The Moscow Mule is a delicious alcoholic cocktail and one that is very popular thanks to its exciting presentation, fun history and truly delicious taste. The drink is versatile and there are lots of different recipes to mess around with. It’s also relatively affordable and not so strong as to be intoxicating.
But while there are a lot of positive aspects to this beverage, what might surprise you is that it also actually has some health benefits! Now most of us don’t think of alcoholic drinks – certainly not cocktails – as being healthy. This one is no different on the whole: don’t get carried away and think that this drink is going to cure any disease and give you six pack abs. It’s still going to be bad for your liver, your heart, your brain and your overall calorie count simply thanks to the alcohol content.
BUT if you’re going to be drinking any alcohol drink you may as well choose the Moscow Mule. Why? Because it’s not that bad for you. And we also have a few tips that can help you to make it even a little healthier while at the same time avoiding some of the more negative aspects. Read on to learn more and to see how this drink can fit into a healthy lifestyle after all…
This is a comprehensive post so here is a small table of contents that will allow you to jump to the parts you’re most interested in:
- Health benefits of the Moscow Mule
- Is the alcohol content bad for you?
- How to cure your hangovers
- Is it safe to drink from a copper mug?
The Health Benefits of Moscow Mule
Although the Moscow Mule might have some downsides as far as your health is concerned, it does also carry some interesting positives…
For starters, the Moscow Mule gives you a good amount of vitamin C because of the lime included in the recipe. Now you’re not getting a whole lot of lime this way but if you think that you have the juice from half a lime in each glass – that’s actually still a fair bit. And if you have two glasses, then that’s the juice from one whole lime. And if you’re feeling ambitious you could even eat the lime wheel that’s added as a garnish.
Now lime is high in vitamin C, which as well all know is a powerful antioxidant that strengthens the immune system. This means that it can help you to reduce your chances of cancer by preventing damage caused by free-radicals. Free radicals are damaging by-products of the body’s energy process that can roam around your insides and potentially cause a lot of destruction if they come into contact with a cell wall. This can actually accelerate the visible signs of aging if they attack your skin cells and it can lead to cancer if they make it all the way through to your nucleus and damage your DNA.
At the same time, Vitamin C will also help to protect you from colds, flus and other illnesses, thereby helping you to feel your best more of the time. And on top of that, it can also improve your mood. That’s because vitamin C is instrumental in the creation of a neurotransmitter (similar to a hormone) called serotonin – the ‘happiness hormone’.
Another benefit that comes from the limes is something called ‘limonin’. This has been shown in some studies to help combat colon cancer. All in all then, limes are very good for you and the Moscow Mule is an interesting way to get some lime in your diet!
Ginger also has a number of interesting benefits.
For starters, ginger is useful as a digestive aid and can help you to create more digestive enzymes for breaking down your food. This means that it’s perfect to enjoy alongside a big steak down the pub as it will help your body to break down the meat and more easily absorb it into the blood stream and the system.
Another advantage of any digestive enzyme is that they can help us to improve our absorption of nutrients. By drinking ginger along with your meals then, you might actually find that you get more nutritional benefit from the food you’re eating!
On top of this, consuming ginger is also good if you’re feeling seasick according to some studies and can help you to settle your stomach!
Not everyone has cucumber with their Moscow Mules but some people will use this – or add it as an interesting garnish. If you have cucumber in yours, then you’ll be able to benefit from a molecule called ‘silica’. This will help to improve your skin and prevent acne, spots, wrinkles or other problems. Combine this with the benefit you get from the antioxidant vitamin C and you could almost argue that this is some kind of beauty drink for staying youthful…
Except that wouldn’t be true really (the only downside to that argument…).
Note that you can also use your own creativity to add any kind of fruits you like to your concoction. Check out our page on Moscow Mule recipe and you’ll find a whole bunch of different recipes that include a lot of different fruits. You can add berries and other ‘superfoods’ here that will help to further boost your immune system and generally offer a ton of health benefits.
How Bad for You is Alcohol?
So now we know that a Moscow Mule will actually provide you with some interesting health benefits. It’s not going to change your life but it can certainly give you a few added benefits on top of a generally nutritionally balanced diet.
The downside of course is that this is also an alcohol drink. Alcohol is actually a toxin which is why you feel so rough the next morning – that’s your body trying to purge itself before any more damage is caused!
So does that mean you must never touch a Moscow Mule? Fortunately not: as it happens, alcohol isn’t quite as bad as many people think in many ways according to research.
In high quantities, alcohol is addictive, damaging to the liver and can lead to the serious brain condition called ‘Korsakov’s Syndrome’.
But this is if you abuse alcohol. In very small quantities though (think a unit a day) it can actually have slight benefits. Why is that? It’s because alcohol is a depressant, meaning that it slows the system down and helps us to relax. Whereas coffee is a stimulant that puts us in the fight or flight state, alcohol helps to bring us down and put us in a more relaxed state-of-mind so that our muscles relax and we generally feel more at ease.
And if you do this on a semi regular basis, then it might actually be beneficial for your heart as it gives it more opportunity to rest and recover rather than being permanently on the go and permanently wired.
Again: this is not a recommendation to start drinking lots of alcohol! That would be very reckless and have more negatives than positives. But according to studies, it appears that the majority of centennials (people who live up to 100 or above) have enjoyed a little bit of alcohol on a daily basis for most of their lives.
How to Cure Any Hangover
What if you do over indulge though? We’ve all done it from time to time and if you have enough vodka in your mix then it’s easy to do with this particular drink too.
Well in that case, you might want to consider a hangover cure that has been proven to work scientifically and from personal accounts!
So this magic hangover cure? That would be the banana and honey sandwich!
It’s pretty easy to work out what this might be. Simply put, it’s a sandwich made from banana and honey. You’re just taking two slices of bread, spreading them with honey and then adding little chopped up bits of banana between the sheets.
So what makes this such a good cure?
First you have the bananas. Bananas are a fantastic source of potassium which is very handy seeing as your electrolytes are depleted when you drink. If you wake up in the night with cramps when you’ve been to the bar, that’s for precisely this reason. Start eating more bananas and you’ll find that you can prevent that cramping while also preventing headaches and muscle ache that comes from this imbalance.
At the same time, bananas are also alkaline in nature. That makes them a good choice for a natural antacid so if your stomach is churning and you’re getting indigestion (both common side effects of over-indulging in alcohol) then you can use banana to fix yourself up.
Banana is also a good source of sugar and will act as a pick-me-up when you’re feeling a bit peaky.
Honey meanwhile is another great choice for curing all manner of ailments. Honey is good for loads of things and can be useful for treating problems like allergies as well if you talk to the right people.
In this case though, honey is going to soothe you by providing a hit of glucose and also adding a protective layer around your throat and stomach. Great for sore throats following nights of shrieking into the mic at karaoke!
Another benefit of honey is that it contains fructose. Fructose has the benefit of acting against acetaldehyde and neutralizing it. And acetaldehyde is the main toxic substance that gets released as alcohol is broken down. In fact, this substance is the main reason that you’re going to notice most of the side effects of drinking.
Honey is absolutely ideal in this regard because it actively destroys the very same thing that is causing your headaches and nausea.
Finally, you can also get some benefits from the bread. Bread will soak up alcohol and stomach acids when you consume it and fill your stomach a little to help prevent you from feeling nauseous. At the same time, it also gives you some more energy that will fuel you through the day and it can provide salt in order to work alongside the potassium and rebalance your electrolytes!
Is it Safe to Drink Out of a Copper Mug?
One other thing you might want to think about when drinking your Moscow Mule is the container. Yep – nearly everything can end up having an impact on your health and that includes the ventricle you drink out of!
So what’s the concern here?
Well basically, there is some worry that the very copper mugs that made the Moscow Mule so new and exciting when it was first introduced in the 40s might well be bad for our health!
What you need to understand is that copper is a heavy metal. It is present naturally in the human body but if it builds up to unsafe quantities then it can end up causing a lot of damage to your body and becoming toxic. This is just the same as it is for mercury and that’s the reason that there is some concern about eating too much tuna.
Now of course you aren’t supposed to eat your copper mug! But the danger is that chips and scratches on the inner surface of the mug might well lead to small amounts of copper mixing with your drink. These would be invisible to the human eye but still enough to cause problems if you consume them in large quantities.
Does that mean that the Moscow Mule is a dangerous drink? Absolutely not! All it means is that you need to be careful when selecting your mugs.
When you buy Moscow Mule copper mugs, you will find there are three kinds of mugs available to you:
- High quality, premium mugs
- Cheaper mugs that are well made
- Cheap, poor quality mugs
If you head over to our section reviewing different brands, then you’ll find a few options for picking up a good quality mug without damaging your health or your wallet! But if you browse on Amazon then you’ll also find a lot of cheap mugs that pose a danger.
High quality copper mugs are fine. These are made from such good quality copper that you won’t damage your health. Buy from Moscow Copper Company for instance and you can rest assured you will not be accidentally consuming copper when you drink the Mule.
Meanwhile, companies like Old Dutch make much cheaper mugs that aren’t the originals and aren’t 100% copper. In this case though, that’s a good thing. This means that special coatings and linings are keeping you safe by providing a layer between your drink and the copper itself.
But if you find a mug that claims to be 100% copper and is very cheap then just be careful. Make sure to check the company out first before going ahead because you might just end up consuming more than you bargained for!