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Your guide into the world of non-alcoholik drinks

Non-alcoholic, dealcoholized, and alcohol-free drinks - what is the difference?

Non-alcoholic drinks

The minute you decide to enter the world of "non-alcoholic alcohol", these three concepts start to come across to you all the time. The terms here can be confusing and tricky, at least they were for me. So, I took time and learned the difference, and now I'm happy to share this knowledge with you!

Non-alcoholic beer, wine, and other drinks

You will be surprised, but drinks marked non-alcoholic actually contain alcohol!

By the law of most countries, you can use this label on your beer, wine, or spirit if the alcohol by volume (ABV) is less than 0.5%.

Just to remind you - in some countries, you are considered a drunk driver if you have any recognizable level of alcohol in your blood, so you should really be careful with it.

But still, it is a pretty low volume of alcohol - for example, some types of kombucha and kefir can contain till 1% ABV, and no one cares.

So, I think you are fine consuming non-alcoholic options, but be careful and treat them as if they were "real" - not every day and 2-3 drinks maximum, unless you are in the mood for a "virgin binge".

Dealcoholized wine

Alcohol-free or 0.0% drinks

Alcohol-free drinks (which could also be labeled as 0.0%) have zero or almost zero alcohol in them. By law, they should contain less than 0.05% ABV, the margin of error, basically. The most common examples of such products are 0.0% aperitifs, gin, rum, whiskey, and other spirits. They are mostly just flavored liquids that have never been fermented, so there is no reason for them to contain any alcohol.

Does it mean that we can have 0.0% drinks as many as we want? If the only worry you have is alcohol, then yes, you can go wild! But if we talk real, sugar is also a dangerous enemy, and some alcohol-free drinks contain A LOT of it. So please be careful with it also.

Dealcoholized wine and other drinks

"Dealcoholized drinks" is not the third category based on ABV level, but the technology process description, and therefore can be non-alcoholic as well as alcohol-free.

Some of the products are made as zero-spirit from the beginning.

Other ones can contain alcohol from the start, but at some point, it is artificially removed from the drink by reverse osmosis or another industrial process - and that is how dealcoholized drinks are made.

A lot of them can contain up to 0.5% ABV, so it is better to be careful and not consume them recklessly and bottomlessly.

But overall, it is a good choice for not-drinkers, and definitely the best one if we a talking about 0% wines. The alcohol-free ones in most cases are just pretty disgusting grape juice while dealcoholized can taste overall not bad. It also contains some elements, created from the classic wine production process, and considered good for health - like resveratrol, an antioxidant.

False friends of the translator

If you are not in an English-speaking country, you should be careful and double-check how each type of drink translated correctly into the language the bottles have on them.

Because in Germany, for example, the "false friends of the translator" await you. You will see on the supermarket's shelves "alkoholfrei" drinks, which actually could mean both - "non-alcoholic" and "alcohol-free". And if you need a completely alcohol-free product, look for "0.0%" or "ohne Alkohol" on the label.

So, be prepared and pay attention. Otherwise, you may have a conversation with the traffic police, that will end with a plot twist.

Can a pregnant person drink non-alcoholic, dealcoholized, or alcohol-free?

Hahaha, actually, no one knows! If we are talking about alcohol-free, here we are pretty safe. But even about this type of product, its producers will never say: "Yes, sure, completely safe, you go, girl!".

To exclude any possible harm they should perform trials on pregnant women, and no one wants to do that.

With non-alcoholic drinks, things are even more complicated, because this 0.5% ABV could be found there.

Still, there are a lot of products that contain even bigger ABV, and no one cares if an expecting woman consumes them.

I think when I will get pregnant, I will have some dealcoholized wine every now and then, occasionally, just to keep my social gathering habits.

But it is just a personal opinion and definitely not a recommendation. You do you, and it is always a good idea to ask your OBGYN about her or his position on this matter.

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