You'll Be Surprised At What Drinking A Bloody Mary Every Day Does To You

Bloody marys aren't just an excuse to consume alcohol before noon. The tomato juice-and-vodka concoction known mainly for curing hangovers and creative garnishes has some surprising health benefits. If you drink one bloody mary a day, it could lead to a longer life — although the FDA has yet put that claim on the label of any bloody mary mixes. The latest science on alcohol consumption indicates that one drink a day is okay (via NBC News). But if you don't already drink, you shouldn't start. The same scientists who are now recommending no more than one drink per day — instead of two — also say nondrinkers should not graduate from zero drinks per day to one.

So, since vodka is used to make the drink, we'll assume you are limiting yourself to just one. We'll also assume that you're making your daily dose of bloody mary from scratch at home. Otherwise, we'd have to talk about the possible adverse health impacts from unsanitary garnishes at bars and restaurants (via Insider). Sticking to homemade bloody marys also prevents a lecture about blowing up your food budget by going out and buying an $8 cocktail every day (via Spoon University).

The bloody mary's main ingredient is incredibly healthy

Let's consider the basic bloody mary recipe: tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, salt, and pepper (via Love to know). 

Our goal should be to consume five servings of vegetables every day, according to Starting your day with a bloody mary gives you a head start toward that goal. Tomato juice actually provides all of the nutrition from straight tomatoes and more because juicing releases nutrients that the body wouldn't absorb from raw tomatoes (via Livestrong). 

Tomato juice and other forms of processed tomatoes have high levels of lycopene, an antioxidant that improves cardiovascular health and prevents cancer. One serving of tomato juice provides an amount of lycopene within the range recommended for daily dosage of a lycopene supplement, according to Livestrong. The vitamin A in tomato juice improves vision, while the vitamin C is good for your skin. Folic acid in tomatoes improves heart health and reduces depression (via Legion).

Just about every ingredient in a bloody mary is good for you

The lemon juice in a bloody mary is there to help you, too. Lemon juice has pectin, which promotes weight loss — which in some cases can lead to health benefits. Lemons also fight cancer and prevent kidney stones (via UPMC).

If you happen to like the taste of Worcestershire sauce, then go ahead and pour it in your daily bloody mary. Here's some of what you're getting with your dash of Worcestershire: vinegar, molasses, sugar, onions, anchovies, salt, garlic, cloves, tamarind extract, and chili pepper extract (via Health Talks). This combination turns out to be good for you. The garlic, molasses, and pepper extract provide immunity-boosting vitamin B6. Some of the ingredients have thiamine, which benefits the brain. Anchovies contain niacin, which improves joint health.

Tabasco sauce contains capsaicin, the compound that gives peppers their heat, but also acts as a pain reliever and a digestion aid (via Livestrong). Tabasco's original flavor has no calories or fat. As for the added salt on the bloody mary ingredient list, you should go light on that — if you add it at all. Tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, and tabasco sauce already contain salt. Excess salt increases blood pressure, while a low-sodium diet reduces the risk of heart disease (via Harvard Health).

Variations on the standard bloody mary could be less healthy

For the most part, you don't want to stray from the standard bloody mary recipe. A lot of the popular variations aren't as good for you. They all have the same strike against them: high sodium content. Take the bloody caesar, for example — Canada's national cocktail (via Liquor). This twist on the bloody mary is made with Clamato — tomato and clam juice — which has more than twice the sodium of straight tomato juice. Clamato also has added sugar, which would add nothing but empty calories to your daily bloody cocktail regimen (via Livestrong). Another popular variation on the bloody mary theme is the elixir bloody mary, which again is extra salty with Old Bay Seasoning, pickle brine, and bacon garnish (via Hungry Forever). The bloody bull adds beef bouillon to the mix — once again, salty (via Liquor). Best to stick with the standard recipe, although there's no reason not to switch out your vodka for gin, à la the red snapper, or to call it a bloody maria by substituting tequila, as long as you stick with one drink per day, of course.

If you had to pick one cocktail to drink every day for the rest of your life, make it a bloody mary. Just choose your garnishes wisely.