Dry July is almost over. Did you make it the whole way?
If so, Congrats - great stuff! If not, don't stress - it's been a crazy period for everyone and there is always next year!
Either way, your health will have made some serious improvements with some time off the booze. After a month of going alcohol free, you may have noticed some big benefits.
Here are 5 positive outcomes you get when you are taking the piss out of drinking!
Everyone has heard that alcohol is bad for your sleep, but is it really? Doesn’t it usually put you straight into a deep sleep? That’s the issue – in order to have a truly restorative and healthy sleep, we need around five rapid eye movement (REM) sleep cycles a night. When we drink, the sedating effects of alcohol often put us into a deep sleep very quickly and we tend to miss the first few REM cycles, because they can only occur in the lightest stage of sleep. By giving up alcohol for one month, you will undoubtedly have felt more refreshed, restored with your share of good nights and great mornings.
2. Weight Loss
Some health benefits of going alcohol free are more obvious and satisfying than others – namely, weight loss. The number of calories you can save by choosing water, tea or a lower calorie non-alcoholic options instead of your usual alcoholic drink of choice is huge. If you were a daily drinker, or just went hard on the weekends, you could easily have hit 1,000 calories per week in any of the following ways:
- 6 glasses of wine (175) = 1050 cals
- 7 beers (150) = 1050 cals
- 6 cruisers (170) = 1020 cals
- 5 margaritas (200) = 1000 cals
Clearly, it is not hard to overdo the calories when drinking. By cutting out these types of drinks during July (and beyond!), you're looking at having saved yourself at least 4000 calories over the month. That’s almost eight big macs! If you chose non-alcoholic drinks (hint hint... Yes You Can has between 60-70 cals depending on the flavour) in place of your usual wine or beer, you would still save roughly 100 calories per drink and 2400 on the month. Provided the rest of your diet stayed relatively consistent, you should have noticed an impressive drop in weight over the month.
3. Healthier Organs
As well as your waistline, there are many important organs who owe you their thanks for giving up alcohol. The liver is up first – it is responsible for breaking down all of that alcohol you drink, and after one month of going sober, any alcohol-related damage to the liver is likely to be fully recovered and its overall function will be much better. The stomach will be grateful too, since even just one week of no alcohol after frequent consumption can normalise the stomach lining and stabilise its acid levels. Finally, your skin will be thankful now that it’s so much more hydrated without alcohol. This past month has definitely made your liver healthier, your stomach more balanced, and your skin glow.
4. Mental Health
While a lot of these benefits are physical, there are important mental health benefits of no alcohol too. This is because alcohol is a depressant – it slows down your central nervous system and in turn, your brain function. This can elevate anxiety levels and increase stress in situations where, without alcohol, you would be fine. Additionally, alcohol can significantly alter your mood, energy levels and memory, making you respond to things very differently. If you’ve gone non-alcoholic for a month, chances are you’ve noticed a more clear, calm and positive response to everyday events in your life. This is extremely valuable to your mental health and allows you to cope and deal with things much better, keep it up!
5. Financial Savings
As well as the physical and mental benefits, there is a third category – financial! It is no secret that alcoholic drinks can be costly, especially if you’re a regular drinker or find yourself spending more than you’d hoped to on a night out. Those bottles of wine and cases of beer add up over the weeks, and the alcohol-related expenses on nights out (like Ubers, late night kebabs etc.) are not as cheap the next morning. If you’ve made it one month with no alcohol then you’ve definitely got some extra cash to spend.