Benefits Of Vodka For Health, Nutrition Facts, And Risks

One more reason to take another sip of your favorite party drink!

Reviewed by Nilofar PendhariNilofar Pendhari, Certified Clinical Nutritionist
By Aparna MallampalliAparna Mallampalli, BEd (Biological Sciences), MSc (Microbiology), Diploma In Nutrition  • 

Vodka is popularly known as a ladies’ drink. It is made with water and ethanol. Some believe in the important health benefits of vodka despite it being an alcoholic beverage. Vodka is often mixed with many sugary beverages and is known for its unique sweet taste. But what does science say about its health benefits? Keep reading to know more.

Did You Know?
The word ‘vodka’ is derived from the Slavic word voda, meaning “little water.”

Origin Of Vodka

Vodka is thought to have originated either in 9th century Poland or in Russia and Eastern Europe a thousand years ago. The first vodka was made from wheat and rye using fermentationi  XThe metabolic process in which enzymes present in microorganisms breaks down sugars to release acids, gasses, or alcohol. and distillationi  XProcess of obtaining a certain substance in its purest form by heating and subsequent cooling at specific temperatures. .

StyleCraze Trivia
In Europe since the 1700s, vodka has been made by distilling liquid from fermented cereal grains and potatoes. Nowadays, fruits, honey, or maple sap are used for the vodka’s base.

Vodka Nutrition Facts

30 ml of vodka contains the following components:

  •  Calories: 64.1
  •  Alcohol: 9.3 grams
  •  Water: 18.5 grams
  •  Sugars: 0
  •  Dietary Fiber: 0
StyleCraze Trivia
In the European Union, vodka must contain a minimum of 37.5% alcohol, while in the U.S., vodka must contain at least 40% alcohol.

Whether vodka has health benefits is a topic of debate. Continue reading to know more.

Potential Health Benefits Of Vodka

1. It May Help Manage Cold

Vodka may help manage cold

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Anecdotal evidence suggests that vodka may help manage mild cold and nasal congestion. It is also believed to help ease a sore throat and other general symptoms associated with cold. However, there is no scientific research to support this claim. Caution is advised if you are using this remedy for treating cold or associated symptoms. There is very little probability that any alcohol taken will successfully fight a cold or flu since it doesn’t come into close contact with the virus.

2. May Have Cardioprotective Effects

Vodka may have cardioprotective effects

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Animal studies have shown that moderate consumption of vodka may have a cardioprotective effect. However, excess intake may have undesirable effects. Also, similar studies on humans are limited.

Vodka lowers insulin resistancei  XThe body cells fail to respond to insulin and prevent the breakdown of glucose in the blood, eventually leading to type 2 diabetes. while increasing insulin sensitivity. Regular moderate vodka intake is related to lower insulin resistance, which may explain some of the cardioprotective effects of alcohol.

3. May Help Minimize Toothache

Vodka may help minimize toothache

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Vodka’s alcohol content is believed to act as a pain-relieving agent by causing numbness since it contains anti-inflammatory properties. However, this claim is not backed by scientific evidence.

Many follow the simple technique of soaking a cotton ball in vodka and placing it over the painful tooth. However, exercise caution as one may also experience mild irritation on the applied area.

4. May Help Manage Acne

Vodka may help manage acne

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Vodka is thought to minimize acne and breakouts by acting as an astringent or a toner. Many use it by diluting with equal parts of water and applying it to the affected area with a cotton ball. However, keep in mind that alcohol may have a dehydrating effect on the skin. Practice caution and consult a dermatologist. With its dehydrating and purifying effects, it can also help tighten your skin and may manage acne outbreaks.

5. May Help Manage Hair Loss

Vodka may help manage hair loss

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Vodka is generally mixed with organic honey and lemon juice, applied to the hair, and left on for 30 minutes. It is then rinsed with a good-quality hair cleanser. This is thought to help manage dandruff and an itchy, greasy scalp.

On the flip side, vodka also may cause mild scalp irritation in a few individuals. Hence, perform a patch test before applying the whole mixture to your hair/scalp. You can also use vodka to condition your hair, eliminate frizz, and boost shine after completing the patch test.

Myth Buster

Myth: Fact:
Vodka helps in treating arthritis Vodka does not help in treating arthritis. In fact, it may aggravate arthritis. Research shows that alcohol consumption increases the risk and severity of rheumatoid arthritis.

These purported health benefits are yet to be validated by the scientific community. That said, vodka has other important advantages and uses. Let us explore them in the next section.

Uses Of Vodka

1. As A Disinfectant

Many use diluted vodka as a disinfectant. This may be attributed to its alcoholic content. Vodka is generally mixed with equal parts of water and is sprayed on surfaces to disinfect them. This disinfecting property can be attributed to its alcohol content. Alcohol has been shown to be an effective disinfectant.

2. As A Pedicure

Vodka is used in pedicures. It is mixed with lemon juice, sliced lemons, and warm water and used as a foot soak. This mixture is believed to deeply cleanse the skin and remove the deposited dirt and tan due to its high molecular weight. The result is potentially increased skin emollience. However, research is limited in this regard.

3. As A Mouthwash

Many use vodka as a mouthwash. Diluted vodka is squished for 3 to 4 minutes in the mouth. This is believed to help manage bad breath. However, caution is advised as squishing vodka may also cause mild irritation in some individuals.

You may exercise caution and still consume vodka to understand its benefits. However, moderation is key. How much vodka is safe to drink?

How Much Vodka Is Safe To Drink

As per recommendations by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the safe limit of alcohol intake is 1 glass or less per day for women and 2 glasses or less per day for men. However, you should always try to minimize alcohol consumption as it can exert negative effects on your health. We have discussed the risks associated with vodka intake.

Risks Associated With Vodka Consumption

1. May Increase Cholesterol Levels

Anecdotal evidence suggests that regular consumption of vodka may increase levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. This effect can be more pronounced in those consuming excess vodka regularly. Studies have shown that excessive alcohol consumption, such as vodka, especially coupled with a high-fat diet, can increase triglycerides.

2. May Cause Liver Damage

Regular alcohol consumption may have harmful effects on the liver. Studies show that a daily intake of 30 to 50 grams of alcohol over a period of five years can cause liver disease. Additionally, it may also cause the deposition of fat in the liver and lead to liver cirrhosisi  XA chronic liver condition characterized by permanent damage of the liver tissues and caused due to hepatitis or alcohol abuse. .

3. May Increase Blood Pressure

Research shows that alcohol consumption can elevate blood pressure levels. Even moderate consumption is thought to elevate blood pressure levels over time.

Note: Although studies may not mention vodka specifically, they are clearly indicating the potential negative effects of alcohol consumption. Considering vodka has significant amounts of alcohol, it can exert negative effects if consumed regularly or in excess.

When consumed in moderate amounts, vodka benefits you in multiple ways. This liquor is a mixture of water and ethanol and is popularly known as a ladies’ drink. Vodka may effectively manage a cold, exhibit a cardioprotective effect, help manage toothache, act as an astringent or toner, and treat acne. It also helps manage hair loss when mixed with honey and lemon juice. However, if consumed in excess amounts, it may cause liver damage and increase cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Therefore, moderate consumption is advised to reap its benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does vodka help you sleep?

Regular and excess consumption of alcohol, especially at night, can disrupt sleep quality and pattern (7). Hence, vodka is not a good option to help you fall asleep.

Which is better, vodka or whiskey?

When compared with whiskey, vodka has fewer calories and no fat, carb, and sugar values. Also, vodka is considered a clean drink with no impurities, while whiskey contains several mixtures that make it less healthy than vodka.

Which is better for you, wine or vodka?

Vodka is free of impurities, has fewer calories and sugar, and contains 60 percent of water. This makes vodka a healthier choice than wine.

Is beer better than vodka?

No. Beer has a high calorific value than vodka (which contains fewer calories due to the distillation process), and it can trigger weight gain.

Is vodka good for the stomach?

Drinking too much alcohol may irritate the digestive system. It can damage the stomach over time, but the intake of vodka in moderation may enhance digestion. However, limited data is available in this regard.

Will vodka cause belly fat?

Vodka is less in calories but taking it in excess may cause belly fat. (Note: It will take longer for the calories (in vodka) to cause a beer belly, but it is possible.)

Is gin healthier than vodka?

Gin has slightly more calories than vodka. If we consider their calorific values, vodka is a healthier option than gin.

Key Takeaways

  • Vodka can help manage mild colds, reduce acne breakouts, minimize toothache, manage hair loss, and have cardioprotective properties.
  • According to CDC, the safe limit of vodka intake is 1 glass or less per day for women and 2 glasses or less per day for men.
  • Excessive vodka consumption may increase cholesterol levels as well as triglycerides (the form in which cholesterol is stored), have harmful effects on the liver, and increase blood pressure.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Effects of red wine and vodka on collateral-dependent perfusion and cardiovascular function in hypercholesterolemic swine
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC3448932/
  2. Alcohol consumption is inversely associated with risk and severity of rheumatoid arthritis
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20667949/
  3. Alcohols as Surface Disinfectants in Healthcare Settings
    https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/infection-control-and-hospital-epidemiology/article/abs/alcohols-as-surface-disinfectants-in-healthcare-settings/65382851361A5EE2921CAF83632CD25E
  4. The Effect of Alcohol on Postprandial and Fasting Triglycerides
    https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijvm/2012/862504/
  5. Alcoholic Liver Disease
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK546632/#:~:text=Daily%20consumption%20of%2030%20to
  6. Effect of alcohol on blood pressure
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6483609/#:~:text=Alcohol%20can%20elevate%20blood%20pressure
  7. The Effects of Alcohol on Quality of Sleep
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/284904194_The_Effects_of_Alcohol_on_Quality_of_Sleep

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