Have you ever thought about having a week off from drinking? A month, maybe?
We’re not anti-alcohol here at The Temperance Drinks Company. Although our name harks back to the days of temperance - the US-led 1800s social movement that was against all alcohol consumption - we do think it has a place in modern culture. Our main drive is to provide options, so not everyone is forced to drink in social situations, and can enjoy some time off from booze without missing out on tasty refreshment.
That said, we recommend anyone who’s a regular drinker to experiment with going alcohol-free for a period of time, whether that’s a few days, a week, a few months, or more. You might be genuinely surprised at how much of a positive difference it can make to your life.
Some of us get so used to drinking frequently that it becomes second nature to reach for a beer as soon as we get home, or crack open another bottle of wine every time we sit down in front of the TV. This isn’t a great way to treat our minds and bodies, and can definitely lead to health problems, both physical and mental.
So why not try a break, and see what it can do for you? Here’s a few of the things that happen to your body when you stop drinking alcohol.
You’ll sleep better
Even though a cheeky nightcap can knock you out faster, it can cause the quality of your sleep to suffer all through the night.
When you go without drinking for a while, you might take a few moments longer to drift off at night - at least to begin with.
As long as you follow proper sleep hygiene (no bright lights or sound, don’t use your phone before bed, no caffeinated drinks in the evening, keep the room temperature low) then you’ll get used to it and start to conk out soon enough.
If you’ve got a Fitbit or other techy fitness tracker, have a look at the graphs it produces for your sleep, and compare pre- and post-booze sleep stats. You should see an increase in deep sleep and a decrease in the fitful light sleep phases.
The upshot of this being a fresher mood in the morning, with improved concentration and mental performance at work the next day. Longer-term, you’ll find your immune system strengthening because of this, meaning fewer coughs, sneezes and sniffles.
And of course - less beer before bed means less waking up through the night for trips to the bathroom. Result.
You’ll eat less
You might not immediately link alcohol with appetite, but drinking it does have a noticeable effect on how much you want to eat. And if you’re watching your waistline and counting your calories, giving up booze for a while is a simple way to take back control.
Mild intoxication from alcoholic drinks can increase some sensory systems in the body, which is part of why we find drinking pleasurable. But one of the systems that lights up is the appetite - which explains why a greasy kebab is so appetising at 2am after a session on the sauce, but no so much when you’re on a lunch break at work.
So, cutting out booze for a while will lower those manic appetites back towards reasonable levels - and give you the self-control to resist bingeing.
But there’s a (minor) downside. For a short while after going sober, you might find yourself craving sugar. This is because you’re suddenly deprived of the sugars in alcohol, so your brain starts demanding some more. Nothing a few strawberry laces can’t fix, though (We’d also recommend a Teetotal Cuba Libre - surprisingly low on calories for such a sweet treat).
And so it follows that...
You might lose weight
Well, we can’t guarantee this. We’ll just say it’s more likely to happen when you’re not drinking.
Alcohol is a massive source of unnecessary calories - both from the alcohol itself, and the sugars that make up the ingredients, like fruit or soda concentrates.
The average pint of lager contains 180 calories - similar to a slice of pizza.
The average 175ml glass of white wine contains 160 calories.
Might not seem much, but if you’re drinking 3 pints after work or polishing off a bottle of Chardonnay while you Netflix, that’s really going to add up. Cutting these out, even if just for a short period of time, is obviously going to have a benefit.
Having said that, if you always act on those sugar cravings as mentioned above - it might be a while until your bathroom scales start singing your praises. So if you’re aiming to lose a few pounds, make sure you’re eating a balanced diet and getting some moderate exercise.
Your skin will look better
And it’ll feel better, too.
Within a couple of days of going sober, you’ll benefit from clearer, more hydrated skin. Some people’s spots and blemishes might start to clear up,
And if you’re getting better sleep as mentioned above, those grey circles around your eyes should start gradually fading away.
Combine all this with a sensible diet and skincare routine and you’ll be positively glowing.
So, have we convinced you yet? There’s a reason Dry January is so popular, and it’s not just the financial hangover from Christmas that makes it so. More and more people are beginning to enjoy the positive effects of a temporary break from alcohol.
And now that it’s becoming more socially acceptable to go booze-free at pubs and clubs around the world - along with a widening range of non-alcoholic drink alternatives - there’s no reason not to give it a go.
If you’re having some friends round at the weekend, or just fancy something different in the fridge, why not stock up on some Teetotal Drinks - available now in the online store
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