Dry January, good or bad ?
What is dry January?
Once a year (sometimes two, sober October) people across the country ditch the alcohol for one month, now this sounds like a great idea to cleanse the body of toxins and help improve your way of life in many other ways. There is also a flip side to absconding from alcohol for a month. I will endeavour to give an outline one both sides of the argument so that you can make your own educated guess on whether you think it’s a good plan for the start of the year off or if it’s just not worth it.
Sleep patterns –
There has been research from Melbourne university stating that people who regularly drank alcohol before going to bed found a reduction in REM sleep, this can affect your memory during the day and long-term memory if you continue that pattern of excessive drinking. It can also impair your motor skills, which play a major role in every day life.
REM stage of sleep is when you dream most, if you want to remember your dreams or pride yourself on remembering them, then quitting that night time drink will help to ensure more REM sleep.
Better Skin –
Cutting alcohol out of your lifestyle can improve your skin 10-fold, alcohol is a dehydrating force, drinking lowers antioxidant defences which leaves you more open to sun damage and free radicals, which are by-products of chemicals such as cigarette smoke.
More money –
This is a no brainer, you will be better off every week if you cut drinking out. The average person spends between £20 - £40 a week on alcohol. Let’s add that up over the month, that’s between £80 to £120 a month and between £960 and £1440 a year. My advice on how to track this, every time you go to buy alcohol don’t and put the money in a jar or separate account and spend it on a nice holiday once a year.
Liver health -
Giving up drinking will have a big impact on your liver and should reduce the chances of developing liver disease. Regularly drinking more than 14 units a week for men and women can lead to a fatty liver. The liver turns glucose into fat and sends it around the body to store. Alcohol effects the way the liver can handle fat and if it gets stuffed with fat it can become swollen. If the damage to the liver continues regularly this can affect your appetite, a blood test can show the health of your liver.
If your liver is not to damaged it can recover with in 4 to 6 weeks of no alcohol.
It might not be the right time –
Life can throw many things at you which can cause stress and increasing these stress levels by not drinking can be detrimental. If also one of your resolutions is to regularly hit the gym 3 times a week this will also help you regulate your alcohol intake, ensuring you do not drink to excess.
The time of year –
People tend to drink more in the summer month due to the weather and the draw of beer gardens and pubs, if you want to make a difference why not choose one of these months to give your liver a break.
Alcohol is good for your heart –
Now this is true if you’re not knocking back a bottle of vodka a night, drinking in moderation can reduce your chances of heart attacks by 24% according to a global study last year. You can see the running theme here is alcohol in moderation.
Champagne can help short term memory –
Yes, I know, your scratching your head now wondering if this is true, yes, a study by the university of Columbia recently demonstrated that champagne contains proteins that are beneficial for short term memory.
Winston Churchill –
Churchill one of the greatest Britons never did dry January, he was quoted to saying, “I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me” Winston lived until 90 years old.
by Jeremy Allen, Master Trainer/General Manager/Influencer
Jeremy Allen, Master trainer/General manager BWW
For more information on how to control your alcohol consumption this year contact me on Jeremy@bodyworkswest.co.uk