Curious Elixirs Review: Are Non-Alcoholic Drinks Healthy?

Curious Elixirs Review: Are Non-Alcoholic Drinks Healthy?


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Curious Elixirs is one of the biggest non-alcoholic cocktail brands in the US. The brand claims to have won awards in the best non-alcoholic drink category from the New York Times, and uses a wide variety of exotic botanical ingredients. 

But are Curious Elixirs drinks actually healthy? Do they contain any questionable additive ingredients? How do real users rate and describe the taste of the drinks? And are non-alcoholic drinks generally a healthier choice than alcoholic drinks?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Curious Elixirs to give our take on whether the drinks are healthy and whether there are any questionable additive ingredients included.

We’ll feature real, unsponsored user reviews of the brand and discuss whether non-alcoholic drinks are healthier than alcoholic drinks generally.

Ingredient Analysis

Curious Elixir No. 3 ingredients

The ingredients in Curious Elixir No. 3 are shown above.

The good news is that this drink is formulated with entirely whole food botanical ingredients, many of which have health benefits based on medical studies.

Juniper berry was described as a “nutraceutical” in a 2019 medical review that suggests the berry may have anti-arthritis and anti-diabetic effects, and may improve immune and gastrointestinal function.

Lemon peel is a type of citrus peel, and citrus peels were shown to have anti-cancer effects in a medical review published in the Phytomedicine journal. The study authors concluded:

“Our results encourage the use of Citrus peels, which is wasted in huge amounts, as cancer preventive food additives and as anticancer agents.”

White grape juice was shown in a clinical trial published in the Nutrition journal to have favorable effects on metabolism and body weight.

Some Curious Elixirs, such as No. 3, even have functional ingredients.

Ashwagandha extract is a concentrated adaptogenic herb shown in a 2021 meta-study to potentially enhance physical performance at the dose in this non-alcoholic drink.

Overall we consider Curious Elixirs to be a healthy option, and we recommend the brand. This is the first non-alcoholic cocktail brand we’ve recommended on Illuminate Health to date.

One of the core benefits of this product line in our opinion is the wide diversity of botanical ingredients. As we documented in our Oishii strawberry review article, dietary diversity is clinically shown to improve gut health, and Curious Elixirs contains a large number of exotic herbal ingredients that most American consumers probably don’t obtain from diet.

But how do real users rate the taste and overall product experience? We’ll review in the next section.

Real, Unsponsored Curious Elixirs User Reviews

A TikTok creator named “CLoInTheWoods” didn’t like the taste of any Curious Elixirs drinks:

@clointhewoods Another curious elixirs review. Is it Feb yet? #dryjanuary #curiouselixirs #wineandspirits ♬ original sound - CLoInTheWoods

A TikTok creator named Sierra had a more favorable review:

@sierra.venetta

part ✌🏼 of the curious elixirs taste test!

♬ original sound - Sierra

Are Non-Alcoholic Drinks Healthier?

Some consumers may choose Curious Elixirs for sobriety reasons, but for consumers considering the brand for health reasons, it may be interesting to compare the potential health effects of non-alcoholic drinks versus alcoholic drinks.

Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption (defined as one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men) was described in a medical review published in the Alcohol Research & Health journal to slightly reduce coronary heart disease and overall mortality rates.

A 2020 comparative study that analyzed data from over 500,000 volunteers found that wine intake was more favorable for health than beer or spirits intake.

A medical review published in the Addiction journal documented that high intake of alcohol is associated with a host of negative health consequences, which has been known to researchers and public health officials for decades.

We can’t find any large-scale reviews analyzing the health effects of non-alcoholic beverages.

Given the nutrient-density of Curious Elixirs drinks, we consider Curious Elixirs to be similar to light-to-moderate alcohol intake in terms of potential health benefits, and to be significantly healthier than high alcohol intake.

We consider Curious Elixirs to be a healthier option than HOP WTR which is another non-alcoholic beverage brand we recently reviewed on Illuminate Health.

Healthy Non-Alcoholic Drinks at Home

A video from YouTube creator Anders Erickson has over 170,000 views and shares four recipes for healthy non-alcoholic cocktails at home:

Pros and Cons of Curious Elixirs

Here are the pros and cons of Curious Elixirs in our opinion:

Pros:

  • Many healthy botanical ingredients
  • No unhealthy additives
  • Contains some functional ingredients
  • Healthier than moderate-to-high alcohol intake
  • Great option for sober consumers

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Brand website charges $9 for shipping
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Conclusion

Curious Elixirs is the best non-alcoholic drink brand we’ve reviewed on Illuminate Health to date and we recommend the brand to any consumer curious about non-alcoholic cocktails.

One of the main benefits of this product line is that it contains a wide range of herbs and fruits that the average American consumer may not regularly be exposed to, and we know from medical studies that dietary diversity can support optimal gut health.

Curious Elixirs has no additive ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy.

Customer reviews on the taste are mixed, which is to be expected for a relatively unique product category.

The one downside of this product is that it’s relatively expensive (currently $10 per can plus shipping from the brand’s website).

Medical research suggests that light-to-moderate alcohol intake may have health benefits, especially in regard to cardiovascular health, but that high alcohol intake is harmful to human health. We consider Curious Elixirs to be significantly healthier than high alcohol intake, and on par with light-to-moderate alcohol intake from a health perspective.