Alcohol may be a big part of your life and your routine. In summer, you fancy an ice cold beer in the sun. During those chilly winter months, you may love curling up with a glass of red wine. But did you ever stop to think that maybe that seemingly innocent and comforting drink is doing you harm? Waking up feeling fresh faced, more positive and happy to have saved some dough are just some of the perks you will notice when ditching alcohol.
You can read more here about ways to reduce your alcohol intake. But in this post, we discuss 12 top perks of why ditching (or even reducing) alcohol can make you feel like a million bucks!
1. Better Sleep!
You have surely had some nights where you land up waking up in the middle of your sleep feeling dehydrated, puzzled or with a headache. And then you crash back to sleep again. Waking up during the night is common when drinking alcohol. As alcohol affects your sleep, it lands up affecting your body’s recovery time from the stress it is usually under when you are awake. This can result in several days after drinking causing you to feel tired, irritable and have poor concentration. Ditching the alcohol will certainly help in having a better nights sleep which brings about its own perks.
2. Feel More Energised
Carrying on from improved sleep, you should notice your energy levels improving. Having a poor nights sleep will severely affect your energy levels over time. Low energy levels will leave you feeling dragged down and less productive.
3. Save Money
If this isn’t a perk for you, then what is? Try and have a think about how much you usually spend on a night out? Let’s say you aren’t a big spender and your average is around £20 per night out, once per week. Times this by 52, and you have spent over a £1000 in a year on making your self feel tired and your skin look like an old bag.
According to a survey done in December 2019, the average spend in the UK on a night out was £69.64 (1). That includes pre-drinks, food, transport, an entry fee and drinks at the venue, all part of the package deal of going out on the town. That is over £3600 a year for going on a bender once a week, not including the beers with the lads or wine with dinner. That’s a holiday for two to Barbados.
Some of you may not go out like this anymore, and prefer to have drinks at home, out with dinner or at a pub, but if you work out how much you spend each week it may make you think twice.
4. Better Skin
Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it causes your body to get rid of fluid more quickly (2). Ever wondered why you need a pee more than usual when you drink alcohol? The more you pee, the more fluid your body loses. This causes you to become dehydrated (the main cause of a hangover). This also leads to skin that looks dull, uneven, more wrinkly and dry. Not only would you be saving money by drinking less alcohol, but also saving a ton on going to the beauty salon or buying unnecessary products.
5. Weight Control
Alcohol can be “extra-fattening” for most people. Some people get lucky and don’t gain much weight from drinking alcohol. But for the rest of us, these empty calories go along way and make it hard to lose or maintain a healthy weight. They are called empty calories as they hold little to no nutritional value. So you are wasting all those calories on nothing!
Did you know that alcohol is made from starch or sugar and contains a whopping seven calories a gram! That is almost as much as a gram of fat.
Top tip: For a lighter option, opt for a half pint or reduced alcohol beer. There are even plenty of great tasting alcohol-free beer options available. Order smaller glasses of wine or turn your white wine into a spritzer by mixing with some soda water. When having spirits, have it neat, on the rocks or mixed with soda or sparkling water. Avoid those sugary and diet drinks.
6. A Healthy Happy Liver
The main role of your liver is to help it detox (3). Many of you may have tried going on an unnecessary juice cleanse in order to detox. These are usually pointless as you are trying to take away the job of the liver. You are also starving your body of macronutrients such as protein, important for repairing the cells in your body. The best way to detox is to give your liver a chance to heal and work hard without exposing it to toxins such as alcohol and cigarettes. Eating a healthy, balanced diet as well as limiting alcohol intake will keep your liver happy.
7. Feel more Positive and Happy
When you have a good night of rest, it leads you to feeling all sorts of positive vibes. As you may be more productive at work and within your own life, this makes you happy. This happiness leads to feeling positive and ready to tackle not only the day, but the world! It can bring about more confidence and make you feel more optimistic about life and whats to come.
8. Better Mental and Brain Health
Not only does reducing or ditching alcohol improve your physical brain health, but another perk of improving your mental health too. Having a clearer mind can make you more productive and more positive mentally. Logical thinking and your decision making process will be better too.
9. Improve your Self-Worth
At times of drinking lots of alcohol, you may start to feel negative, worthless and have a low self-esteem. Not only mentally, but perhaps physically too, as it can affect your weight, your skin and the way you do things. Have some pride in yourself. But ditching or lowering your booze intake, you can start to feel like the person you know you deserve to be.
10. Healthier Relationships
Some people tend to get very sleepy with alcohol and others say things they don’t mean. Perhaps they become aggressive? Most of these actions you take while under the influence can land up causing you to hurt the ones you love. Don’t let the influence of alcohol affect the way you treat your partner, children, parents or friends. Do they really deserve that?
11. Improved Sex Life
Now that you have realised that less to no alcohol can improve your relationships, along with this is an improved sex life. According to the NHS, drinking an excess of alcohol over time can lead to a loss in sex drive (4). It can also make you feel more tired or stressed and lead to little desire to do the deed.
12. Feel Younger and Live Longer
For our final bonus on the perks list, its worth knowing that ditching the alcohol can make you feel younger giving you life back that you didn’t think possible. You may start to be more adventurous and vibrant like when you were younger. In turn, this along with the health benefits can lead to a longer and more fulfilling life.
The Final Word
There are many perks to cutting back on alcohol or avoiding it all together. Yes it may be fun to have on a special occasion and that’s okay. But the benefits you will feel will be extremely worth it and rewarding. You don’t have to make a drastic change all at once (unless you have a health concern where you need to stop imminently). Start by reducing this step by step, taking it one day at a time.