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The surprising ways vodka can actually be good for you

Vodka: Could your favorite spirit somehow also be the key to good health?

A vodka martini with olives
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The weekend is a great time to break out the top-shelf vodka and relax with a vodka cocktail. It’s when people choose to leave their worries behind and celebrate the week finally being over. However, there is much more to vodka than having a good time with your friends after a long, tiring week. Actually, there are quite a few health benefits of vodka most people don’t even consider.

While vodka (like any type of alcohol) isn’t necessarily healthy, there are some benefits to the spirit. Just make sure you don’t use them to justify excessive drinking. Keep reading to find out about the various vodka health benefits.

A vodka drink
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It can help you de-stress

Everyone has a way that they unwind after a long and stressful day at work. While some might turn to exercise or binge-watching Netflix shows to relax, some people choose vodka as their companion for the night.

There is a widespread belief that for such an activity, wine is the right alcoholic beverage. This idea might stem from the fact that we’ve seen hundreds of movies about how certain protagonists drink bottles of wine to recline after a hard day. Well, despite that popular perception about wine, scientific studies don’t come to the same conclusion. In a National Library of Health study, both vodka and red wine’s effects on stress were examined, and the results suggest that vodka had a greater apparent impact on stress reduction than red wine, which the study showed had almost no impact.

Person measuring waist.
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It’s diet-friendly

If you happen to be thinking about dieting but still want to enjoy a cocktail from time to time, then vodka could be the right choice for you. While some alcoholic beverages can give you a “beer belly” due to high sugar and calorie levels, vodka, which has no carbs or sugars, will pack much less of a punch when it comes to your weight.

There are many varieties of vodka; some are made from potatoes, some from grain, and some from grapes. The number of calories might depend on the type of vodka you choose, the alcohol level in it, and whether it’s flavored. Still, vodka drinks contain approximately 60 calories, which is much lower than some drinks. One caveat, though, is if you use vodka as part of a mixed drink, be aware of the sugar and calorie count of your mixers because that could negate the benefits of using a lower-calorie alcohol such as vodka.

Liquor bottles on a bar shelf
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It can be used as a skincare product

Almost everyone has a skincare routine they follow through every night. A typical skincare routine can involve a number of products, and vodka — with its disinfectant and detoxifying properties — could quite easily become part of it. A skincare routine involving a mixture of one part water to one part vodka could help with unclogging and tightening your pores, as well as treating acne.

While vodka could help clear your skin, it’s going to be much more effective when it’s combined with different ingredients such as green tea, distilled water, oils, and many others, as the effects will be apparent sooner. Also, you may not want to do a vodka skincare routine before going to work in the morning, as the scent could give some colleagues the wrong idea. Better to save the vodka for the before-bed routine.

Chopin vodka cocktail
Chopin Vodka / Facebook

It can help maintain good oral hygiene

Your mouth can serve as the window to overall body health. That’s why we should pay more attention to maintaining our oral health. While we can use many dental products to manage our mouth health, we could also put vodka’s properties to use.

If you struggle with getting rid of bad breath, vodka could resolve this issue for you. Believe it or not, a homemade mouthwash using vodka can be an effective way for you to freshen your breath. The Discovery Channel show MythBusters tested out vodka as a mouthwash and found that vodka mixed with cinnamon helped eliminate the bacteria that causes bad breath, but, as we said above, you probably only want to do this at night. You don’t want to go to work and make people think you hit a couple of bars on your commute.

Older man checking out his gray hair
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It may stimulate hair growth

Using vodka to stimulate hair growth has been recommended by a number of bloggers focused on beauty tips.

According to Beauty Gypsy, mixing a small amount of vodka with water and then using the mix as a rinse after washing your hair can remove the product buildup from the scalp and strands, and in turn, stimulate hair growth. The same blog suggests that using vodka with other different ingredients like dried rosemary, organic honey, and conditioner can lessen dandruff, reduce frizz, and prevent hair loss. While there isn’t any scientific study yet that can prove these claims, vodka has been used like this in Russia for centuries and is still used in beauty regimens there today.

Vodka and tonic water
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Moderation is key

So while there are a number of health benefits to vodka, the key thing to remember is that vodka can have health benefits, but only when it is used in moderation. If you drink too much, those health benefits all go out the window, and you put yourself at a higher risk of things like a heart attack or stroke.

According to the CDC, moderate intake of hard alcoholic beverages, such as vodka, should be limited to two drinks or less per day for men and one drink or less for women. The CDC defines a drink as a standard shot of 80-proof alcohol, which is measured at 1.5 ounces.

So keep that in mind, there are a lot of benefits to vodka, but like all alcohol, don’t overdo it or the benefits will turn into health risks.

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Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
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