Tonight’s the night! New Year’s Eve is here and it’s time to hang out with friends, ring in the new year and, of course, open some bubbly! I’m a huge fan of champagne (and all of the bubbly, I don’t discriminate for region of origin!) but my mama always told me that drinking too much would fry my brain. Naturally, I couldn’t see how something so wonderfully delicious could be so bad for me, so I asked the question:
Is champagne actually good for you?
Actually, before we get started I will say that mom was right, you will fry your brain if you drink too much alcohol, but I’ve always said that the dose is the key. When it comes to toxicity, the amount of a substance you need to ingest in order to have detrimental effects varies significantly depending on what kind of substance it is. But enough about that, let’s talk about bubbly!
Champagne is heart healthy
Much like red wine, champagne has been shown to benefit your heart. So cheers to your health, as you’re getting similar levels of the beneficial antioxidants as those from your favorite cabernet. Dr. Jeremy P Spencer of Reading University apparently enjoys spending his funding on finding reasons I should be drinking bubbly (as well as other delicious consumables including cocoa), which makes him fabulous in my book. PS, this is not the last time that his research pops up on this list. Also, there was a recent study that came out saying that some white wine antioxidants are more efficient than their red wine counterparts. This sounds like a win for all fermented grape products!
Champagne makes you happy
Research has shown an increase in serotonin and dopamine levels in healthy young adults when consuming moderate amounts of champagne. Serotonin is found in low levels in many patients with depression and is thought to stabilize mood, in addition to helping the rest of the body function properly. Dopamine is involved in the reward pathways and pleasure centers of the brain. The increase of these two neurotransmitters results in the happy feeling you get when you drink your favorite bubbly. It’s worth noting that the serotonin increase was only seen in the group with already low levels of serotonin. The group with high levels actually saw a decrease in their levels. Maybe that’s why some of us are happy drunks and some get mean.
Champagne makes your skin look great
I’m less stoked about this one because it doesn’t actually involve drinking the champagne, but the antioxidants and acidity of the delicious liquid really help to detox the pores when using it topically. It also acts as an antibacterial agent, so you can kiss your zits goodbye and reduce redness. That being said, I’ll probably stick with my regular skin care routine because this seems like a waste of bubbly and an overly expensive toner. Unless you’re Danica Patrick, then it’s just celebration!
Three glasses of champagne per week could help your brain
This one’s pretty controversial, as the study was done in rats, so there are many negative and positive opinions on it, but there’s evidence that a family of compounds commonly found in champagne, phenolic acid, shows a positive correlation with increased spatial awareness and memory. I’ll stay on the side of positivity for this one and hope that it’s actually applicable to humans. Since they’re saying it’s a moderate consumption of champagne, I feel okay with just letting this one slide and calling it another point for the bubbly. Be careful what you read about this one though, as at one point, it was circling that three glasses a day could help prevent brain disorders, but that was quickly amended to three glasses a week, which, let’s be real, is probably better in the alcohol poisoning department.
Overall, there are definitely benefits to champagne, so pop open the bubbly, socialize with friends (another benefit of champagne, obviously!) and enjoy your night!
What are you doing for NYE? Will you be popping open a bottle of bubbly?
NOTE: I’m not a medical professional, so if you have specific medical questions related to your individual situation, please consult your physician. I’ll also repeat, although these wonderful benefits of champagne are great, all alcohol has dangers, especially if you’re planning on driving. Please drink responsibly and get home safe!