What REALLY happens to your body when you stop drinking alcohol?
Here are some of the wonderful health benefits that follow a booze break, even on just a short term basis:
The pounds start to drop off
Many studies have shown that alcohol consumption is one of the biggest culprits for increasing weight gain. Alcohol itself is filled with empty calories – meaning they have absolutely no nutritional value – with just one margarita containing as many as 300 calories or more…mostly from sugar. In addition, alcohol fleetingly heightens our senses, increasing our appetite after a drink or two. So, putting down the glass could spell weight loss victory!
Improved beauty sleep
After just one week without alcohol you will begin to sleep more deeply, causing your physical and mental energy to increase. Sound good? Your skin will also begin to look healthier and more youthful as hydration restores. Interestingly, even skin conditions such as dandruff, eczema, and rosacea could begin to improve without regular alcohol intake.
You are less at risk of various cancers
The National Cancer Institute has associated heavy drinking with an increased risk of several cancers, among them: mouth, liver, breast, colon, and rectal cancer. Choose alcohol abstinence and that’s one less carcinogen to concern you.
You will reboot your immune system
Research has suggested that alcohol overexerts the immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to picking up viruses. Alarmingly, some studies have found that just one binge drinking episode weakens the immune system and causes inflammation, interfering with the body’s natural defences.
Many people believe they are not guilty of binge drinking. However binge drinking is defined as a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration levels to 0.08 g/dL. To put this into context, this typically occurs after just four drinks for women and five drinks for men over the course of two hours. Still innocent?
If not, there is no need to panic as these effects can be easily reversed. Even short term sobriety or cutting down your alcohol intake will strengthen your immune system’s response over time.
Improved liver function
Drinking a large amount of alcohol, even for a short term period, can lead to a build-up of fats in the liver. This is called alcoholic fatty liver disease, and is the first stage of ARLD (alcohol related liver disease). Your liver has many important functions such as filtering toxins from the blood and helping to fight infection and disease, making liver health imperative for optimal well-being.
ARLD can leave sufferers feeling sick very often, losing weight and appetite, and feeling drowsy, which doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun. But, the impact on your liver from excessive alcohol intake can be improved, and even prevented, if sticking to the NHS guidelines for alcohol consumption per week – no more than 14 units per week for men and women, ideally spread over three days or more. Follow this guide and you’ll have more energy, a clearer head and, of course, a much healthier liver.
If you are sceptical of the benefits going sober for October could have on your health, we hope these facts will convince you to give it a try!
Martin Ricketts is CEO of Plutus Health