Starve a Cold, Feed Hay Fever a Gin and Tonic

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Spring is finally here (in some places, sorry if you’re still buried in snow). Which means the weather is finally warming up, the sun is shining, and it’s time to take the party outdoors! Which sounds great, unless you’re a hay fever sufferer. During allergy season, sitting outside and enjoying a nice cocktail can be more trouble than it’s worth. Sure, your patio setup is totally Instagrammable, but who cares when your eyes are too swollen to be in the picture? But, some science news may help you out. When you’re out on the porch enjoying an adult beverage, you may be reaching for the wrong one and making your hay fever worse. Science demands you drink a gin and tonic, and who are we to argue with science? When it’s on our side and not being rude, I mean.

Hay fever is awful, no doubt about that. But your drink choice may be making it worse!

allergies GIF

Image: Giphy

When your body has an allergic reaction, it releases histamine. Now, that word might look familiar. That’s because the pills you take contain an ANTI-histamine, to fight the reaction and alleviate your symptoms. Simple enough, right? But here’s where the news gets bad. Drinks like beer and wine (yes, wine) contain the same substance that is responsible for your allergy symptoms.

Yep. Beer and some wines contain histamine. So you’re basically drinking hay fever. Bottoms up!

In fact, the histamine can even trigger asthma symptoms. According to Asthma UK, “As well as ethanol (pure alcohol), alcoholic drinks contain a natural food chemical called histamine, which is found at particularly high levels in red wine and some beers.” And white wine isn’t exactly safe, either. The organization says, “64 per cent of people with asthma say certain types of alcohol triggers their symptoms. Red wine is the main culprit, followed by white wine, beer and then cider.”

But before you go crying into your hay fever beverage, I have some good news.

You don’t have to stick to water! Drinks with low levels of histamine will work just fine. And wouldn’t you know, my two favorite drinks are on that list! If you’re an allergy sufferer, stick to gin and vodka. I mean, you should probably be drinking those anyway, they’re delicious and the cocktail recipes are endless. But now you have an even better reason!

No one wants their nose to run into their cocktail, right?

(Image: iStock / alpaksoy)