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Can alcohol cause PMS: gluten-free drinks review

Yes, too much alcohol is not the best thing for a healthy menstrual cycle. This is because alcohol can affect your period by interfering with an important hormone called progesterone, cause inflammation and put a lot of unnecessary pressure on your liver. And as I explain in my Period Health Course for busy women, liver is a vital organ for hormonal balance, estrogen clearance and more healthy menstrual cycle days. However, don't get discouraged! A small amount of good quality drink for a special occasion is perfectly acceptable!

My main 3 tips for hormone and period-safe holiday treats:

  • choose pure, high quality drinks (preferably gluten-free)

  • avoid mixing alcohol with sugary additives (natural and artificial). So don't mix it with juice or pop

  • stick to no more than 2 standard drinks at your party and no more than 5 standard drinks per week

Note: standard drink means 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine or 1.5 oz of distilled alcohol.

what is a standard drink size of alcohol for women poster

As many of my clients try to reduce their gluten intake to support their healthy menstrual cycle days an interesting question was raised on my Instagram:

Is there such thing as gluten-free alcohol?

The short answer is, "Absolutely! In fact there are many gluten-free drinks!" And since Christmas holidays are rapidly approaching too, I thought this is just a perfect time to chat about some of our favourite drinks and do a quick gluten-free drinks review.

⁠GLUTEN-FREE BEER (assuming pure beers without additives and/or cross contamination)

Many people avoiding gluten are disappointed that they need to give up beer. Nope! You still can drink beer and enjoy your time with friends (once COVID restrictions are over, of course!). However, you will need to look for different kinds than you may used to.

“Regular” beer is made out of malted barley (sometimes wheat is added too) and therefore contains gluten. Beer-making is a fermentation process, and thus original proteins will remain in the final product. This means that for a gluten-free product, you need to look for drinks made out of gluten-free foods. For example, beers made of rice, sorghum, buckwheat, etc. will be safe. For the same reason, other fermented pure alcoholic beverages, such as hard ciders made from fermented apples or other fruit juices, are sold as gluten-free liquor (since fruits are naturally gluten-free).

One important note of caution should be given to the labelling of “gluten-free beers”: there are some attempts to produce special barley/wheat beers by breaking down gluten during the manufacturing process. Technically speaking these beers are often “gluten-reduced”, but not necessarily “gluten-free”. If you have celiac disease, avoid these drinks for sure, but if you have gluten sensitivity or avoiding gluten for other reasons these beers will likely be fine as they will have a very negligible amount. You decide!

GLUTEN-FREE WINE (assuming pure wine without additives and/or cross contamination)

Like beers above, all types of regular wine are made through the process of fermentation. Just as with ciders and beers made from gluten-free grains, all pure wines that are made from grapes or other fruit without any additives would be naturally gluten-free (unlike many mixed wine beverages).

The biggest point of controversy here is that some manufacturers may use wheat as a fining agent at the end of the process, or seal casks with gluten-containing paste for aging the wine. Upon various recent investigations, it was concluded that even if these techniques are used, the amount of gluten is undetectable. Moreso, it seems that both methods are rarely used now, and therefore wine lovers can enjoy their favourite drinks without fear!

DISTILLED ALCOHOL (assuming pure alcohol without additives and/or cross contamination)

In the case of distilled alcohol, all drinks (including wheat, rye, and barley-based varieties) are assumed to be gluten-free, since the process of distillation removes gluten from the final product. These drinks include vodka, tequila, brandy, rum, rye whiskey, Irish whiskey, bourbon whiskey, scotch, gin and others.

There you go! In any case, I always suggest to carefully read labels and avoid drinks you are unsure about or that made you unwell before!

Have a wonderful holidays and don't forget to subscribe for more to come! Cheers!

Love you all and til next!

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