If there’s one way to guarantee a good - or messy - night, it’s tequila.
When that tray of shots, salt and lime slices comes out, you know things are about to get serious.
But whether you’re actually a fan of the Mexican spirit or reluctantly grimace your way through the ritual, you may be pleased to know that - as alcoholic drinks go - tequila actually has some health benefits.
Let’s get one thing straight from the start though: tequila isn’t exactly cold-pressed kale juice. It’s alcohol, which isn’t generally healthy.
However, various studies have shown that there are certain qualities of tequila that make the spirit a healthier choice.
From boosting your bone health to helping you lose weight, here’s how tequila - if it’s high quality, 100 per cent agave tequila - could be good for you.
Five surprising health benefits of tequila:
1. It’s good for your bones
According to research by a Mexican scientist, the plant from which tequila is made - the blue weber agave plant - contains substances that enhance the absorption of calcium and magnesium in the body, both of which are essential minerals for maintaining bone health.
2. It’s one of the best alcoholic drinks for fitness fans
On the whole, alcohol is not conducive to burning fat or building muscle. But everyone - perhaps especially those training hard - needs to let their hair down from time to time. And when they do, top personal trainer and owner of Reach gym in Clapham, South London, Rich Tidmarsh, suggests people stick to high quality white spirits like tequila, rather than wine or beer.
“Tequila is a strong option in more ways than one!” Tidmarsh explains to The Independent. “With around 60 calories per shot, compared to potentially over 160 in a glass of white wine, you can make some awesome long drinks with soda and lime to enjoy the summer and not destroy your progress in the gym.
“For guys, the booze you choose can have a big effect on your hormones. Ale and lagers create an environment where oestrogen can thrive - the ultimate nightmare for guys looking to add muscle. So pick up two or three tequilas (not 10) rather than your trendy craft beer.”
3. It aids digestion
Whilst tequila may not be your go-to post-meal digestif, studies suggest it may actually be the best choice to help you digest your food. The agave plant contains high levels of inulin, which helps the digestive system by growing good bacteria.
What’s more, some people suggest taking a shot before a meal in a bid to boost metabolism and then one afterwards to aid digestion.
4. It’s been linked to weight loss
Research has found that tequila can help lower your blood sugar. Agavins are the sugars which occur naturally in the agave plant - they are non-digestible which means they act as a dietary fibre and also support growth of healthful microbes in the mouth and intestines.
Agavins have been shown to help people feel fuller and thus eat less too.
5. It can aid sleep
Although it’s often considered a party drink, tequila actually relaxes people by calming nerves, and it’s for this reason it’s thought to be helpful for insomniacs. However it’s important not to depend on any one substance in order to nod off.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies