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NoLo Drinks: Can They Help Reduce Alcohol Harm?

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It’s no secret, people love alcoholic beverages.  Wherever people gather to socialize or celebrate, alcoholic beverages are available in abundance.  But, the fun is short-lived when it leads to alcohol use disorders and the many consequences that follow.  Can NoLo drinks help reduce the harm caused by alcoholic beverages?  Here’s what you should know.

In the United States alone, more than 14 million adults have an alcohol use disorder.  Alcohol is also one of the leading causes of preventable death, taking more than 95,000 lives every year.

The good news is that new alternatives are available to help people reduce their alcohol intake.  Alcohol-free and low-alcohol products are a fast-growing market today.  People are switching to these beverages for several reasons, but we have to ask whether the drinks can reduce alcohol harm.

What Are NoLo Drinks?

What are NoLo drinks?  NoLo is the term used to describe alcohol-free and low-alcohol beverages.   According to the National Library of Medicine, they are: 

“Beverages (such as beer, spirits, wine, and cocktails) that normally contain ethanol as an ingredient but are produced with ethanol completely removed or significantly reduced.”

Many supermarkets and bars offer a wide selection of beverages with various terminologies such as no, free, light, low, zero,  and reduced.  It’s not always clear what the different terms mean and which is best for reducing alcohol consumption.

Here’s a breakdown of the ABV percentages of NoLo drinks as recommended by the National Library of Medicine:

>  Low-alcohol

>  De-alcoholised

>  Alcohol-free

>  Non-alcoholic

No more than 1.2% ABV

No more than 0.5% ABV

No more than 0.05% ABV

Not to be used for beverages with a name commonly associated with alcohol

People choose NoLo drinks for several reasons such as:

  • To cut down on alcohol intake
  • They like the taste
  • When it’s inappropriate to drink alcohol
  • To lose weight

About 44% of NoLo drinkers surveyed said the products did not impact their alcohol intake.  But, 41% said the products helped them stop or cut down on drinking alcohol.

Are NoLo Drinks Safe?

Since NoLo drinks have less alcohol, you would think they would also have fewer calories and carbs.  In most cases, this is true.  But, some of the drinks contain added sugars to enhance the flavor.  The beverages are fermented using a process that means more sugar remains in the drink.

The alcohol content of some NoLo drinks is higher than what is stated on the label.  For this reason, they are not recommended for people with health conditions and taking medicines, or for pregnant or breastfeeding individuals.

Are NoLo drinks safe?  For most healthy people, NoLo is considered a safe alternative to alcoholic beverages.  However, they are cautioned against drinking large amounts of NoLo at one time due to the high sugar levels.

What Are the Benefits of NoLo Drinks?

Several benefits have made non-alcoholic and low-alcohol drinks more popular recently.  Of course, the most notable benefit of NoLo drinks is the absence of a hangover the next day.  

Surprisingly, NoLo drinks stimulate dopamine production.  This boosts the mood in a similar way to alcohol.  As a result, the person gets the benefit of a boost without the comedown.

NoLo drinks won’t interfere with your sleep the way alcohol does.  This means you’ll wake up feeling rested instead of hungover.  Some NoLo drinks contain added potassium, folic acid, zinc, and iron as an added benefit.

Drinking less alcohol can lower your risk of illnesses and diseases such as heart disease or liver damage.  

Why Should We Drink Less Alcohol?

The Global Information System on Alcohol and Health (GISAH) reports that:

“Globally, alcohol consumption was responsible for over 3 million deaths in 2016.  The total global consumption of alcohol was equal to 6.2 liters of pure alcohol per person 15 years or older.” 

The report also states that more than 230 types of diseases are associated with alcohol consumption.  

Although alcohol is known as a social tool, it can damage relationships due to the behavioral effects it produces.  NoLo beverages allow people to have more control over their behavior which has a positive impact on forming or maintaining friendships.

These shocking statistics reveal the true extent of alcohol abuse and highlight the urgent need to reduce those numbers.  Providing access to professional alcohol addiction treatment is one way to accomplish that goal.

Design for Change Will Help You Beat Alcohol Use Disorder 

Alcohol can be a destructive foe that is hard to defeat.  You can achieve your goal of quitting alcohol use with the help of our customized treatment plans. 

Design for Change Recovery provides a comforting, secure setting in beautiful Lancaster, California.  Our staff are compassionate, skilled professionals who want each of our clients to overcome substance use and move forward to enjoy a productive, happy lifestyle.

Contact us today by phone, email, or online.  One of our representatives will be available to answer your questions and recommend a treatment approach that accommodates your needs.


  • – Defining No and Low (NoLo) Alcohol Products
  • – Global Information System on Alcohol and Health
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