Five Health Benefits of Taking A Break from Alcohol

These habits can make a big impact over time—and it’s never too late to start. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional. For some people, heart taking a break from alcohol damage from alcohol overuse isn’t reversible after any amount of time. The good news is that the sooner you lower your intake, the better it will be for the health of your heart. According to slumber specialists, such as the English neuroscientist Matt Walker, sleep is our “superpower” .

When tallied up, the benefits of abstaining from alcohol for 30 days make a compelling case for giving it a try. Here are all the upsides you could see by taking a break from booze during Dry January .

It will boost your immune system

If you’ve been questioning your relationship with alcohol or wondering if a break might yield anything positive as far as mental and physical health are concerned, the answer is yes. We’ve compiled some of our favorite science-backed reasons for taking a break, and if after reading you’re curious about taking a break, check out our free app. Each of these breaks offers mental or physical (or both!) health benefits, which is why we take them in the first place. Taking a break from alcohol—even a short one—also provides a wealth of benefits.

Which fruit is not good for liver?

Consuming large amounts of fructose-rich fruits like raisins, dry fruits can result in inflammation and fatty liver. This is because the sugar present in fruits, known as fructose, can cause abnormal amounts of fat in the blood when consumed in large amounts.

Alcohol use can alter your gut microbiome, which is responsible for key bodily functions like digestion. Your gut microbiome is full of bacteria, both good and bad, that, when properly balanced, help regulate different processes in the body. When your gut microbiome is thrown out of whack, you may experience more direct digestive woes and/or less obvious side effects of a disrupted microbiome like fatigue, sugar cravings, and inflammatory skin conditions. Recent studies show that the average drinker in America spends an average of $34 a month on alcoholic beverages. Those who go dry in January often make and stick to wiser spending choices around alcohol for the rest of the year. There has also been an overall rise in excessive drinking since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused experts to encourage alcohol consumers to start taking charge of their habits. It’s OK in moderate amounts — which means no more than 1 drink a day for women — no more than 2 per day for men.

Taking a Break From Alcohol

Many people turn to Dry January as a motivator to start off the new year alcohol-free. Improved Skin– Alcohol is a diuretic which dehydrates the body and can contribute to dry skin and premature aging. The question of whether temporary abstinence like Dry January will improve health “depends on what happens on the other end of Dry January,” Gakidou said. Some research has found there to be no safe amount of alcohol, while other studies suggest a moderate amount may be protective for the cardiovascular system. In the U.K., Dry January is a formal campaign entering its 10th year. According to Alcohol Change UK, last year, 130,00 people participated.

I would certainly recommend anyone who drinks more than the CDC-recommended amount to take a breather from boozing for at least a month. As well as giving your body and brain a rest, it enables you to think more clearly and gives you space to reassess your relationship with alcohol. While alcohol is high in calories, and wine, beer, and mixed drinks add sugar to one’s diet, Kumar says cutting it out may or may not help to lose weight.

Hit Pause on Drinking

Alcohol saps your body’s hydration—and it’s widely known that your skin needs hydration to stay plump and healthy. Josep Genebriera, M.D., a dermatologist at Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, points out that drinking causes both short-term flushing and long-term changes to your skin. When your body breaks down alcohol, it triggers the release of hormones like estrogen and histamine. It can also enlarge or damage blood vessels—all of which have the ability to impact your skin’s appearance. The researchers also followed up with participants six months after the dry month and found that they had maintained lower alcohol use, and anecdotally, participants reported better concentration and sleep, Mehta said. When you’re not drinking alcohol, Podesta notes, you’re also not drinking all the other things that are in alcoholic beverages. “Not only do have alcohol in them,” she says, “but they also have a lot of empty calories and sugars in them.

  • Trade a Bad Habit for a Good One– Trying to rewire years of conditioning is hard.
  • And once you start to bring awareness to your relationship to alcohol, it just doesn’t look the same ever again.
  • “Unhealthy alcohol use can impair your immune system and ability to recover from illnesses,” he says.
  • In addition to the physical benefits, dry January can also improve your relationships and give you a sense of accomplishment.
  • With a racing heart, mulling over your choices with gloom, and trying desperately to fall back asleep?
  • Additionally, taking a break from alcohol can help to reduce stress, as well as reduce the risk of developing serious diseases such as cancer or heart disease.

It might take a little time to get there, depending on how often you drink and how much, but feeling physically better will come after all of the toxins are out of your system. Likewise, over time, the body becomes dependent on alcohol to function normally, because long-term alcohol use actually has the power to alter the body’s chemistry, as mentioned above. “Even taking a break or cutting back on alcohol could reduce your chances of these conditions,” says Mehta. This year’s Dry January resolutions come as the nation approaches the third year of the covid pandemic. Early on, as lockdowns went into place, many Americans found themselves drinking more. An American Psychological Association survey found that nearly a quarter of Americans reported drinking more to cope with the stress of the pandemic.

Ways to Navigate Your First Sober Company Holiday Party

“Dry January” is a month when many people voluntarily stop drinking alcohol after the excesses of December and start the new year on a sober, clearer, more refreshed and healthy note. Women have increased their alcohol consumption at a higher rate than men, particularly their heavy drinking days — those when they have four or more drinks within a couple hours, she noted. Hangovers, or alcohol withdrawal, cause hormonal changes, too, which explains why we might feel so crummy after drinking.

benefits of taking a break from alcohol

Whenever you decide to take a break from alcohol, whether it be during a designated sober month or any other time of the year, the NIAAA website, Rethinking Drinking, has strategies that can help you stop drinking. These include tips for cutting down or quitting, reminder strategies to help you remember why and how you decided to do it, and ways your family and friends can support you. All these strategies can help you stay motivated in your efforts to take a break from alcohol. Rethinking Drinking is also a tool for helping you examine your relationship with alcohol.

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