The Pros and Cons of Drinking Sparkling Wine

3rd January 2019

A glass of Bubbly

Big milestones are always worth celebrating. This is what makes us human. Recognizing achievements and accomplishments in a way that other species cannot. This is why you’ll see people taking the Sunday afternoon to go for picnics, strolling through the parks, or just lazing around in the house. We also have special occasions that are marked in every household’s calendar. These are the days you’ll see people switch to a celebratory mood and you may not be able to tell whether they are the same nerds you work with at the office.

Now, for many people, wine is something that is reserved for those special occasions. It’s during wedding anniversaries, birthday parties, end of year parties, and work parties that you’ll see people opening a bottle of Champagne. Even without realizing it, it’s become deeply instilled into our systems that no special occasion should go without a toast. It’s the only time when even the most pious of individuals will kick off their robes to taste the yeasty, sweet, sourish, and a fruity glass of sparkling wine.

For ages now, sparkling wine has been associated with celebrations and wealth. But what is sparkling wine? You might ask. This is the kind of wine that bubbles up when poured into a glass. It’s the fizziness and the “bubbliness” that makes the wine sparkle when poured into a wine glass.

What Makes Sparkling Wine Fizzy?

The first thing you need to know is that producing sparkling wine is no easy process. It’s an intricate process that takes time and effort. Sparkling wines get their fizziness from the significant high (yet safe) levels of carbon dioxide. It’s this fizziness that makes everything else seem fancy. Before we take a look at the different types available, below are the pros and cons of drinking sparkling wine.

Pros – The Medical Benefits of Drinking Sparkling Wine

Now, you don’t have to feel guilty when you’re seen in supermarkets right at the wine aisle deciding on what to buy. The fizzy bottle is actually not bad for your health. Yes, you heard it right…. Not that you need other reasons to overindulge, but there are numerous health benefits associated with drinking a glass or two of sparkling wine. They include:

1. It’s Good for Your Gut Health  

Drinking a glass of sparkling wine can help improve your gut health. Sparkling wine contains polyphenols from red grapes, which promote the growth of your good gut bacteria. The gut microbiome is necessary for your health and overall well being. This is because as your gut bacteria species diversifies, they’ll help your body in several ways, including:

  • Digestion of fiber
  • Keeping your immune system in check
  • Improving your mental health 
  • Production of essential vitamins 
  • Warding off disease microorganisms

Most digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease occur as a result of poor gut microbiome health. You, therefore, want to ensure that you propagate your good bacteria. Now, according to Dr Todd Watts, the Cofounder of Microbe Formulas, there are various treatments that can help with your gut bacteria issues as well as gut parasites. He asserts that these treatments are aimed at increasing or keeping your gut bacteria in check while eliminating the most harmful parasites in your system. The good news is that a glass of sparkling wine every now and then can help propagate your gut bacteria, thus improving your overall wellbeing.

2. Improved Heart Health

Hey, you’ve only got one, so you better know how to take care of it! Like most wines, especially red and white wine, sparkling wines are good for your heart. Sparkling wine is made from both red and white grapes. Red grapes contain resveratrol, a type of polyphenol that is found in the skins of red grapes. Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory compound that can help reduce inflammation as well as prevent the development of chronic diseases such as metabolic syndrome.

In addition to this, the polyphenols in red grapes may help prevent damage to your blood vessels, protect the lining of the vessels supplying blood to your heart, and prevent blood clots. Resveratrol has also been found effective in reducing the build-up of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as bad cholesterol.

Another reason why sparkling wine is good for your heart health is that the red and white grapes contain traces of copper. Deficiency in copper has been closely linked to high blood pressure and high cholesterol while being a leading cause of ischaemic heart disease. You’ll, therefore, be doing your heart some good by regularly including a glass of sparkling wine in your diet.

3. Improving Your Skin

Believe it or not, sparkling wine can help improve the look of your skin. Sparkling wine, as earlier established, contains carbon dioxide. Today, carbon dioxide is being used in skin therapy to help rejuvenate the skin in what is known as carboxytherapy or carbon dioxide therapy (CDT). Why go to such lengths while you can achieve that and more from a bubbly bottle. The carbon dioxide found in sparkling wine can help in eliminating stretch marks, improving the skin’s elasticity, and wrinkle reduction. In addition to this, the polyphenols in sparkling wine also act as antioxidants that can help to prevent skin redness.

4. Improved Cognitive Function

Drinking Champagne and sparkling wines isn’t only good for your heart and skin, it can also help improve your spatial awareness, memory, attention span, and overall brain health. Sparkling wines contain high phenolic acid content. This is a compound that helps to regulate the transmission of signals in the cortex parts of the brain as well as the hippocampus. These are the main areas of the brain associated with memory and learning. It’s also been found that sparkling wine and Champagne can help prevent the onset of dementia as well as some brain debilitating conditions.

5. Lifting Up Your Spirits

Now, if you’ve had a bad day, chances are that you may be feeling a little grumpy. There is no fault in that! But this may interfere with your productivity as well as affect your relationships. A glass of sparkling wine or champagne can help to lift up your spirits and rejuvenate your moods. However, it’s important to do this in moderation because too much of it will do you more harm than good. Sparkling wine stimulates your brain to release dopamine, the “feel-good” chemical that helps you to think positively and feel happier. This can also be attributed to the fact that sparkling wine also contains zinc, magnesium, and potassium, some elements that give you that buoyant feeling.

Cons – Why Drinking Sparkling Wine Could Be Bad For You

While drinking a glass or two of sparkling wine could provide you with numerous health benefits, overindulging, on the other hand, could be bad for your overall health and as they say, too much of anything is poisonous. Here are the reasons why drinking too much Champagne could be bad for you:

1. It May Affect Your Fitness Goals

Like other wines, sparkling wines could have the same effects derived from the alcohol content as well as the calorie content. While it’s believed that sparkling wine doesn’t contain a lot of calories when taken in moderation, too much of it can affect your fitness goals. An average glass of sparkling wine may contain close to 100 calories. In addition to this, the alcohol content in sparkling wine can affect your metabolism. This means that your system may be forced to deal with the alcohol before digesting proteins and other nutrients. This means that your weight loss and fitness goals could be thwarted and you might need to work extra hard to shed off those extra pounds.

2. Disruption of Sleep Patterns

While it might seem easy nodding off just after a glass or two of that bubbly stuff, it will not guarantee you a good night’s sleep. Alcohol disrupts the most important phase of your sleep. This is known as the REM sleep phase, the most crucial phase as far as your mental and physical wellbeing is concerned. The effects of alcohol on sleep patterns are more significant among women. So the next time you sleep throughout the night, but still wake up exhausted, blame it on the extra glass of wine.

3. Increases the Risk of Cancer

>As earlier mentioned, sparkling wine can help reduce the risks of heart disease. However, the alcohol content can also increase the risk of cancer, especially lung and breast cancer. But then again, the quantity of wine you take will determine the impact, especially since heavy drinkers often tend to also engage in heavy smoking and other unhealthy habits.

4. Alcohol Increases Your Stress Levels

Drinking alcohol can reduce cortisol levels, giving you that calming effect. However, this doesn’t free your mind from wandering. Alcohol has been found to heighten the tendency to focus on the bad and negative thoughts and sparkling wine is no exception. This is why most people will end up drinking more and more in order to feel better. Most people after having a bad day will turn to a glass of wine, but they end up having the same stresses the morning after because they never took the time to deal with the stressors.

5. Sparkling Wine Can Exacerbate Your Underlying Conditions

People take wine for all the various reasons. Some will take it to calm their nerves while others will prefer it when celebrating. But for people with a history of depression, ADD or ADHD and other related conditions should steer clear of any alcoholic beverages. This is because alcohol can trigger these the recurrence of conditions, often making them worse. However, this may also depend on the severity of the said condition as well as the amount of wine consumed in a single sitting. If you’re taking any medication, whether due to the aforementioned conditions or other medical issues, it’s important to consult with your doctor because some medications don’t work well with alcohol.

Types of Sparkling Wine

You may, for the benefit of the doubt, want to try out a bottle of sparkling because of one or two of its health benefits. But navigating through the sparkling wine aisle can be a bit daunting. There are several types of sparkling wines depending on the places they are produced. To help narrow down your search, below are four of the most popular types of sparkling wine you may come across.

  • Champagne – Champagne is arguably the most celebrated type of sparkling wine in the world. The name Champagne is derived from a region of Champagne in France. The popularity of Champagne has to be because of its versatility. It’s a great sparkling wine that goes with just about any type of meal and can be used in any celebration or occasion.
  • Cava – Cava is a popular sparkling wine from a famous town in Spain called Catalonia. Cava is made from an assortment of grapes, including Parellada, Macabeo, or Xarelto grapes that give cava that fruity and lemony undertones of citrus and pear. Cava has a distinct floral aroma and is a bit sweeter compared to Champagne.
  • Sekt – This is a popular sparkling wine from Germany. It’s a common wine because of its low alcohol content of 6% and is not as sweet as Cava but has fruity and floral aromas.
  • Prosecco – As the name suggests, this I a sparkling wine with its origins from Prosecco, Italy. This type of sparkling wine is made from the sweet Glera grapes that give it a somewhat lemony sweet flavor. This particular type of sparkling wine is made using traditional tank methods, which gives it a distinct bubbliness that makes it a great addition to cocktails.

Now, when it comes to drinking sparkling wine, it’s important to take it in moderation. This is because it’s still an alcohol-containing beverage, and its unpleasant effects may be the same as those of other alcoholic beverages. So, whether it’s for a christening, a birthday party, graduation, or an anniversary, be sure to take your wine in smaller quantities. So the next time you are about to uncork a bottle of sparkling wine, let the above pros and cons guide you.

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