even moderate drinking can rob the body of essential nutrients

Even moderate drinking may rob your body of key vitamins and minerals.

When we first decided to stop drinking, it was because we found that even moderate amounts of alcohol were making us feel pretty lousy. After a night out, that included a couple of drinks, it started to take us days to recover.

At the time, we just put this down to getting older, but once we decided to do something about that situation and started researching the facts of what alcohol does to the human body the effects it had on us became very clear.

Alcohol holds very little nutritional value. Each drink contains approximately 100-150 empty calories which the body treats as fat, converting alcohol sugars into fatty acids.

Alcohol actively inhibits the absorption and bio-availability of vital nutrients such as thiamin (vitamin B1), vitamin B12, folic acid, and zinc.

  • Thiamin (vitamin B1) is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fat and the formation of hemoglobin.
  • Vitamin B12 is essential to good health. It helps maintain healthy red blood and nerve cells.
  • Folic acid is an integral part of a coenzyme involved in the formation of new cells.
  • Zinc is essential for energy metabolic processes.

Thiamine (Vitamin B1)

Because it helps convert carbohydrates into energy, thiamine plays a vital role in your body’s energy production and the health of the brain and nervous system. Alcohol impairs the absorption of thiamine in the intestine, as a result up to 80% of heavy drinkers have some degree of thiamine deficiency. Thiamine is water-soluble and poorly stored in the body, so depletion can happen in just 2 weeks or less!

Signs of deficiency include loss of appetite, constipation, depression and irritability.

Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)

Alcohol can contribute to low levels of pyridoxine. Vitamin B6 plays an important role in the production of fuel and energy and is critical for the optimal function of our nerves, skin and red blood cells.

Folate (Vitamin B9)

Beyond supporting growth and development from infancy, folate is essential for maintaining healthy brain function. In addition, folate and vitamins B6 and B12 are important regulators of the metabolism of homocysteine, an amino acid in our blood. When blood levels of these B-vitamins are low, homocysteine rises, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.


Zinc deficiency is common in heavy drinkers. Zinc helps protect us against upper respiratory infections and maintains healthy blood sugar. It repairs our DNA and helps wounds to heal. There is some evidence that zinc may also offer some protection against depression. Common signs of zinc deficiency include mental fatigue, hair loss, and impotence in men.

Three drinks to enhance your life

The energetic​ one

What's in it?

Sustainably foraged adaptogenic and energizing chaga from Northern Canada, distilled spruce tips and blueberries.  

What does it taste like?

Refreshingly herbaceous, hints of fruit and gently carbonated. If you like coffee spritzers or Italian bitters you’ll love this drink. 

When to drink it?

Anytime you need to energize but don’t want jitters. For brunch, it makes a sensational coffee spritzer, on its own with a dash of lemon it makes for a fantastic alternative to artificial energy drinks. 

The focused one

What's in it?

We brew this tonic with real nootropic focusing lion’s mane, confident juniper berries and and vibrant Canadian sumac. 

What does it taste like?

This is Mike’s favourite, citrus-forward, confidently herbal and resolutely upbeat. If you like a G&T, you’ll be a fan.

When to drink it?

In the days when we could still meet friends in bars, (they will return) this was our go-to after midnight drink, on the rocks or as a mixer. Now we use it to help us keep focused in Zoom meetings. 

The relaxed one

What's in it?

The perfect partner for unwinding and relaxing, brewed with adaptogenic reishi, elderberries and gentle birch. 

What does it taste like?

We call this our summer romance, complex and balanced, with subtle berry flavours. A dry rose on a sunny dock,  with bubbles. 

When to drink it?

From movie nights at home to relaxing on a dock on Lake Muskoka on a hot summer’s day, this gorgeously rose botanical tonic delivers all the chill that only reishi and elderberry can bring to the party. 

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