Though there are health benefits to it, calling mezcal healthy may be a stretch. No liquor is really healthy, but some are certainly better than others. Mezcal is at the top of the list of healthier spirits available in the US. Let’s take a look at few health questions we’ve heard:
Does Mezcal Give You a Hangover?
Always follow The Golden Rule when drinking mezcal: treat mezcal the way you want to be treated. Slamming Monte Alban shots and PBR tall boys will always make you feel miserable the next day. However, casually sipping El Jolgorio Tobala or Rey Campero Madre-Cuishe may give you better results. Sipping mezcal in such a fashion typically means you’re drinking much slower. It’s also common to mix the liquor with intermittent sips of water or small bites of fruit or cheese. These additional factors help to lessen the impact of drinking 100+ proof liquor for hours on end.
Mezcal is made from 100% distilled agave, making it all-natural and additive-free. Tequila is also made from agave, but it only needs to be 51% agave in order to be sold as tequila in the US. This means that unless you’re drinking 100% agave tequila, which is pricey, there’s a good chance you’re drinking up to 49% additive crap. These additives almost always guarantee a hangover.
Health guru Dave Asprey of Bulletproof recommends drinking clear spirits if you are on a strict diet, yet want to enjoy alcohol. He lists tequila in the top three recommended after vodka and gin. If he only knew about mezcal! Not only is all mezcal 100% agave (unlike tequila), but additives are not allowed making it an even better option than tequila. Check out his blog and infographic
Is Mezcal a Stimulant?
Technically, all alcohol is a depressant, but calling mezcal a stimulant is not completely off-base. Mezcal can give you a euphoric and energized feeling. Some sources point to its mild hallucinogenic properties as a primary cause for this elation. A more likely reason for this is that mezcal is pure. There aren’t any additives or sweeteners, and it has zero carbs. Rather than feeling heavy and belligerent, like after drinking 12 Dale’s Pale Ales, mezcal drinkers feel light, awake, and agile after 12 pours.
Some also claim mezcal is an aphrodisiac, and that it can be used in love potion cocktails. Though it’s mostly myth surrounding these claims, many mezcal mixed drinks contain herbs and flowers, like Cardamom and Saffron, which are aphrodisiacs.
Does Mezcal Make You Smarter?
No, but knowing a lot about mezcal makes people think you are.
Is Mezcal Healthy?
Many cultures traditionally take a shot before eating, known as an aperitif, which stimulates the appetite. A digestif after a meal is also common in many cultures. Using mezcal as an aperitif and digstif is nothing new. It helps with digestion, as well as the regulation of blood sugars. Mezcal is also naturally gluten-free.
The agave plant has many documented health benefits, but the extent of which found in mezcal is still largely unknown. For example, agave contains saponins. According to Jonny Bowden, author of The Healthiest Foods on Earth , saponins can help lower cholesterol levels. Bowden also notes that saponins can inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors. So that’s good.
In the end, it all comes down to moderation. Drinking a glass of wine is good for you, just like drinking a glass of mezcal is good for you. Drinking an entire bottle, however, could do damage to anyone and it’ll lead to an unhealthy lifestyle.