Does Tequila Kill Bacteria?

Tequila is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks in the world, but many people don’t know that it has some surprising health benefits. For example, tequila can help to destroy harmful bacteria.

So, does tequila kill bacteria? The surprising truth is that tequila does kill bacteria! In fact, it is one of the most effective alcoholic drinks when it comes to killing bacteria. This is because tequila contains a compound called ethanol, which is a powerful antibacterial agent.

In this article, you will learn about the antibacterial properties of tequila and how they help kill bacteria. You will also learn about some of the other health benefits of this popular alcoholic drink. 

A Brief Overview Of Bacteria

Bacteria are single-celled organisms that can be found in nearly every environment on Earth. They are ubiquitous and play important roles in many ecosystems. Although some bacteria cause disease, the majority of them are beneficial to humans and the environment.

There are two main types of bacteria: Gram-positive and Gram-negative. Gram-positive bacteria have a thick cell wall made up of a substance called peptidoglycan. This type of bacteria is typically more resistant to antibiotics than Gram-negative bacteria, which have a thinner cell wall made up of lipopolysaccharides.

Gram-positive bacteria are the ones that tequila kills the most effectively. This is because ethanol can penetrate their thick cell wall, causing them to die. Gram-negative bacteria are more resistant to alcohol and are not killed as easily.

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How Does Tequila Kill Bacteria

Tequila contains a high level of alcohol, which is a powerful antibacterial agent. Here is how tequila assists to kill bacteria-

By Damaging Their Cell Walls

Tequila damages the cell walls of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, which makes them susceptible to death. How it happens is that the ethanol in tequila disrupts the peptidoglycan or lipopolysaccharide layer, leading to cell lysis (or death).

This is why it’s important to use high-proof alcohol like tequila when cleaning wounds or disinfecting surfaces.

By Dehydrating Them

Tequila also helps to kill bacteria by dehydrating them. This is because the ethanol in tequila evaporates quickly, leaving behind a dry surface. This makes it difficult for bacteria to survive, as they need water to thrive.

By Inhibiting Their Growth

Tequila also inhibits the growth of bacteria. This is because ethanol blocks the ability of bacteria to produce energy and replicate. This means that even if some bacteria do survive the initial assault from tequila, they will not be able to reproduce and cause further infection.

By Causing Them To Burst

Lastly, tequila can cause bacteria to burst. This occurs when the bacterial cells become over-inflated with water, and the cell wall ruptures. When this happens, the bacteria die and release their contents into the environment.

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Ingredients That Help Tequila To Kill Bacteria

The antibacterial properties of tequila are due to the presence of ethanol and ATP. However, other ingredients in tequila also contribute to its antimicrobial activity. These include-

Agave tequilana polysaccharide (ATP)- This compound inhibits the growth of certain types of bacteria.

Furanones- These are organic compounds that have antimicrobial properties. They are found in the Weber Blue Agave plant,

Fructans- Fructans are a type of sugar that can help to kill bacteria. Tequila is distilled from the agave plant, which contains a high amount of fructans.

Linalool- Linalool is an aromatic compound that has antimicrobial properties. It’s produced from the agave plant and is found in high amounts in tequila.

Phenols- Phenols are compounds that have antiseptic and disinfectant properties. They are found in high concentrations in tequila.

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Bacteria That Are Killed By Tequila

Tequila is effective against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. However, it is more effective against Gram-positive bacteria. This is because tequila can damage their cell walls more easily.

Some of the specific types of bacteria that tequila can kill include:

Staphylococcus aureus- This is a type of bacteria that can cause skin infections, food poisoning, and pneumonia.

Escherichia coli- This is a type of bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal illness, and sepsis.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa- This is a type of bacteria that can cause respiratory infections, skin infections, and blood poisoning.

Enterococcus faecalis- This is a type of bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal illness, and sepsis.

Bacillus cereus- This is a type of bacteria that can cause food poisoning.

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Other Benefits To Drinking Tequila That Go Beyond Its Antibacterial Properties

Yes, there are other benefits to drinking tequila that go beyond its antibacterial properties. It has some other benefits including-

Antioxidants- Tequila is a great source of antioxidants, which can help protect your body against disease.

Flavonoids- Tequila contains compounds called flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to neutralize free radicals in the body, which are harmful molecules that can damage cells.

Terpenes- Tequila also contains compounds called terpenes, which have antimicrobial properties. This means that they can help to kill bacteria and other microbes in the body.

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Something More You Need To Know About Drinking Tequila For Your Health’s Sake

Yes, there are a few things you should keep in mind when drinking tequila for your health’s sake.

  • First, make sure to drink it in moderation. Too much alcohol can have negative effects on your health.
  • Second, avoid drinking tequila on an empty stomach. Eating food will help to slow down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream and reduce its potentially harmful effects.
  • Finally, be sure to choose a quality tequila that is 100% agave-based for the best results.


Tequila is a great choice for an alcoholic drink that also has antibacterial properties. It can kill a variety of bacteria, including some that can cause serious illnesses. In addition to its antibacterial properties, tequila also has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.

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