Top 7 Surprising Benefits of Whiskey

The health benefits of whiskey include its ability to aid in weight loss, slow down the onset of dementia, improve heart health, prevent and manage diabetes, increase good cholesterol, fight against cancer, eliminate blood clots, and strengthen the immune system. Generally, whiskey is one of the healthiest forms of alcohol available.

When people think of whiskey (also known as whisky), there are countless images that come to mind. Hard-drinking cowboys in old movies taking shots before barroom brawls, prohibition-era speakeasies from Chicago to New York or just that overwhelming smell of whiskey as it fills your head and sends chills down your spine. People tend to have a love-hate relationship with this particular form of alcohol, but if everyone knew of the health benefits it contains, many of them would likely change their tune and ask the bartender for one more whiskey, neat.

What is Whiskey?

By definition, whiskey is a distilled alcoholic beverage that is made of some type of grain mash. The quality, flavor, price, and name of the whiskey in question depend on which type of grain you might be making your whiskey from, including barley, wheat, rye, corn, buckwheat, etc. Different types of whiskeys are produced from different whole grains using pot stills or column stills. The processes are very similar, but the taste is distinctly different and preferred in different parts of the world. Finally, the method of storing and aging, which is usually done in cask barrels, also determines the quality and flavor of whiskey. A rye whiskey aged for 10 years in a charred white oak cask will taste completely different from a barley whiskey aged for 15 years in a wine cask, which some distilleries choose to do. This results in a massive variety of whiskeys throughout the world and being a connoisseur of this particular alcoholic discipline is intoxicatingly enjoyable.

whiskeyHowever, alcohol is generally regarded as something bad, which could potentially damage your liver, impact your lifestyle, and result in a number of unsavory outcomes, when consumed in excess, which is completely true. If one drinks responsibly, whiskey, just like beer and wine, can actually confer some health benefits to its drinkers. 2-3 ounces of whiskey every day won’t be enough to get you drunk or negatively impact your health, but it will be enough to give you a healthy boost to a number of essential bodily functions. Before we delve into all of the health benefits of whiskey, let’s first examine the components inside this powerful spirit.

Whiskey Nutrition Facts

First of all, whiskey is extremely low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium, and it also has a very low level of carbohydrates. There isn’t much to whiskey, frankly, except for a large amount of alcohol, but in terms of its organic compounds, whiskey is rich in ellagic acid, which is a very powerful antioxidant and is responsible for a lot of the benefits.

Health Benefits of Whiskey

There are many benefits whiskey like helping in weight loss, curing dementia, maintaining good heart health, and more. Let’s look at the most common health benefits in detail.

Weight Loss

Many people associate drinking heavily with developing a “beer gut” or losing their muscle tone due to excessive alcohol. However, drinking in moderation doesn’t necessarily have to impact your weight, particularly if you drink whiskey. This delicious liquor has no fat and very little sodium. It does contain calories and carbohydrates, but in the form of alcohol, and the small amount it does contain is simple sugars that are quickly broken down to be used as energy for the body. Therefore, instead of pounding pints of beer at the bar, have a few neat whiskeys instead, to maintain your weight while still having a good time.

Prevents Dementia

Studies have actually shown that whiskey can successfully boost your cognitive performance and reduce your chances of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Although studies are ongoing and there is quite a bit of controversy regarding alcohol as a treatment/preventative method, there is no denying that ellagic acid is extremely powerful in terms of fighting against free radicals within the body. These free radicals are often associated with interrupting neural pathways and contributing to the slow decline towards dementia. Whiskey can reduce that mental decline and improve our quality of life as we get older. Once again, this is useful when consumed in moderation; too much alcohol kills brain cells and does the precise opposite of protecting the cognitive activity.

Protects Heart Health

A number of studies have shown whiskey to be a major player in protecting heart health. As our body gets older, our systems become frailer, resulting in the less efficient functioning of various organ systems, and weakness of our cardiovascular system. However, a study has recently revealed that those who consume a moderate amount of whiskey on a regular basis have almost a 50% lower chance of experiencing a stroke or heart attack, which is exceptional news for those at risk of cardiovascular issues.

Reduces Internal Blood Clotting

In a related note for heart health, whiskey has been shown to significantly reduce blood clotting. Blood clotting is important when you are wounded so you stop losing blood, but internally, if your blood clots at key junctures in your blood vessels or arteries, it can be disastrous. Atherosclerosis, which usually occurs due to a large build-up of cholesterol, can combine with blood clots to result in thrombosis, heart attacks, strokes, and death. Whiskey is a blood-thinner, so it significantly lowers your chances of excess clotting. It also increases the amount of “good” cholesterol, which counteracts the effects of “bad” cholesterol, further protecting your heart.

Prevents Cancer

Cancer is one of the most devastating and globally relevant diseases known to man. Whiskey has an extremely high level of ellagic acid, one of the most powerful antioxidant compounds that we can consume. An antioxidant is a compound that neutralizes free radicals, the harmful byproducts of cellular metabolism that cause a wide range of diseases, including cancer, heart diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, and premature aging. This powerful antioxidant makes whiskey a very effective preventative measure against cancer.

whiskeyinfoBoosts Immune System

There have been certain studies that have argued for the immune system-boosting capacity of whiskey. Alcohol does have a traditional role in preventing illness and improving the function of the immune system, but the firm evidence was never in hand. Now, we see that the antioxidants and trace levels of vitamins in whiskey do in fact stimulate the immune system, thereby helping to fight off normal cold, illnesses, and infections. All of those old movies where they would pour whiskey on a wound to disinfect it is not just fiction. You can pour whiskey on a fresh wound to make sure it does not get infected.

Controls Diabetes

Whiskey has been consistently shown to reduce the chances of diabetes, sometimes by as much as 30-40%. A moderate amount of whiskey can significantly improve your body’s ability to regulate insulin and glucose levels, thereby lowering the possibility of developing diabetes.

Word of Caution: Although these health benefits sound wonderful, there is also a dangerous side to drinking whiskey. Alcoholism and binge drinking are very detrimental to your overall health and can undo any possible good things that moderate amounts of whiskey can impart. Therefore, be watchful of how much alcohol you consume, particularly if you try to drink small amounts every day. Your tolerance will increase, and you may feel the desire to continue drinking until you feel that “buzz”. That is a dangerous and unhealthy progression. Consume small to moderate amounts of whiskey for the best results.

What do you think? |
37 comments in this article's discussion
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Robert C Long

Moderation in ALL THINGS can benefit all of us

A little while ago I had a cold. I was born with some sort of problem with my lungs and sinuses which makes me really easy to get phnemonia. So when I get a cold I usually have one for like a week and I need steroids to help clear me up. But last time I had a cold, I drank three shots of whiskey. The cold went away in about two hours later.

Awesome! Whenever I have cough in the night, I take few shot of warm whiskey, and this stopped my cough! 🙂


Scotch whisky is the water of life. Don't ever forget that. Slainte!

kally donaldson

Well said; my good man.

I agree with many points here...but one should drink responsibly and in limited quantity to get those benefits...or else it will lead to bad effects

James Edwards

That is exactly what the article states, all in moderation!

Youssef El Haloui

Nice article
but its not true, whiskey destroy health, its doesnt have at first time, u will know that when time passes, mind, health, feeling, all that and more, and also the first things will hurt is ur family, as arabian said think 1000times before decide.
i prefer says the truth bether than lie on u for be happy
Good luck for anyone
peace out

Josh Smith (HomiesGaming)

You are explaining cultural and possible religious differences, my great grandfather drank whisky daily and lived to the ripe age of 97. He wa a very nice man, never caused any trouble and was loved by my entire family.

I know what people tell you, or what scriptures may influence you to think. But don't be a sheep, think for yourself

This is great news! going to drink a bottle a day!

Antóin ÓRiain

I've been saying whiskey was good for me for years and nobody believed me ...
Can't wait for the girlfriend to get home to show her this
Thanks guy

One oz whiskey helps me relax before going to bed.


yes! my drinking has been vindicated... ignite rock boosters!

I will drink to that. At least a bottle of single malt.

GREAT article.

I've been drinking Johnny Walker every night since I was 9 and you should see how well preserved I 56 or 58? I don't know or care

Never the less I maybe....should pay heed to your last paragraph...


This is weird. Recently I had chest pains that were very troubling. I recalled that red pepper helps heart ailments, and researching online confirmed this. Then I intuitively had the impulse to research whiskey as a heart support. And your article confirms the whiskey remedy. I am not a drinker and I pretty much hate the taste of whiskey, so no danger of getting hooked here. I think I'll warm up a shot of whiskey and add red pepper flakes to it to keep my heart and circulation stable. Thank you for the information.

I like this article as I like whiskey, although I would appreciate it if you listed reputable sources so I'm not just taking your word for these proclaimed benefits.

Meenakshi Nagdeve

Hello, article has hyperlinks of scientific sources which you can check.

Contance Proctus

Ya boy, thank you for the great article on whisky! Me, I have a double right when I get up, one at about 3 at work to get me energized, and a few more at night before heading to sleep. I am 26 and fit as a fiddle, thanks to all the whisky that I imbibe. Boo ya.

If I ever feel I'm getting a cold I have a couple of sharp whiskys and it invariably goes away. I haven't had a day off sick from work on over 10 years.

I think it's because you feel sick everyday from being a drunk and can't tell when you are really sick hahahaha.

You poor sucker! Lol

i am a type 1 diabetes patient (337 sugar level) ...would it be ok to consume whiskey and is it going to be benefitial?

First off, if your blood glucose level is consistently > 300 mg/dl see your doctor soon, especially if your ketones are also high. After you get better control of your blood sugar you can talk the benefits of various things. For now your number 1 priority should glucose control. For diabetics in good health, whiskey, rum, vodka, and gin have zero carbs. In fact, the earliest diets prescribed to diabetics were largely liquor since it takes no insulin to process alcohol.

You're kidding right? You're asking this person instead of your Endo? What in the hell does one of your sugar counts even mean for this blog? If you're consistently that high, just drink it anyway to have a fun, yet short life as you're probably going to succumb to ketoacidosis, and/or kidney failure because of your insanely high sugar levels. If you are a type 1 diabetic (and I'm going with, you're not), don't be stupid, talk to your Endo.

I have been a type 1 diabetic for 43 years. I drink rum and whiskey daily with diet coke. There are no carbohydrates in either alcohol. It may be beneficial to you as the liver stops releasing glucose into your blood stream when you are drinking. Keep a close eye on your blood sugars because if you have taken insulin beforehand, you may not have enough glucose in your blood and you may have a reaction. This has never happened to me but the possibility is there...

Do yourself an enormous favour and cut the diet Coke - do your research - that poison will negate all the beneficial effects of the whiskey. That's not the traditional way at all. Drink it neat - if you like it chilled get some of those ice cube 'rocks' that cool the drink without adding water. Really, whiskey is sublime - you are missing all the complex nuances of flavour by drowning it in Coke. Personally, I always drink a good quantity of water after my whiskey to ensure good hydration. Used correctly, whiskey can be a great health enhancing treat, but of course, moderation is the key.

William reddicliffe

Thank you for a very informative explanation, I am 90years old enjoy good health, & I consume a double every night on retiring, Thank you

Here's wishing you cheers and good health!! My father, who is 87, does the same routine. That speaks volume for the benefits of this perennial favourite.

One time I benefited from being cured of bronchitis when I had no doctor, no insurance, and no money for medicine. Bronchitis is dangerous, but when used properly as a medicine it will work for you if used properly. There's a right way and a wrong way to use alcohol, but sadly too many people use it wrong. Think of how very old historic hospitals used to use it before they discovered anesthesia. For instance, Gone With the Wind has such a part where a patient needs surgery, I think an amputation. These were the days when there was no anesthesia, and getting a patient drunk was the only way to either put them to sleep or get them high for a procedure. I'm glad anesthesia was later discovered, but booze can still be used to help eliminate common ailments. If used properly, whiskey can still be used as a medicine. What saved my life was very high proof Crown Royal Blackberry brandy, but in a very small amount. Without it, I would've most likely died of severe bronchitis a very short time later as my bronchioles continue to build up inflammation. I will little bit of some kind of beverage that can be kept at room temperature is very handy to keep up with you as a medical alternative. As long as you don't abuse it, it will work for you, not against you. Treat alcohol like a friend, and it will always work for you. If you have certain bloodlines, you'll automatically know to use natural alternatives, this will come natural for you.

I must finally add that I once heard that in Third World countries where clean water is scarce to none, they must drink alcohol to sustain them. I heard that if a drink contaminated water in those specific countries they'll get sick, which is why many people over there drink alcohol. This can be hard for non-drinkers who would most prefer water, but would fall very ill drinking contaminated water in those areas. I'm actually surprised that they don't have some kind of water filter ration and treatment in those specific areas, because not everyone can survive on just alcohol alone.

I had an asthma attack at my friend's house and I had no medicine. I was an adult at this point and never really had asthma anymore. I sort of "out grew" it. However, this particular night it was pretty bad. I wasn't really panicking, because I grew up with the tight feeling one experiences when having an attack. I knew where there was chocolate in the kitchen so I went downstairs and starting eating a few pieces. I remember hearing that chocolate helps in opening airways. I had also heard that alcohol does the same thing. I grabbed a bottle of my friend's scotch and sipped on it while I watched a movie. I got a little drunk, but my chest seemed to have cleared up. I'm not much of a drinker and I see how people abuse it and ruin their lives, but it doesn't feel right to me saying that it is completely evil.

yes I had chronic asthma like you and what was obvious to me was panicking or getting stressed about it made it much you i no longer suffer from asthma/bronchitis but now I love a good shot of whisky in the evening...if it is good for one then i'm thrilled!

Sorry for the typo early on. I should clarify that what I was talking about is bronchitis is dangerous, but when alcohol is used properly, it will work for you. Sorry for the typo.

One time I benefited from being cured how bronchitis when I had no doctor, no insurance, and no money for medicine.