Recently, we’ve noticed posts and videos on social media touting the medicinal benefits of tequila, claiming it helps you sleep, lose weight and can even cure the common cold.

But, is that true?

To answer that question, we talked to Dietitian Elizabeth Vander Laan, read a report from the American Chemical Society and a study from the ‘World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology.’

First things first, if you don’t know, tequila is made from agave, which is a cactus varietal that is cooked and distilled.

Now, let’s talk about those claims – we’ll start with the one we all want: weight loss.

Three-years-ago the American Chemical Society reported a sweetener created from the agave plant could help some people with diabetes lose weight.

Vander Laan says it’s not the same type of sugar in tequila and, on top of that, an ounce and a half of hard alcohol is about 80 calories.

What about sleep?

Alcohol is a depressant, so it might help you get to sleep but Vander Laan says it’s not necessarily restful.

Can it get rid of your cold?

"They used to use it back in the 30's, back when you could order all sorts of crazy things for the Sears catalogue, right?” But Vander Laan adds, “No, there's no evidence to support that."

In fact, a 2008 study by the World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology says agave has limited antibacterial properties, but since colds are viral tequila won’t help.

So, sorry, we verified tequila isn’t healthy, despite some of the claims you may have seen on social media. Vander Laan does say that moderate alcohol use of any variety may have some positive heart benefits for some, but alcohol is also hard on your liver, increases the risk of certain cancers, and can be addictive.

If you're going to drink tequila, Vander Haan says to do it in moderation, and if you're not a tequila drinker.... don't start swilling it for your health.


Elizabeth Vander Haan, Dietician, Allina Health Systems

The World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology