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Are Bloody Marys Bad For You?



Short answer

Boozing is bad for you if you drink too much. When drinking in moderation, however, a bloody mary is a pretty healthy choice.



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Long answer

Here's the inevitable caveat: drinking too much alcohol is bad for you, period. Drink enough bloody marys for a long enough period of time, and your body will break: your liver will stop working, your circulatory system will clog up, you'll find yourself at higher risk of various cancers - the long-term consequences of alcohol abuse are well documented and do not need to be recounted here in full. Any alcoholic drink is bad for you if you drink it often enough.

Consumed in moderation, however, bloody marys aren't a bad choice. A bloody mary is rich in tomato juice. Tomatoes are high in sodium, which isn't great, but they're rich in all kinds of good things that your body needs: compounds that protect the skin, prostate, and eyes, a slew of antioxidants that can help to ward off cancer, essential vitamins that your body needs, and other assorted nutrient goodies.

The horseradish in a bloody mary is good, too. Gizmodo reports that it's an analgesic - it helps to relieve pain. It can clear out your sinus if you're feeling plugged up. It can also help to curb your cancer risk; it contains glucosinolates, which have a range of benefits but primarily act as antioxidants.

The celery is also good for you. It's rich in vitamins and fiber. It's got no fat and not many calories. Celery can help to fight inflammation, high blood pressure, and liver damage (although not so much that it'll cancel out the vodka). Because of the high fiber content, celery is good for the gut - take it to push back against ulcers, regulate your movements, improve your digestion and reduce bloating.

There's a fair amount of variation in the recipe for a bloody mary: some instructions call for jalapenos, lemon, or olives. Most of the vegetables and fruits you'll find as ingredients have health benefits of their own: jalapenos can cut back on inflammation, lemons are rich in vitamin C, and olives are rich in monosaturated fats. Just remember: no amount of vegetables or fruit can undo the fact that bloody marys are an alcoholic drink. Alcohol is still bad for you in excess, so be careful. Limited consumption, however, is likely okay.

Possible short-term side effects

  • judgment impaired
  • slurred speech
  • dehydration
  • nausea / vomiting
  • anemia
  • headache
  • blackout
  • unconsciousness
  • alcohol poisoning

Possible long-term side effects

  • heart disease
  • cancer
  • liver disease
  • alcoholism
  • nerve damage
  • brain damage sexual problems

Ingredients to be aware of

  • vodka
  • tomato juice (can be high in sodium)


  • in moderation:
  • promotes skin, eye, and prostate health
  • promotes healthy digestion
  • decreases risk of disease
  • helps to relieve pain
  • helps to clear sinuses
  • helps to reduce bloating
  • reduces inflammation and blood pressure

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Ocean Spray Bloody Mary Mix

  • Rich in vitamins
  • 32-ounce bottles
  • Convenient pack of 12
  • Authentic taste
  • Versatile cocktail base
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

View Sources | Written by Sean McNulty
Published on: 11-26-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

View Sources
Written by Sean McNulty
Published on: 11-26-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

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