7 surprising benefits of cutting back on booze
If you’re thinking of taking a break from alcohol, here are some of the lesser-known health benefits that you might experience. I bet you didn't even think about these additional benefits.
1. You’ll sleep better
Alcohol might make you feel sleepy, but it’s definitely not an aid to a good nights sleep. In fact, drinking alcohol can greatly reduce the quality of your sleep.
After you’ve had a drink, you spend less of the night in REP sleep (deep restorative sleep). On top of this, you are more likely to wake in the early hours and not be able to go back to sleep leaving you grouchy and sleep deprived.
2. You’ll have better skin
All that extra sleep you are getting shows up on your face! But it’s not just the quality sleep that gives non-drinkers a healthy glow.
Alcohol is a diuretic – which means that one too many can leave your skin horribly dehydrated. Having a break from alcohol gives your skin a chance to rehydrate, and, on top of this, you could see a reduction in dandruff, eczema and rosacea.
3. You will have better sex
Alcohol might put you in the mood, but it can also hinder performance (*whispers * alcohol is often associated with erectile dysfunction).
There is more to it than that though. A 2018 study found that alcohol was associated with feelings of regret after sex. So while a drink can help you lower inhibitions, sober sex can leave you feeling more confident about the decisions you make in the bedroom.
4. You’ll be happier
While many people drink to relax, alcohol can have a damaging impact on your mood. In fact, some people might find themselves feeling a bit down or grumpy the day after a big drinking session.
It turns out that alcohol can interfere with the neurotransmitters in our brains, leaving us more susceptible to sadness and anxiety.
5. You’ll have a brighter smile
Well, of course – you’ll be happier and having better sex!
On top of this, giving up alcohol has a positive effect on your dental health. Not only does drinking too much alcohol lead to increased plaque on your teeth, it also puts you at risk of permanent tooth loss. Heavy drinkers also have a greater chance of developing tooth decay and gum disease
These zero-alcohol drinks are extra kind to your teeth because they’re also sugar-free:
Alcohol-Free G&T - Monday Classic G&T (Vegan)
Non-Alcoholic Pimms - Naked Life English Garden Spritz (Vegan)
Non-Alcoholic Gin alternative - John Ross Herbarium (Vegan)
6. You’ll lose weight
Non-alcoholic drinks tend to have fewer calories than the boozy versions (plus, alcohol changes the way that our bodies process calories). If you are looking for some low calorie options I recommend these low calorie options:
Giesen 0% Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc - 16 Cal
Newblood Chardonnay - 18 Cal (Vegan)
Ginologist London Dry - 0 Cal (Vegan)
7. You’ll absorb more vitamins and minerals
A downside of drinking alcohol is that it kills the cells in the stomach lining and intestines that enable the absorption of nutrients. So if you are knocking back a few glasses of wine with your nutrient dense dinner you won’t be absorbing all of those important vitamins and minerals.
Not only will zero-alcohol drinks allow your body to absorb all of the nutrients in your food, many of them are packed with vitamins and minerals too.
But wait, there’s more!
This is just a small selection of benefits that come with giving up or cutting back on alcohol. You will also, save money, have a healthier gastrointestinal tract (no more morning after tummy upsets), and even have a better memory.
When you consider all of this, it’s amazing that anyone still wants to drink alcohol – especially when there are so many fantastic alternatives.
(Sources: Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, Jan 2015; American Academy of Dermatology, April 2017; Drug abuse impairs sexual performance in men even after rehabilitation, University of Granada, Jan 2013; The University of Exeter, December 2018; Effect of alcohol consumption on food energy intake: a systematic review and meta-analysis – Cambridge University Press – 29 Jan 2019; Alcohol depletes your stores of vitamins and minerals – Health and Science – September 2018)