We’ve all been there. You’ve had a heavy weekend and decided that maybe it’s time to see what life is like without drinking. And alcohol-free organisations have made it easier for us with month’s being repackaged and repurposes – such as Dry January, Sober October and NOvember. All of these make a great time-frame to spend at least 30 days off the alcohol.
Taking time off drinking, or even becoming permanently t-total, is proven to have massive benefits too your overall cardiovascular health and, of course, a life without a hangover means you can be a lot more productive and do tons more sports. As well as this, taking a little time off alcohol can have long-term benefits that you might not even realise. Here are a few things that might motivate you to take a break from the booze…
5 benefits to quitting alcohol
1. It improves your mental health. Many of us wake-up after a night of drinking with a nagging feeling of anxiety. This is what journalist Theo Brenner-Roach describes as a ‘moral hangover’ and, in an article for The Observer, he wrote: “Alcohol inhibits the ability to make decisions, often leading to undesirable and regrettable behaviour.” Heavy drinking is often accompanied by feelings of embarrassment or shame which can negatively impact our mental health. So one of the great benefits of not drinking is the elimination of these feelings.
2. You’ll look (and feel) younger. Alcohol is bad for the skin – it dehydrates the body which dries out the skin and makes it less elastic, which leads to accelerated aging. Alcohol also inflames the body tissue which is the reason why people flush red when they drink too much. So if you quit drinking you might just find that you look and feel younger!
3. You’ll save money. In most capital cities around the world a beer costs between 4 and 6 euros. Just one or two drinks a week isn’t a big deal, but when you drink weekly or daily that truly adds up. So eliminating the cost of alcohol will do wonders for your purse strings, too.
4. You make real connections. For many of us, alcohol is used as a social lubricant that gives us more confidence to meet new people. But this confidence isn’t real and this version of yourself might not be authentic. Although it might feel stressful at first, the connections you make when sober will lead to deeper connections and will last longer.
5. You’re likely to lose weight. There are many calories in alcoholic drinks, especially beer, cider and wine. Giving up alcohol will decrease your daily calorie intake and also limit those 1am post-night out binges in the kebab shop on your way home. This change will make you feel much better day-to-day, and you’ll probably look healthier too!
There are many calories in alcoholic drinks, especially beer, cider and wine. Giving up alcohol will decrease your daily calorie intake and also limit those 1am post-night out binges in the kebab shop on your way home. This change will make you feel much better day-to-day, and you’ll probably look healthier too!
5 non-alcoholic beverages for non-drinkers
Just because you aren’t drinking it doesn’t mean you won’t want to go to a bar and socialise with your friends in the same way you normally would. But this is the part where you need to be careful. Ordering sugary, non-alcoholic drinks like Coca-cola or Red Bull can do almost as much damage to your health as alcohol. But there are some fantastic alternatives out there which means you can enjoy an evening out with your friends without having to sip on a glass of water. Here are our favourite non-alcoholic beverages for you to drink when you’re not drinking…
1. Mocktails. Just because you aren’t drinking, it doesn’t mean you want to drink children’s’ drinks like lemonade or orange juice. So why don’t you try out a classic cocktail without the alcohol? You can start with a Virgin White Lady (pictured). Just add elderflower cordial and grapefruit juice to lemon juice, egg white and sugar syrup. The flavours are sophisticated and slightly bitter, so you can still feel like a grown-up – just without the hangover.
2. Syrup and soda. This is a healthy and tasty alternative to a soft drink, and it’ll look nice too! You can add any of the ODK range of syrups to a glass of soda water – just include garnishes to make it look extra special.
3. Seedlip non-alcoholic gin. This non-alcoholic spirit is one of the latest innovations from the UK. Seedlip’s founder and CEO, Ben Branson, was given a particularly unpleasant and sickly sweet pink mocktail in a bar. That was when Ben recognised the need for non-alcoholic drinks for ‘grown-ups.’ At the same time he discovered a centuries old book called “The Art of Distillation” by John French. Ben decided to use French’s method to distill gin while keeping it non-alcoholic. Seedlip is now stocked in hundreds of bars across 25 countries and tastes very much like a regular gin. Customers can simply add tonic and lime or the spirit can be used to create a mocktail – one that’s better suited to a 25-year-old rather than a 5-year-old.
4. Non-alcoholic wine. Yes, that’s right – you can still enjoy a Sauvignon Blanc or a Chardonnay without the hangover. On Amazon you can buy St Regis De-alcoholized Chardonnay – a full-bodied wine with a pear and apple taste, the perfect accompantiment to a seafood dinner. Alternatively, you can indulge in some red wine. We recommend Ariel Cabernet Sauvignon Non-alcoholic red wine which you can also purchase online.
5. Champagne. You can indulge in the ultimate of alcoholic drinks without the hangover by treating yourself to some non-alcoholic sparkling wine. Chateau de Fleur has been recommended by Town and Country Magazine and costs just a fraction of the price of its alcoholic counterpart. Made in California by Weibel Vineyards, this ‘Champagnette’ has hints of apple and peach. Sounds delicious!
Taking a few weeks off alcohol will give you much more time to take up a new sport. Sign up to Urban Sports Club today and start feeling amazing inside and out!