Should you Give ‘Dry January’ a Try? Let’s Explore the Benefits!
If you are looking to make a healthy change in the new year, this could be it.
It’s New Year’s Eve, and the clock has struck midnight. You and your loved ones toast to each other with champagne (and maybe a few sweet kisses)—it’s 2023! Whether that ends your night or begins another phase of the party, NYE is sure to be a fun time for many. But when the next day rolls around, you might awake with a different mindset. For many of us, New Year’s Day marks the beginning of changes. And for an increasing number of people in the U.S. and beyond, how much we drink is one of those. That’s right, we’re talking about Dry January!
It has been gaining popularity for some years, with Forbes noting the result of new surveys in 2021. Why is it finding favor? Well, going without alcohol, even just for the month of January, can provide ample benefits. Some alcoholic beverages do have their own positive effects on wellness and most things are okay in moderation. But the health benefits of going without alcohol certainly cannot be ignored.
Should you start mixing mocktails? Here’s why the answer might be yes …
Quitting Alcohol Could Benefit Your Health 1
Did you know that there is such a thing as alcoholic cardiomyopathy? It typically takes true alcoholism (five-plus drinks daily for an extended time period) to develop this condition.
However, at the time of drinking, alcohol can cause a temporary increase in heart rate and blood pressure. If this occurs too often, it can result in regularly increased heart rate, high blood pressure, weakened heart muscle, and irregular heartbeat.
When it comes down to it, kicking an alcohol habit can genuinely be life-changing. If you are looking to improve your health and well-being in 2023, we can’t recommend Dry January enough!
You Could Lose Weight During Dry January 2
Drinking alcohol is a high-calorie activity. But that isn’t the only reason you might notice a little weight gain when you’ve had a lot of it. Alcohol also enhances food cravings and slows down your metabolism. No, thank you! But this also means that quitting alcohol is an evidence-based way to shed excess weight.
If you’ve got a weight loss goal for 2023, Dry January could certainly be the push that provides motivating results in the first month of your journey!
Sex and Sleep May Both Improve 3
Now here’s one that might surprise you: alcohol can lower sex drive in women and cause erectile function changes in men! Many of us think of alcohol as a way to feel a little more relaxed and in the mood. And it can have that effect. But any more than one drink can have the opposite impact.
And, sex isn’t the only thing that might improve if you cut out the cocktails. Alcohol disrupts the REM stage of sleep. It might make you feel tired and fall asleep faster initially, but you won’t be getting the best rest.
Your Liver Will Thank You 4
When it comes to the jobs our organs take on, the liver is one of the most essential. It basically acts as a giant filter. What is it filtering? Toxins. And yes, you guessed it … alcohol is a toxin to your body. Specifically, it is toxic to your cells, because it damages their proteins, DNA, and lipids. Yikes.
Thankfully, the liver is keeping that from happening. However, drinking can, depending on the volume and frequency of consumption, wear this hero organ down. Still, try not to worry too much, because the liver is resilient! Give Dry January a go, and it will be bouncing back in no time.
You Might Avoid the Sniffles 5
Did you know that your immune system is closely linked to gut bacteria? How about that alcohol reduces the amount of bacteria your gut thinks it needs. It also reduces the number of antibodies available to fight off infection. So, drinking alcohol can increase your chances of getting sick.
Cut out the beverages, improve your immune system. Fortunately or unfortunately, it is that simple!
Our Favorite Swaps 6
Luckily for all of us Dry January devotees, there are a ton of fun mocktail options on the market nowadays! Here are a few brands to explore:
Cheers to a new you in 2023!