More people are coming to understand the vast benefits of abstaining from alcohol. And Edenvale alcohol-removed wines make it easier than ever. We tell how giving up alcohol for just one month can be good for your health.
Benefits of taking a month off drinking
Have you been thinking about cutting down on your drinking? Or giving up alcohol for a month, a year or perhaps even longer? Maybe you've seen friends on social media signing up to a fundraising cause like Dry July. Or you've just simply reached the point in your life where you are ready for a break from drinking for your own personal health or social reasons.
Whatever your motivation, the good news is that even if you abstain from alcohol for just one month, it can have an immediate positive effect – reversing some of the adverse health impacts associated with drinking, both in the short and long term.
Healthy Mind and Body
Alcohol can affect the central nervous system and overall brain function. As alcohol is a depressant, it slows the body down and changes the chemical makeup in your brain, altering mood, memory and concentration, and can stimulate the development of depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.
Cognitive performance is also significantly impaired with higher alcohol consumption. Lack of balance and co-ordination, verbal fluency (slurred speech), decreased reflexes and impulsive and altered behaviour, often displayed after excessive intoxication, are all common impacts of short-term alcohol consumption. In particular, impulsive and altered behaviour can lead to greater risk-taking.
Alcohol can also affect your physical health in a number of ways. From lowering your immune system and impacting gut health to feeling lethargic and unmotivated. Consuming greater than ten standard drinks per week can increase the risk of developing serious alcohol-related health conditions such as cancer, liver and cardiovascular diseases.
These can all be prevented by limiting your exposure to alcohol (try swapping alcoholic drinks for a month with non-alcohol alternatives such as Edenvale), eating a well-balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise.
Alcohol acts as a diuretic, causing antidiuretic hormone (ADH) levels to drop, resulting in less water retention. If you don’t drink enough water with alcohol, you can become dehydrated quickly. Signs of dehydration include headache, dizziness, nausea and dry mouth. Limiting the amount or abstaining from alcohol in general, is the best way to avoid dehydration.
By eliminating alcohol for a month and improving hydration of the body, gained health benefits include improved brain function, clearer skin, better oxygen flow, increased energy levels and optimal liver and kidney function.
With the consumption of alcohol, you might find that your sleep patterns are altered. Sleep plays a critical role in the body, affecting everything from appetite and metabolism to mental health and the immune system.
While alcohol has a sedative effect (you might find falling asleep after drinking might occur at a more rapid rate), sleep quality is generally poor, affecting both the amount of REM (rapid eye movement) and duration of sleep (ability to stay asleep).
Sleep disruptions can lead to other health complications too. Short term effects of poor sleep include increased anxiety and stress levels, feeling more irritable, reduced concentration and general mood disorders. While the longer-term consequences from lack of sleep may lead to high blood pressure (hypertension), cardiovascular disease, effects on the immune system and weight-related issues.
Even with just a month off the booze, individuals in multiple studies reported significant sleep improvements.
Alcohol enters the bloodstream through the stomach and small intestine and while it’s absorbed at a slower rate if you have food in your stomach and remain hydrated, it won’t stop you from becoming intoxicated if your alcohol intake isn’t limited.
Eventually, all the alcohol you have consumed will enter your bloodstream and needs to be exited in some shape or form. Cue the dreaded hangover symptoms! Considering on average a standard drink is metabolised in the liver at only one drink per hour, if you’ve had a big drinking session, your chances of waking up hangover-free are restricted.
By cutting back or removing alcohol from your life either temporarily or more permanently, hangovers will be a thing of the past. Leaving you more time to seize the day, increasing productivity and daily wellbeing.
Good Liver Health
Most of the alcohol in the body (about 91%) is broken down by the liver. Alcohol consumption impairs liver function, having a negative impact on the liver’s ability to break down fats in the body.
Fatty liver disease is a common yet usually undiagnosed health condition that regularly occurs with binge and heavy drinkers (four or more drinks a day). The condition is caused by the accumulation of fats due to decreased liver function. While fatty liver may cause little to no damage at all and individuals may not know they even have it, if left untreated, it could lead to chronic liver disease.
Alcohol abuse is a known cause of fatty liver disease. Specifically, alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD) (as the name suggests) may lead to long term organ damage such as liver inflammation or steatohepatitis. While there may be no symptoms that you have fatty liver disease, early signs include jaundice, abdominal pain, confusion and fatigue.
The good news is that if picked up early and with the right treatment, including a balanced diet and avoiding alcohol consumption, the disease may be reversible and just one month off drinking could provide significant improvements to the liver’s ability to break down toxins and fats.
The cost of drinking alcohol continues to increase. Have you ever asked yourself how much money you spend on alcohol when out socialising with friends or at home? It is of course subject to where you drink and the types of beverages consumed, but even if you only downed five to six drinks per week at your local bar, giving up alcohol for an entire month could lead to savings in the vicinity of $120-$150, which could go towards other personal needs. Healthier for you and your bank balance!
Why not give up alcohol for a month?
Whether it is for health reasons, for charity or just as a change in your own lifestyle, giving up alcohol for a month has many long-lasting benefits for both your general health and wellbeing.
Edenvale’s alcohol-removed alternatives make taking time off drinking easy. With a range of delicious alcohol-free wines, you can shop the Edenvale range now online.