One in six people are taking part in Dry January this month and will already be feeling the benefit of living alcohol free.
To keep everyone’s motivation up, Somerset County Council is sharing the top health benefits of giving booze the elbow for a month.
It’s not too late to start – just pick a day in January and then stop drinking alcohol for 31 days.
After just a couple of weeks without alcohol, the benefits can be felt – from having better sleep and more energy, to having more cash in your pocket and a healthier looking complexion.
Councillor Clare Paul, Somerset County Council member for health and wellbeing, said: “Giving up alcohol for a month in January gives us the chance to reset our relationship with drink after the indulgences of the Christmas period.
“The speed at which we see a change physically depends on how much a person was drinking before, but changes like saving money and having no hangovers are a benefit that can be seen from day one.”
8 top health benefits of Dry January:
- No more hangovers –
Stating the obvious but, no alcohol – no hangover. From day one of dry January, whatever day after reaction you have in the way of a hangover will no longer happen.
- Cash savings –
Another benefit that happens quickly – if you spend just £15.00 a week on alcohol that will make a saving of £60.00 for the month.
- Weight loss –
There is a high amount of sugar in alcoholic drinks. There are about 200 calories in a pint of beer, which soon add up to weight gain.
- Better sleep and more energy –
When someone first stops drinking, they are likely to have a few restless nights but after a few days the body readjusts and you will sleep better, waking better rested with more energy.
- A month alcohol-free has a lot of health benefits:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces diabetes risk
- Lowers cholesterol
- Stronger immune system
- Healthier liver
- Reduces levels of cancer-related proteins in the blood.
- Better concentration –
Within a few weeks of giving up alcohol the memory starts to improve, especially short-term memory. The brain begins to retain information for longer – making it easier to focus and remember things.
- Healthier looking skin –
Toxins in alcohol speed up the ageing process and can change your complexion. It is also a diuretic, which causes your kidneys to get rid of excess water and as a result dehydrates your skin.
- Resetting your relationship –
Dry January gives you the opportunity to reset your relationship with alcohol – Research conducted by the University of Sussex has found that six months after Dry January more than 70% of people who take on the month with Alcohol Change UK’s Try Dry app or coaching emails are still drinking more healthily. On top of that, they have boosted levels of wellbeing, and much more besides.
Somerset Drink and Alcohol Service (SDAS), delivered by the charity Turning Point, provides free and confidential support for people wanting to make changes to their relationship with alcohol. For support speak to your GP, call SDAS 0300 303 8788 or visit www.turning-point.co.uk/sdas.
Download the Your Health newsletter – providing you with the latest information about support available in your community and other projects helping to reduce the harm that alcohol and other drugs can cause.
Need more inspiration to give up alcohol for Dry January, read our article – Off the booze for Dry January? Then try our top 5 delicious mocktails.