Gisele Bundchen stopped drinking when she turned 40: ‘It is not healthy for me’

Gisele Bundchen gave an exclusive interview to People Magazine this week. I think the point of it was her new sponsorship – she’s the Wellness Ambassador for Gaia Herbs, so much of the conversation is about wellness and how she’s very centered and healthy one year after her divorce from Tom Brady. Gisele moved on quickly, probably because the divorce was her idea. She and Tom worked out everything very quickly and quietly with a private judge and Gisele has never looked back. She talks about that and more with People Magazine, plus she brags about her alcohol-free and caffeine-free lifestyle. I’ve been alcohol-free for many years, but I would truly die if I tried to go caffeine-free. Some highlights:

Homeschooling her kids for several years: With the pandemic, Bündchen transitioned to homeschooling her son Ben, 13, and daughter Vivian, 10, with ex-husband, retired football icon Tom Brady. She also dealt with uprooting the family to move to Tampa Bay, Fla., for Brady’s final seasons of football before settling down in Miami after finalizing their divorce last October. In the background, she was also privately dealing with two ailing parents. “It’s been very tough on my family. It’s been a lot — in every area of my life,” she says. “I feel like whenever it rains, it pours. With all the different twists and turns that life takes, all we can do is the best we can given what happens in our surroundings.”

Giving up alcohol: “Right after I turned 40, actually, I felt a huge difference between when I had the glass of wine and when I didn’t have the glass of wine. It’s socially accepted to have a glass of wine. And people even say, ‘Oh, it’s healthy for you.’ Well, it is not healthy for me. If you want to ask of your body what I ask of my body, which is a lot, I can’t be having all these things (alcohol, caffeine) because they add up… I became more clear [after I stopped]. I felt a bit more foggy before. Now I’m very sharp and very present and I notice things that I didn’t notice before. When I’m not drinking, I’m sleeping much better. You have to be loving to yourself. You ask a lot of your body, you’ve got to do a reset. You have got to take care of this only vehicle you got, right?”

The importance of self-care: “No one is going to do it for you. The only person that’s going to make those choices is you. Because ultimately, you’re the first person who’s going to be impacted by it. But then, it’s your children, it’s your husband, it’s your family. You got to put the oxygen mask on you first…. It’s not a selfish thing. People have been teaching us that it’s selfish if you take care of you. How is that selfish? When you feel good, you’re a better mom, you’re a better friend, you’re calmer, you’re more patient, you’re more loving, you’re more grounded. So you can’t feel guilty about prioritizing yourself. Because that’s loving you and loving the people you love the most, which are going to be impacted by how well you are. Because if you’re sick, everyone’s hurts.”

Her kids are enrolled in school in Miami now: “They’re getting to know friends in school. They like it. It’s just all new. But they’re really liking it and they’re getting into their things,” Bündchen says. Vivi, 10, has joined the school swim team and Benny, 13, has been playing football for the first time. (He’s No. 12, just like his dad.) “He just started. I just feel so proud of them. They’re so loving. They’re growing up to be just so thoughtful and considerate of others.”

Vivi is into horse jumping. “She’s like, ‘Mom, I’m going to be a professional horseback rider.’ That’s all she wants to do. When I was getting into it, people were like, ‘Gisele, get out while you can.’ I was like, ‘I don’t think I can get out. She’s obsessed.'” Bündchen recently purchased a horse farm where Vivi can ride her horse, Item, in privacy, but she says she puts her foot down when her daughter asks for another. “Now she’s already trying to get other horses. she’s already like, ‘Mom. They told me I have to have a new horse to jump higher.’ I’m like, ‘You’re 10, calm down.’ Her horse jumps like a meter 20. ‘You’re going to be fine.’ I think it’s fine where you’re jumping right now.’ But she’s so courageous.”

[From People]

Vivienne begging her mom for a second horse after Gisele literally purchased a horse farm so Vivi can ride in peace? The rich really do not live like us. There’s a huge horse culture in Florida though, a whole competitive jumper/rider community where professionals train together and have affairs and such. Just ask Athina Onassis. As for the drinking thing – she’s right about not feeling foggy, and once you stop drinking completely, you realize how often you’ve been operating with a lowkey hangover and how often your sleep cycles have been affected by alcohol. There’s a period of adjustment too, where you’re like “wait, how am I supposed to get to sleep without a nightcap?” You’d be surprised by how quickly your body adjusts though.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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33 Responses to “Gisele Bundchen stopped drinking when she turned 40: ‘It is not healthy for me’”

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  1. Normades says:

    This is something I think about doing often. I always do a dry January every year and I feel such a huge difference in my sleep cycles and productivity. Then February rolls around and I’m back to where I started.

  2. Normades says:

    As a side note I absolutely love her leggy look with the oversized jean jacket and clogs.

  3. Becks1 says:

    I know so many people in their 40s who are making conscious adjustments to their drinking basically to help their sleep. For me, I don’t really drink during the week during the school year, I’ve got too much going on between sports and work and volunteering. I actually love Clevr Sleepytime latte to wind down and go to sleep at night. For me so much about drinking that glass of wine at night is just about the habit/ritual, so I find if I just switch to something else that I also enjoy I don’t even think about the wine.

    I do really like wine though, lol. I like how it tastes, so I’m trying to find a good non-alcoholic alternative which has been hard. I don’t think twice about drinking a mocktail or skipping a beer, but I like wine, and so far the NA versions just taste like gross grape juice. Maybe I’ll just stick to real wine in reduced amounts, lol.

    as for caffeine – I’ve been hypersensitive to caffeine for years now. I have two mugs of tea in the AM and that’s basically it. I do sometimes have a Clevr latte (I swear I’m not paid by them hahaha) around 2 pm, either the matcha or the chai, and those do have a bit of caffeine but not a lot – I think its like 35 mg or something? But that’s as late as I can have even that. My dad can drink a can of coke at 10 pm and go to sleep, if I have coke after noon I’m toast that night.

    My brother quit drinking two years ago and replaced all his booze with iced tea, he basically drinks iced tea all day long and I’m like…….BUT HOW ARE YOU SLEEPING?!?!?! But he is, and he says he’s sleeping better than he has in years.

  4. dlc says:

    interesting. I’ve cut down on my drinking, but I’m having trouble with the final step. Last night I was thinking about a bedtime cocktail and thought, good angel, bad angel. I reframed it as “do I want to be healthy or hedonistic?” Weirdly, that made it easier for me to choose not to drink.

    • Yup, Me says:

      Oh, if you ask me if I want to be hedonistic, I want that, even if I don’t want the alcohol!

      I’ve been trying to cut back on my sugar consumption and something that has been helping has been telling myself (while I’m at the grocery store) “I only need to use my willpower here. Then, once I’m home and it’s not in the house, it’s easy.” and it has been.

    • Megs283 says:

      DLC, have you read This Naked Mind by Annie Grace? The author goes through the “myths” of why we drink. While I’m not sober, it helped me break my associations and change my habits.

  5. Tina says:

    This is where I’m at as well and I’m struggling. Decided I needed to make life changes at the start of September. I’m at the two week point without caffeine and attempting to cut out wine as well but it’s so hard. I don’t drink spirits or beer but I love a glass of wine. So I’m basically miserable lol. Please tell me this gets easier.

    • AnneL says:

      I’m with you. I do feel a lot better and am more productive when I don’t drink. But I love the taste of wine and it’s very hard not to imbibe when I go out or on social occasions. It’s even hard when I just eat at home with my husband, sometimes. He’s a red wine drinker and he’s very knowledgable about it. He even sort of collects it now.

      For me what seems to have worked is just cutting back and drawing boundaries. I don’t want to say I’ll never drink again, only that I’ll be more circumspect in when and how much I drink. Easier said than done, especially within our friend circles. They’re not binge drinkers or anything, but when we get together, pretty everyone is having wine. I think there’s only one or two teetotalers in the bunch.

    • Kebbie says:

      I’ll preface this by saying this may not work for everyone, particularly if you find it difficult to control your drinking. But when I wanted to cut back, I started planning out when I would drink alcohol in advance. Right now I’ve got a vacation coming up in mid-October. So I haven’t had alcohol since Labor Day and I won’t until my my vacation. I started by picking one day every two weeks and then I slowly cut back a little longer each time.

      It helps me because, honestly, I love drinking. I love alcohol and a fun wine buzz. But if I’m drinking wine regularly my workouts suffer, my motivation suffers, my health suffers. So now I save it for special occasions, and I look at it as a treat to look forward to rather than a regular indulgence.

    • Genevieve says:

      It totally gets easier. After awhile, you might even find the smell of wine a bit repellent.

    • dlc says:

      Tina, it does get easier. I quit for a month earlier this year. At the beginning of the month I thought about alcohol multiple times a day, by the end, much less often. for that reason I’m starting to think quitting may be easier for me than drinking in moderation.

    • Lola09 says:

      It absolutely gets easier! I was a horrendously heavy drinker and could not even go 24 hours, physically as well as psychologically dependent. For me things were so bad I needed rehab – without being removed to a safe, medically supervised environment for detox and intensive therapy I didn’t stand a chance. Anyway it was one of the hardest but best things I’ve ever done and am now nearly 5 months sober. The cliche ‘a day at a time’ has really kept me going, then as the days mount up each one is a little easier. Surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people is key also.

      Now to tackle my binge eating… and then I’m sure I’ll finally look like Giselle, right?! 🤣

      • May says:

        @lola09, my heartiest congratulations to you! Wow, you have really turned things around and I wish you continued success and much joy. 🙂

  6. helonearth says:

    My taste buds changed in my 40s, and that has had the biggest effect on my eating and drinking. I very rarely drink now aside from birthdays and Christmas and usually only have 1 or 2 glasses.

  7. Mireille says:

    Responding to helonearth…having trouble with the reply feature on this site…

    Alcohol and caffeine-free here for decades. And after I was diagnose with a hypothyroid, I had to change my diet — more vegetables and protein, less carbohydrates and “junk food.” And yes, because so, my taste buds have changed too. I don’t care for a lot of food heavy in flour, butter, milk, and I did not like salt added to foods. I used to love processed sugar, but now, I can barely tolerate candy, cakes, cookies, and ice cream. But I still do occasionally crave comfort foods and allow myself to have them, but overall, I feel a lot lighter and I notice positive changes with my body. For me, getting older means have to be more conscious on taking care of my health and being careful on how I eat and live my life.

  8. butterflystella says:

    I also quit drinking around 40-41 because the hangovers became 10x and it just wasn’t worth it anymore. I have struggled with alcohol since my teens, if I’m being honest, and it’s a slippery slope anyway for me. I’m grateful I had the will-power to cut it from my life.

  9. Genevieve says:

    Seconding the alcohol-free life! It’s amazing how much of a difference it makes – to your mind, your gut, your sleep. Now I’m working on the caffeine (thank you, hot flashes), but I’m just reducing right now, not eliminating.

  10. Melissa says:

    34 and largely, largely, largely cut back. I travel all over the world, no kids, tons of friends doing the same. We’re in like 12 countries a year relaxing and working remote. So the drinking is considered glamorous.

    We spent the summer in Portugal and here’s the thing. My friends are beautiful people. Like, attractive, wealthy, outgoing, fun, educated. But when I pulled back on drinking, it was kind of gross watching them get wrecked and seeing how truly unglamorous it was. The hangovers, lack of productivity, the aging. I hardly drink now. A few on the weekends on a night out but nothing else. I spent two years as a sleep researcher while doing my second Psychology degree and h impact on sleep cannot be overemphasized. If you want to look good in this life you truly do have to limit alcohol. And suddenly I’ve fallen out of love with my more or less binge drinking lifestyle.

    • Twin Falls says:

      I remember on weekends in college where I wouldn’t drink because I had something I needed to write or study for but I’d be awake when my drunk friends came home and how unglamorous they looked/acted. I definitely don’t need to see my 40+ friends shitfaced while I’m sober.

      My wine consumption since Covid became too regular and it did interfere with my sleep, which made me look as tired and old as I felt. I much prefer how I look and feel when I haven’t had that glass of wine which is more often than not now.

  11. wordnerd says:

    I’ve been going through IVF for the past 6 months, so I haven’t had caffeine, alcohol, or sweets in a while. If I could bring one back, it’d be caffeine, no question. I can’t wait for my next cup of coffee.

  12. frankly says:

    I go dry for years at a stretch and then drink for a couple years and quit again. My last dry run was 2013- late 2019, and before than I had done 2004-2010. Then the pandemic hit and I was like uhhhh, fukkit. Now I’ve been drinking for a bit and I’ve gained some weight and it takes more and more drinks to get relaxed much less a buzz, so I’m thinking about another dry run. With cooler weather (I’m in Florida) I get more active and pressure washing becomes my drug of choice.

  13. Embee says:

    I love reading about all my alcohol-free Celebitchies. I gave up alcohol a couple of years ago but I was one who it took awhile to get continuous sobriety. As it turns out, I had to do so serious inner work and reframing of my approach to the world. So I am here to encourage anyone who wishes to quit to stay at it! Don’t give up on yourself and don’t beat yourself up for the challenges and setbacks. I used every resource I could access and it still took years. It was completely worth it. I only wish I had quit earlier!

  14. kgeo says:

    My husband has been having health problems for years now. He quit drinking a lot years ago, but would still have one or two every few days. With all his health problems, I had been begging him to quit, (mostly because I thought that’s what made him so grumpy as well). Anyway, I finally told him he could continue on, but we wouldn’t be married any longer. So, he quit, and guess what….except for his back, which will require surgery, most of his health problems disappeared, and he’s a lot more pleasant to be around. I almost like him again. I know he didn’t think alcohol was a problem for him since he didn’t drink much, but I’m here to say, quitting it is a very low bar if you feel like crap and can’t figure out why.

  15. Bienestar88 says:

    I’m the sort of person who struggles to drink in moderation. If I drink, I’m gonna drink until I feel it. Now that I’m 41, I’m realizing the negative side effects majorly outweigh any fleeting fun I have while drinking. I’m due to have a hysterectomy in November and it has motivated me to be as healthy as possible leading up to the surgery (and beyond), and cutting out alcohol seems like the logical step.

    • Ripley says:

      I hope all is well with you health wise.

      After my hysterectomy and ovary/tube removal last year at 42, I found myself drinking at least two glasses of wine a night and also trouble drinking in moderation. My doctors don’t like it for many reasons, but mostly the risk that drinking combined with this surgical menopause isn’t great. Currently I’m on meds for an infection and I can’t drink with two of the meds so have gone cold turkey. All this to say, I do feel better in the morning and during the day without the wine, but man do I still want wine.

      All this to say, I empathize with you in many ways!

  16. Eurydice says:

    I didn’t have to make a conscious decision about alcohol – one day my body decided it would make me sick first before I could get drunk. It took a while to convince my friends that this was legitimate issue, but they all accept it now. Caffeine, however, they will have to pry from my cold, dead hands.

  17. JanetDR says:

    I’m in my mid 60s and pretty much stopped alcohol in my early 30s when I had 2 kids. Never drank on a daily basis, but we used to go out to a bar and drink several on the weekends.
    It wasn’t just getting up with the kids though, it was noticing how I wasn’t as “on” with skiing or my aerobics class.
    I have 1 or 2 on special occasions, but that’s pretty much it.

  18. CL says:

    I have been enjoying Töst, a non-alcoholic wine, for the last few months. It’s definitely not sparkling grape juice! It comes in a Rosé and a White. I like the ritual of wine, the nice glass, the feeling of doing something special to relax, but I hate the sleep disruption, the puffiness, and all the extra calories (and entire bottle has about as many calories as a glass of real wine).

  19. Aidee Kay says:

    My husband and I pretty much gave up alcohol this year. We have had cocktails once and champagne once since February, both times for major celebratory events. We drank our way through the COVID lockdown — I’m not ashamed, we did what we felt we had to do to psychologically endure it — but early this year, we both started having health issues. So, we cut out alcohol (again, except for a special occasion like every three months), and our health improved dramatically. It’s amazing how little we miss alcohol, given how much of it we drank in 2020 through 2022. We only miss bars — cool design-y bars with cutting-edge mixologists and interesting crowds are great “third spaces” to hang in. But eh. Beautiful restaurants and cute little cafés also exist.

  20. kd1402 says:

    My fiancé doesnt drink and my relationship before was with an alcoholic ex that was in denial about they’re alcoholism. Seeing that really turned me off of drinking and my ex would drink all of my alcohol anyway so I stopped buying it. I realized my life is better without it and I’m literally buying drinks to mask the taste so I have fun making mocktails now. I can’t mock a good margarita though ha!

  21. Myeh says:

    Great that she quit booze. Now she’s hawking herb water? Meanwhile her ex was on some deprivation diet with a ton of over exercise to combat a mid life crisis and selling really bad advice in that regimen T-12 I think it was called scamming vulnerable people capitalizing off his name… And these two invested in failed crypto, she culturally appropriated a burqa to go to a plastic surgeon’s office. I just can’t with her anymore.

  22. Sass says:

    I’m trying hard to quit alcohol completely bc of a chronic condition and how the medication for it can affect my liver if I drink. I was already in the process of cutting back prior to diagnosis and tbh I’ve felt so much better.

    Prior to the pandemic I never drank coffee unless maybe a once a month Starbucks treat, but not every month. Now I drink it daily. And I’m trying to cut it back but it’s so hard!!!!