Does Alcohol Contain Gluten?

Does Alcohol Contain Gluten?

Having Celiac or gluten-allergy does not only deprive a person of having some of the most mouth-watering foods and delicacies but also from certain sauces and even many of the commonly consumed drinks.

Yes, you read that right. The reason you might still be experiencing discomfort even after cutting out various gluten-containing foods items, snacks and sauces may be because of the drinks that are in your diet.

What drink might be possibly still messing up your health?

The answer to that question is alcohol. In today’s time, it is not shocking to see even young adults indulging in alcohol. With the increase of stress levels among the younger population, the consumption of alcohol has also grown.

Generally, any person can have a drink sometimes without any side effects with the exception of the ones having specific health conditions like people suffering from Celiac or having gluten sensitivity.

RELATED: 7 Tips For An Effective Gluten-free Diet 

However, people do not refrain from alcohol even when they have a developed gluten sensitivity because many do not consider the fact that the alcohol they drink might contain some amount of gluten.

Does alcohol really contain gluten?

You might be surprised to find out that many of the types of alcohol you enjoy drinking do contain the protein gluten. That’s because the proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye are one of the main ingredients in many alcohols.

For the people who have mild gluten sensitivity or do not just prefer having gluten in their diet, this is not that much of the issue. People with sensitivity can drink alcohol but only in controlled amounts to not cause a reaction.

People who just do not want gluten in their diets can either make an exception in their preference of drinks or just do it that way anyone having gluten sensitivity would and have it only in a restricted amount.

However, for the ones suffering from the autoimmune disease Celiac or having gluten intolerance, having alcohol or other beverages with gluten can lead to health serious issues from headaches, bloating and abdominal pain to liver issues, chronic fatigue syndrome, or intestinal damage.

Which are the most harmful drinks out of all?

If you are a lover of beer and cider and have Celiac or gluten intolerance, there is bad news for you. Beer and cider are the most harmful out of all other drinks for someone with gluten intolerance and Celiac disease.

Most of the widely consumed beers contain around two grams of protein per twelve ounces which is just enough to lead to a reaction in someone with Celiac.  Many of the popular beers are in fact, brewed from gluten-containing grains.

When it comes to ciders, many assume that they are gluten-free since they are brewed from fruits such as apples. If you read the labels behind the ciders you will find out that they have additional ingredients as well like barely.

In a similar way, most of the types of vodka are brewed from grains and you might want to stay away from them if you are severely allergic to gluten.

There are also the ones without grain protein such as Blue Ice Vodka’s American potato vodka.

On the other hand, the comparatively safer drink is rum. Since rum is brewed from sugar-cane, it does not contain gluten and you can have it even if you have severe gluten allergy though you might want to stay away from flavored or spiced rums.

If you love wine, there is definitely good news for you since pure wine is completely safe for people with gluten intolerance, sensitivity, and celiac.

In addition, having a glass of pure wine can actually offer health benefits unlike other types of alcohols.

Sparkling wine and champagne are also not dangerous but for someone who cannot have gluten, it is advised to stay away from impure wines that have a lot of carbohydrates and sugars. Since they are impure, they might even have barley malt.

How can you avoid having unsafe wine?

Most of the wine brands list their ingredients on their labels. It is suggested to read labels before trying out any kind of wine. Secondly, the pure wine brands are usually well-known by the people and preferred more than impure ones.


With an academic background in Food Sciences, Klaire is interested to read about the latest news on nutrition, therapeutic benefits of foods and health. She is a practicing dietician with a focus on improving women’s health. Before joining the team, she has worked as a researcher and freelance writer.

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