29 May 6 Reasons why to go alcohol-free for a month
The consumption of alcoholic drinks per Australian has continuously been declining in the last decade according to Euromonitor International’s Alcoholic Drinks In Australia 2018 report. 23% of Australians have chosen to completely abstain from consuming alcoholic beverages and younger generations prefer to choose alcohol-free alternatives more frequently.
Are these abstinent Australians really giving up something or are they actually gaining something?
Most likely, you have heard many times how bad drinking alcoholic beverages on a regular basis is for your overall health since it is a major risk factor for cancer, liver disease, cardiovascular diseases and mental health issues.
Thus, it seems to be just logical to assume that ‘giving up’ alcoholic drinks for a month can only be good for your health, right?
Well, a new study from the University of Sussex, UK, has just shown how much going alcohol-free for one month can benefit your life and overall health and how this lasts far beyond one alcohol-free month.
So, what are the benefits of going alcohol-free for one month?
1. You save money
Consuming alcoholic beverages frequently can be extremely expensive in Australia. With cocktails at around $16, beer and wine at around $10 in a bar as well as $20 for a six-pack of beer or a bottle of wine at home, this can easily add up to several hundreds of dollars a month – imagine how much money you could save up in a whole year by simply skipping alcohol?
2. You sleep better
In the study from the University of Sussex, 7 out of 10 people reported that they enjoyed a better quality of sleep after skipping alcohol for one month. Getting enough quality is essential for your long-term health! If you frequently wake up at night and can’t go back to sleep or don’t even feel relaxed anymore in the morning when you wake up, maybe consider choosing alcohol-free beverages at your next dinner party or work event.
3. You have more energy and feel more concentrated
The same amount of people reported that they had much higher energy levels after going alcohol-free for one month. According to Drinkaware, alcohol interferes with the way your body makes energy. When you are metabolising, or breaking down alcohol, the liver can’t produce as much glucose, which means you have low levels of blood sugar. Exercise requires high levels of sugar to give you energy. If your liver isn’t producing enough glucose, your performance will be adversely affected. If your body is forced to run from your supplies of fat rather than blood sugar, you will be slower and have less energy. As a result, your coordination, dexterity, concentration and reactions could be adversely affected too.
4. You lose weight
Alcoholic beverages have a much higher calorie content than most of its non-alcoholic counter parts. By simply exchanging alcoholic drinks with alcohol-free ones, you automatically cut down your daily calorie intake and this really can add up in a whole month. Plus, you move more than usual as you feel more energised and motivated. Take your Sunday morning for example! Instead of sleeping in and indulging on a big fatty brekky, you might actually go to the gym or go on a morning walk instead.
5. You learn that you don’t need alcohol to have fun
71% of participants in the Sussex study reported that they learned that they did not need to consume alcohol to have fun. You might just get used to drinking alcoholic beverages and it really just becomes a habit. Moreover, it might not even contribute to your fun anymore. You just assume that it is more fun because you learned somewhere that drinking alcohol is more “social” or because you think alcoholic drinks taste better. However, there are plenty of new exciting non-alcoholic drinks such as alcohol-free craft drinks, beers, ciders and sophisticated non-alcoholic spirits. Maybe try out an alcohol-free craft beer next time you are hanging out with your mates – are you really having less fun?
6. You drink less
The Sussex study participants went from consuming an average of 8.6 units of alcohol per drinking day at baseline to 7.1 units of alcohol per drinking day later on. Moreover, the number of days where people consumed alcoholic drinks fell from an average of 4 days a week to 3 days a week. So by taking a month off alcohol, you not only learn to drink less alcohol but also to drink less frequently later on.
So be it now or later in the year, you may want to skip your alcoholic beverages for alcohol-free drinks for a month or so – you will most likely gain more than you ‘give up’. It will improve your overall health and your sleep. It will make you feel more energised and motivated and you might even have the extra money for an extra holiday. And if you are worried about missing out on the taste – keep an eye open for all the exciting new alcohol-free beverages on the Australian market.