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Is Bourbon Good For You & Your Health? (2024 Updated)

Is Bourbon Good For You & Your Health

Last Updated on March 13, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Scientific research has shown that drinking wine can lower your body’s cholesterol levels and keep your heart healthy. We don’t know about you, but that sure took away most of the guilt we felt when we had a tipple after dinner on most nights. 

But we’re not talking about wine here. We’re going to be talking about bourbon. 

So, like wine, does bourbon have health benefits? Is bourbon good for you? Let’s see what science has to say here. 

8 Potential Benefits of Drinking Bourbon

8 Potential Benefits of Drinking Bourbon 

1. Reduces Stress & Risk of Cancer 

It was discovered that wine contained significant amounts of ellagic acid, an antioxidant that develops during the aging process in wooden barrels. 

But did you know that bourbon contains even more ellagic acid than wine? That’s what Jim Swan, the Einstein of Whiskey, says. 

This antioxidant fights and prevents free radicals that turn into cancer cells from forming in our bodies. So, yes, bourbon works by preventing cancer in your body. 

The same is true for stress. Bourbon contains many calming properties that soothe the nerves, improve blood circulation, and reduce stress. 

So go ahead — you deserve that glass of whiskey after a long, stressful day at work. 

2. Controls Diabetes

Bourbon on the rocks

The ellagic acid found in bourbon lowers the risk of cancer and is also responsible for controlling diabetes. 

This antioxidant regulates the body’s insulin levels and controls the glucose the liver releases to keep your blood sugar in check. A study done by Harvard University revealed that people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes were reduced by 30 percent, thanks to drinking the recommended serving of whiskey daily. 

3. Weight Loss

Studies have shown that bourbon can help you lose weight. This liquor is gluten-free (thanks to its distillation process), contains little sugar, has a low carb count, and has significantly fewer calories than wine or beer. But how many calories are in a shot of bourbon? Of course, this is considering you aren’t adding any sugary mixers to it. 

Many people also use it as an appetite suppressant. 

The next time there’s a party, ask for whiskey neat instead of light beer — your body will thank you for it. 

4. Provides Healthy Cholesterol Levels 

New Riff Winter Whiskey Kentucky Bourbon

All whiskeys contain high levels of polyphenols. These have been shown to reduce triglycerides, or bad cholesterol while increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol. [1

Bad cholesterol and triglycerides clog your arteries, which can cause heart attacks and strokes. Good cholesterol and HDL keep your arteries clear. 

5. Helps Relieve Cold

Instead of hot tea, try reaching for bourbon the next time you have a cold. Drinking whiskey can widen your blood vessels, which helps the mucus membranes deal with the infection. This can relieve coughing, wheezing, and clogged noses accompanied by the common cold. Drinking whiskey can also boost the immune system. 

6. Prevents Heart Disease 

Cream of Kentucky Bourbon

Consuming moderate amounts of bourbon can lower the risk of heart disease, both in those at risk and those yet to develop. 

The antioxidants can also absorb free radicals that damage phenolic compounds within the body.  

7. Boosts Cognitive Performance

Cognitive or peak brain performance is enhanced by drinking the right amount of whiskey per week. 

A study done by the National Institutes of Health revealed that drinking the right amount of whiskey lowers the risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s and keeps the brain intact. 

Non-drinkers and heavy drinkers had a higher risk of deteriorating cognitive performance (so yes, too much of a good thing is bad for you). 

8. Fewer Hangover Symptoms

A man drinking lemon juice

Lastly, while this isn’t necessarily a health benefit, we can definitely attest that this alcohol will leave you with a milder hangover than if you were to over-indulge in gin or vodka

Surveys have also shown that bourbon drinkers have reported experiencing fewer hangover symptoms than those who preferred other spirits. 

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What Happens When You Drink It Everyday 

When you drink bourbon every day, the ellagic acid in the alcohol helps absorb rogue cells that may turn into cancer cells. 

A serving of bourbon every day can also lower your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks, and strokes, thanks to its high levels of polyphenols. But for beginners, how do you drink bourbon?

Is A Shot Of Bourbon A Day Good For You? 

Lemon Bourbon with steak

Yes, a shot of bourbon whiskey a day is good for you. In fact, a shot a day is the recommended amount, and anything more can do more harm than good. 

A standard shot is equal to 1.5 ounces. 

You can all breathe a sigh of relief because drinking bourbon has many health benefits. In fact, doctors prescribed whiskey during the Prohibition Period to treat pneumonia and high blood pressure. 

We have to start by giving a big disclaimer, though — this is not a free pass to drink bourbon until you’re too drunk to function. 

Bourbon can only bring these healthy properties to your body if consumed moderately.

Nutrition Information 

  • Calories: 97 
  • Fat: 0 grams 
  • Protein: 0 grams 
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams 
  • Sugar: 0 grams 
  • Fiber: 0 grams 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can bourbon make you fat?

No, bourbon itself won’t make you fat. The only way it could make you fat is if you drink too much or have it with sugary mixers. It’s best to drink this alcohol neat if you don’t want to get fat. 

How much bourbon a day is healthy?

A single serving of bourbon whiskey a day is healthy, which plenty of studies have attested. A single serving is equal to 1.5 ounces. 

Is bourbon the healthiest alcohol?

While no alcohol can be deemed “healthy” per se, moderate consumption of bourbon, like other spirits, may offer potential cardiovascular benefits such as increasing good cholesterol; however, excessive intake can have adverse health effects, emphasizing the importance of moderation.

Is it OK to drink bourbon everyday?

Drinking bourbon or any alcohol daily is not recommended due to potential health risks, including liver damage, addiction, and increased risk of certain health conditions; moderate and occasional consumption is advised for those who choose to enjoy spirits responsibly.

Is bourbon whiskey medicinal?

Bourbon whiskey is not considered medicinal; while some people historically believed in the therapeutic properties of alcohol, modern healthcare does not endorse alcohol consumption as a remedy, and any perceived medicinal benefits should be approached with caution.

Is bourbon whiskey full of sugar?

Bourbon whiskey does not contain added sugar during the distillation process, but the fermentation of grains can produce small amounts of residual sugars; however, compared to sweetened cocktails or liqueurs, bourbon is generally low in sugar, contributing to its pure and robust flavor profile.

Are bourbons unhealthy?

The health impact of bourbon depends on factors such as moderation, individual health conditions, and lifestyle choices; excessive consumption poses health risks, but moderate and responsible drinking may have certain cardiovascular benefits, making it essential to balance enjoyment with awareness of potential health consequences.

What are the top 3 healthiest alcohol?

Determining the healthiest alcohol is complex, but choices with potential health benefits, when consumed in moderation, include:

Red Wine: Known for antioxidants like resveratrol, linked to heart health.

Tequila: Some studies suggest potential prebiotic properties that could benefit gut health.

Vodka: When consumed in moderation, it is a lower-calorie option and may have fewer congeners, potentially reducing hangover severity.

It’s crucial to note that individual health conditions, genetics, and lifestyle factors should be considered, and consultation with healthcare professionals is advisable for personalized guidance on alcohol consumption.

Which is healthier, bourbon or Scotch?

Comparing the health aspects of bourbon and Scotch reveals subtle differences; both have similar caloric content, but some argue that Scotch, often consumed in smaller quantities due to its robust flavor, may result in lower overall alcohol consumption, potentially impacting health positively.

Why is bourbon so addictive?

The perceived addictiveness of bourbon, like any alcoholic beverage, is linked to the effects of ethanol on the brain’s reward system, leading to the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine, creating a pleasurable experience that can contribute to the desire for repeated consumption.

Is bourbon bad for your cholesterol?

While moderate alcohol consumption, including bourbon, may have potential cardiovascular benefits such as increasing good cholesterol, excessive drinking can adversely affect cholesterol levels, contributing to heart-related issues; thus, moderation is crucial for maintaining heart health.

What are the benefits of bourbon?

Moderate consumption of bourbon has been associated with potential health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health due to increased levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol; however, it’s essential to balance these potential benefits with the risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption.

Why is bourbon so good?

Bourbon’s appeal lies in its unique combination of flavors, including sweetness from corn, spiciness from rye, and complexity from barrel aging; these elements create a rich and full-bodied taste that many find satisfying, contributing to bourbon’s popularity and perception as a high-quality spirit.

Is bourbon full of antioxidants?

Bourbon, like other types of whiskey, contains some antioxidants derived from the grains used in its production; however, it’s crucial to note that the levels of antioxidants in bourbon are not as high as those found in certain fruits and vegetables, emphasizing the importance of a well-balanced diet for optimal antioxidant intake.

So, Is Bourbon Good For You? 

Yes, bourbon is good for you. But it’s not without restrictions. 

Plenty of studies have shown that daily whiskey drinkers have a lower risk of developing health issues like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. This liquor also has plenty of soothing properties that can widen your blood vessels, improve blood circulation, and even keep the common cold at bay. 

However, this isn’t to say that you should binge on bourbon — these health benefits are only applicable to those who drink the recommended dosage per day, which is 1.5 ounces. 

Whiskey also shouldn’t be used as a substitute for a healthy diet and exercise. 


  1. HDL: The “Good” Cholesterol
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