Alcohol and social events often go hand-in-hand, which is why going “dry” is something that many people find hard to do. However, it’s not uncommon that for health purposes you may consider giving up the adult beverages for a period of time. After spending the holiday season partying many of us can agree that we’ve had our fill of alcohol for a while. Which is why now is as good a time as any to go dry. Truth be told, many of us could benefit from the positive effects that come from abstaining from booze. I’m talking clearer skin, better sleep, clearer mind, and more money in the bank. Check out the many ways taking a month long drinking detox can transform you for the better inside and out.
You’ll (maybe) lose some weight.
It’s easy to toss back a glass of wine or a beer or two while out with friends. But one drink eventually becomes two, three, and so forth. Besides your liver crying for auxilio, you’re also more susceptible to packing on the pounds. Case in point, you can easily consume an extra 375 calories in one night by drinking three glasses of your favorite Cabernet. One thing to keep in mind is that our bodies process alcohol calories much differently than food calories. Alcohol is immediately absorbed by your gastrointestinal tract (GI), which is then quickly processed into your liver. This interruption stops your body’s ability to break down other food in your GI tract, because alcohol is fighting with your body to get metabolized first. Therefore this disturbance can cause your metabolism to slow down and store any food it couldn’t properly break down as fat. Now that you understand how beer bellies come to be, it’s not be the worst idea in the world to give up booze temporarily.
You’ll improve your sleep cycle.
Picture this: after a long day at work, you decide to down a couple of glasses of wine before bed because it always gets you to sleep. Because alcohol is a sedative, this may be a quick fix—but there’s a catch. It is also interrupting your Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep or the 90 minutes after you fall asleep. This is the deepest stage of sleep where dreaming and restorative effects take place in the body and are important to feel rejuvenated the next day. Because alcohol only lulls you to sleep during the first half of your sleep cycle, you don’t realize how it interrupts the second (and most important) half, your REM cycle. That means it can make you feel more tired and less alert during the daytime. Cutting back on alcohol will improve your sleep cycle, mood, and even your focus.
Your skin will look better than ever.
You probably notice that after a night of drinking your skin looks worse for wear. Alcohol also contains empty calories, no nutrients, and because it’s a diuretic it causes you to produce more urine (and more bathroom trips!). As a result it dehydrates you. Dehydration causes the skin to dry out which can make you more susceptible to skin damage (ie. wrinkles, fine lines, redness, and inflammation). Because you lose lots of nutrients and electrolytes through your urine, chances are your skin looks dull the morning after a night of drinking. It also doesn’t help if you’re replenishing with more booze instead of water. Cut back on alcohol for a period, boost your water intake, and watch that healthy glow come back to life.
You’ll boost your fertility
Although moderate drinking seems to have no effect on a woman’s fertility, excessive drinking has been found to negatively impact it. A 2016 Danish study observed 6,120 women ages 21 to 45 to examine the association between pre-conception alcohol consumption and time to pregnancy. According to their research, women who consumed more than 14 drinks a week had a harder time getting pregnant, compared to those who drank less. Therefore if you’re looking to get pregnant in the near future, you may benefit from taking a dry month or two. Even better, encourage your partner to join you!
You’ll save money for your next vacation.
There’s something about alcohol that seems to justify throwing down an obscene amount of money just to have a good time. But if you step outside of the box and calculate what you’re spending on average on alcohol you’d be stunned. According to a survey conducted in 2016 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure, millenials spent $461 on alcohol in that year – which accounted for 53 percent of their alcohol budget when going out. Now imagine being able to pocket that much money in a year simply by getting rid of alcohol altogether. You could easily save up for a nice vacation every year!
You’ll reduce your chances of getting cancer.
Drinking excessive alcohol has been found to increase your chances of getting cancer due to it’s main component, ethanol. Because alcohol is an irritant it can cause damage to the liver, throat, mouth, and other organs. In women, it can even increase the chances of breast cancer due to its ability to inhibit testosterone and increase estrogen. Which means taking a break from alcohol for a month isn’t the worst idea in the world if it means reducing the chances that you may develop these health problems over time.