Alcohol Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By UnitedHealthcare in Colorado ~

Many of us may be wondering about our alcohol consumption and how it has changed during the last year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Preliminary research shows alcohol use has increased since March 2020, and the World Health Organization indicates this consumption may exacerbate health issues that were already stressed during the pandemic.

recent study shows that abstaining from alcohol for a month may reduce a person’s blood pressure, help them sleep better and even help them lose weight. What’s more, the same study revealed that after the alcohol-free month ended, participants were more likely to abstain from alcohol for longer periods.

But what about those who tout the potential health benefits of moderate consumption of alcohol — particularly for your heart? The evidence to this a cause-and-effect relationship seems to be flawed at best. What’s more, people tend to underestimate the amount of alcohol that’s considered “moderate.” So when a person has a drink that isn’t “moderate,” it adds up. This can mean that, with more alcohol in the body every day, its effects can be larger, and potentially more severe, than originally thought. 

Even if you don’t stop drinking altogether, drinking less overall can “reset” your relationship to alcohol.

If you’re looking for a few fun mocktails for your spring or summer parties — try these delicious recipes, and you may not miss the booze at all.

Festive Sangria

Ingredients: 

  • 1 segment (2-3 inches) of ginger
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 red apple
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 oz. pomegranate juice 
  • 8 oz. blueberry juice 

Instructions: 

  1. Slice grapefruit, apples, orange and ginger and place in pitcher. Add cranberries and cinnamon sticks.
  2. Fill pitcher 1/3 of the way full with a pomegranate juice of your choice
  3. Fill pitcher 2/3 of the way full with a blueberry juice of your choice
  4. Fill to top with sparkling water
  5. Let pitcher sit so flavors can meld. 
  6. Pour into glass with ice. 
  7. Garnish with mint, rosemary and a grapefruit slice.

Cranberry Mule

Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup ice
  • ¼ cup cranberries
  • 2 orange peels
  • 2 ginger peels
  • Sparkling water
  • Cinnamon stick

Instructions: 

  1. Fill a copper mug half full with ice. 
  2. Add cranberries. 
  3. Add two orange and ginger peels. 
  4. Fill mug to the top with sparkling water
  5. Stir mixture with cinnamon stick. 

Alcohol-Free Mimosa

Ingredients: 

  • ¼ cup orange juice 
  • Orange flavored sparking water
  • Orange peel

Instructions: 

  1. Pour ¼ cup of orange juice into champagne flute. 
  2. Fill the rest of the flute with orange flavored sparking water. 
  3. Garnish with an orange peel.

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