are funded on our About Us page.
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Mindful drinking is about becoming more aware of how your body and mind are affected by alcohol, and how you use alcohol to relate to the people around you. Mindful drinkers notice, learn and ultimately take control of their drinking.
So what does mindful drinking look like? Many mindful drinkers moderate their drinking habits. For example, some mindful drinkers choose lower alcohol drinks, or drink fewer drinks each day, or stop drinking on weekdays, or do a longer sober sprint. And some people go completely alcohol-free.
Remember: even in our alcohol-centric society, drinking alcohol is never compulsory. Ever.
Mindful drinking is all about deciding what is right for you, today, at this moment. You are never powerless. You are always in control.
Club Soda considers drinks 0.5% and below to be alcohol-free.
No alcohol license is needed to sell them in the UK, and 0.5% means a small amount of alcohol only. The truth is that anything that goes through a natural fermentation process has a trace of alcohol. And many foods and drinks do, including vinegar, bananas, bread, fruit juices and even lemonade.
Labelling on this is inconsistent. Some products have to state their alcohol content (abv), while others don’t. Some drinks can be called alcohol-free, while very similar drinks can’t.
You can buy a soft drink, like alcohol-free ginger beer and some kombuchas, that are up 0.5% but don’t need to say so, as they are in the soft drink category. Sprite is 0.05%. Desserts and foodstuffs don’t need an abv even though many will contain over 0.5% alcohol.
A 0.5% beer from elsewhere in the world can be called alcohol-free in the UK, if it is deemed so in their home country, but a beer produced here cannot.
The bottom line is you would have to drink huge amounts of these drinks to feel the effects of the alcohol. And some research suggests you physically cannot become intoxicated by drinking 0.5% alcohol drinks, making them suitable even for people who avoid alcohol for religious reasons.
We know alcohol-free drinks can be really helpful in reducing your drinking and going alcohol-free. But it is an individual choice.
Alcohol-free drinks are generally lower in calories and sugar-free, so if you are looking to lose weight or sugar triggers you to drink alcohol, this can actually be a good alternative to coke and lemonade and other fizzy drinks.
So why do some alcohol services say you should stay away from alcohol-free beers and wines? It is important to know why this advice is given. It is not because of the alcohol content, or you would have to avoid soy sauce, vinegar, orange juice, bananas and even the alcohol created every day by your own stomach. It’s because a drink that tastes like an alcoholic drink could trigger you to drink the real thing.
Only you can tell if an alcohol-free drink triggers you. Some people decide to avoid non-alcoholic beers and wines, and that’s fine by us. We think choice is good for everyone.
Yes! Get yourself a copy of How to Be a Mindful Drinker. It was authored by our co-founder Dru Jaeger, with contributions from Anha Madhvani, Jussi Tolvi, Laura Willoughby and members of the Club Soda community.
We also know that reading quit lit can really help when you are changing your drinking, particularly if you choose to go alcohol-free. You can find all our favourites on Amazon UK and Amazon US. We get a few pennies from Amazon for every book sold through these links too, so do take a look!
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