Low-alcohol Alternatives for the Next Ski Trip

Here at Charles Communications, we love our wine, beer and spirits infused lives, but we do know that moderation is the true key to enjoying this life of libation we have as a profession. In this AlltheSwirl post we cover low to no alcohol options while still in winter's grip.

One of the most puzzling facts in life is that at the end of a long, exhausting, strenuous day, nothing is more appealing than your favorite drink. Whether that be wine, beer, or spirits-based, you’re craving something that in the long run is dehydrating and quite tiring on your body.  What’s even more bizarre is how much your body craves alcohol after strenuous physical exertion. On the tail end of ski season, this means enjoying a drink after your final chance to hit the slopes.

From refilled calories to suppressed protein, there are some pretty obvious negative side effects from drinking post-workout. Now, I’m not advocating completely ignoring that craving and extending your Dry January dreams, but in this day and age there are some smarter routes available when looking to fulfill that post-snow craving, whether between runs at the lodge or recovering after a long day in the cabin.

First, some facts:

It’s been proven that alcohol impacts your rate of muscle protein synthesis — the process by which muscles grow and repair. While studies show that one or two beers post-slopes won’t do much harm, alcohol is void of virtually any nutrients and won’t better the body, either.

Consuming alcohol after a cardio workout could impact glycogen levels, which is the primary fuel for working out at higher intensities. This could cause your body to become tired at a faster rate the next time you physically exert yourself. Think about this before picking up a beer between runs.

On top of the limited muscle suppression, low doses of alcohol post workout have been shown to increase testosterone in small levels. While this seems like a benefit, this increase is not enough to see much muscle growth. And it turns out that repetitive moderate-to-heavy drinking in fact suppresses testosterone

Bottom line: a drink or two post-mountain won’t cause much harm, but hitting the ski town bars can easily turn a night around. Such overconsumption will very easily overwrite the hard work your muscles have done and will tire you out for the next day of shredding powder. 

Here are some suggested beverages to pack along for the weekend and enjoy at the end of your chilly day:

No alcohol:

Alkoholfrei – Krombacher Brauerei, Germany

This “alcohol-free” beer is actually 0.5 percent,  but is the closest thing you’ll find to a traditional German Pils, pouring crystal clear with a fluffy mousse. It’s surprisingly hoppy with applely notes on the palate – the perfect post-mountain brew.

Crockpot Hot Toddy (“mocktail” recipe found on Elena’s Pantry)

The kids have hot chocolate and you’ve packed Bailey’s Irish Cream for your morning cup of coffee, but what better way to warm your hearts and hands than a mug full of virgin Hot Toddy? For those staying away from alcohol for the weekend, plan on packing ingredients for the perfect, hands-off Crockpot Hot Toddy. Throw the ingredients together in the morning pre-ski and enjoy a piping hot cup when the sun goes down.

Low alcohol:

Photo: Gimme Some Oven

Photo: Gimme Some Oven

Stovetop Mulled Wine (recipe found on Gimme Some Oven)

Mulled wine is the perfect sipper to warm you up after a chilly day. It’s as easy as simmering your favorite dry red wine, spices (think star anise and cinnamon), and citrus for 15 minutes, and it will impress a cabin full of sore friends/family members. Whether you’ve got a bottle or two of dry red wine sitting around, or want to experiment with yummy extreme value treat such as Cycles Gladiator’s 2014 Pinot Noir, you'll be a hit apres ski with this offering. 

Acquiesce 2014 Picpoul Blanc

Straight out of Lodi, California, this 2014 Picpoul Blanc is sure to hint at the impending spring weather during your winter retreat with its high acidity and citrus notes. This low-alcohol stunner is mouth-watering at a mere 12.5%, delivering all the gustatory pleasures without the next morning’s headache. Literally translating to “lip stinger” in French, a glass of this zippy treat will wake up your taste buds after a long day of winter chill.

When enjoying the final days of winter it can be easy to find spirit in a hot cocktail or bottle of wine among friends. These are the moments that truly make winter a time of togetherness and define long-lasting memories, but it's important to remember how these tasty drinks affect your body in the long run, and how they may affect your next day on the slopes. Cheers!

All the Swirl is a collections of thoughts and opinions assembled by the staff and industry friends of Charles Communications Associates, a marketing communications firm with its headquarters in San Francisco, California. We invite you to explore more about our company and clients by visiting www.charlescomm.com.