After the boozy festive parties and the coming of a new year, it might be a good idea to consider using the month of January to give your body a bit of a charge and a reset. Giving up alcohol for a few weeks or a month might be something to consider. We’re talking going completely dry. No cheeky glass of red after work, no pint with your Sunday roast – sounds hard, but believe us; it’ll be worth it!
We know you all know this already – but alcohol really affects your body. Excessive drinking is classed as anything over eight drinks per week for a woman – lower than you thought right? So even if you drink nothing but green smoothies all week, it’s not going to counteract the bottle of wine and six vodkas you drank on Saturday night. As well as the killer hangovers, lack of productivity and cringing embarrassment that alcohol can cause, there is also evidence to suggest that alcohol increases your risk of certain cancers, including breast and bowel cancer. It can also lead to pancreatitis, diabetes, high blood pressure and is reported to affect your fertility.
Now that you’re suitably scared, lets look into why giving up alcohol for one month can do you a whole world of good. Sure it might mean missing out on a couple of after-work drinks – but use it as an excuse to get in the gym, try out new recipes, binge on Netflix – anything to keep you out of the pub for a few weeks…
Our Booze-Free Month Cheat Sheet
Refer to this in times of need:
- Sporting performance. Have you ever tried interval training on a tequila hangover? It is no fun. At all. With no boozy Friday nights, you’ll find you have a whole extra morning to fit in an additional training session. Whether you’re working towards your first half marathon or training with your team – non-hungover sessions are sure to give you a boost.
- Help your insides. Four weeks may not seem like very long, but the healing effects an alcohol-free month can have on your body can be huge! In just four weeks you will see your blood cholesterol levels drop – which is great news for your heart.
- Love you liver. On a similar theme, a month off the sauce can reverse the dangerous fat accumulation around your liver that can be a prelude to liver damage.
- Lose weight. No matter what you’re training for, it’s important to keep an eye on your weight. Alcohol is a major source of totally empty calories – whilst providing zero vitamins or minerals. Cut it out to help hit your weight goals.
- Boost your immunity. It’s autumn and bugs and colds are flying around everywhere. Quitting alcohol can boost your natural immunity so you’ll be more equipped to fight them off.
- More clarity. Alcohol has a dulling effect on your senses and brainwork – not ideal if you’re aiming for a promotion at work. A month without booze can improve your decision-making skills, rationality and brain function; perfect in the office and for team sports.
- Feel happier. Alcohol is actually a depressant – hard to believe when you think of your euphoric vodka high when they played The Killers on Friday night, but we’ve all been there the morning after (or even on the night bus) – feeling weepy for no specific reason. Quitting alcohol can stabilise your emotions and manage how you feel for a more consistent state of harmony and calm.
- Sleep like a baby. Alcohol reduces both the quality and quantity of rest – although a strong whisky might knock you out, it won’t be restful sleep and you’ll often wake up earlier than intended. Going to bed sober consistently should leave you feeling much more refreshed when you wake up.
- Super skin. Alcohol is incredibly dehydrating and, as a result, can prematurely age your skin. Less alcohol in your system means you’ll also be able to absorb more vitamin A – leaving your skin looking gorgeously glowing.
- Save money. As well as the negative effects on your body – alcohol can also damage your bank balance. Think of a boozy night out every week at £40 a pop. That’s an additional £160 you’re gaining that can go straight into your savings *