Go 'Dry for January' And Feel The Benefits
As the holiday period comes to and end we may be feeling the effects that over-indulging on alcohol has had on our bodies. Staring off the new year by swapping the 'Sav Blanc' for a non-alcoholic beverage is a great way to begin.
Some of us need a real 'detox' so to speak, so going 'Dry for January' may be just what the doctor ordered. If you take the plunge and decide to remove alcohol for this month, here are some of the benefits you may experience:
A Happier Stomach
Avoiding alcohol for a month will give your stomach lining a chance to heal. If you suffer from inflammation of the stomach lining – normally characterised by indigestion, nausea and vomiting – expect to feel a marked improvement after four weeks of abstinence!
Better Sleep Quality
If you think that half a bottle of red is a sure-fire way to send you to sleep, then you’re slightly off the mark. Sure, alcohol can make you feel drowsy, but it can also cause you to wake up in the middle of the night more frequently and therefore decrease the amount of ‘proper’ (scientific word: restorative) sleep you have overall. Bottom line: alcohol and sleep aren't friends. So you can expect to feel more rested when you’re not drinking.
A Boosted Immune System
Drinking often goes hand in hand with late nights, disrupted sleep and painful next-day hangovers – none of which are conducive to a healthy immune system. Drinking can leave you susceptible to illnesses, so taking a break may give you an added boost in this area. It won’t make you superhuman, but better sleep and earlier nights might mean that you finally kick that stubborn sniffle.
Decreased Liver Fat
At the four-week mark, your live fat will have reduced by 15-20%, increasing its ability to filter toxins out of the body and dramatically reducing your chance of developing cirrhosis.
According to a study published in The International Journal of Cosmetic Science, the most significant improvement in your skin occurs after a month of avoiding alcohol. Since alcohol dehydrates your body, pulling moisture out of the skin reduces its ability to perform its normal barrier protective function and appear healthy and vibrant. When skin becomes too dry, it is more likely to wrinkle and appear ‘dull,’ so expect to see glowing, plump skin in exchange for a sober month.
Then there’s the not so peachy stuff… If you’re a ‘heavy’ drinker (regularly consume more than eight drinks per week), you may experience symptoms of withdrawal. Your blood pressure and heart rate may rise or you might feel more anxious as your body tries to adapt to such an abrupt break from drinking. If you’re concerned this might affect you, we advise checking in with your doctor before you give it a try.
If, after a month, you’re ready to slowly start incorporating the occasional glass of vino back into your routine, keep in mind that your alcohol tolerance may have reduced after a month of no drinking.