It’s no secret taking a break from alcohol is good for you, but what happens to your body when you stop drinking alcohol? Here we explore the top 5 health benefits of changing your drinking habits, whether taking a break or giving up alcohol for good.
Your body’s physiological balance is fundamentally maintained by the sleep-wake cycle. When we add a few alcoholic drinks to our system, the body absorbs the alcohol into our bloodstream. The enzymes in our liver get to work and start to metabolise the alcohol, but it takes time…
We have all been there. After a couple of drinks before bed, it can feel like we nod off quicker initially. However, fast forward a couple of hours, and it’s not uncommon to find yourself lying awake for hours, regretting those last few drinks. Often referred to as ‘alcohol insomnia’, it disrupts the sleep-wake cycle and can leave us feeling tired in the morning.
A 2018 study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found women who consumed more than one serving per day saw their sleep quality decrease by 39%.
Swapping late night drinks for non-alcoholic alternatives can help you get a longer night of rest and wake up feeling energised.
Not only does alcohol affect your sleep leaving you feeling tired, but alcohol can also affect your body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients. Alcohol is not metabolised the same way food is. Instead, it enters the bloodstream and hits your small intestine without being first digested. This is where nutrients are processed. Alcohol can also harm the organs responsible for processing, absorbing, and digesting nutrients.
What does this mean for your body? If your body is not absorbing nutrients due to alcohol use, your energy levels are ultimately affected. This can leave you feeling sluggish, unmotivated, and exhausted. Moving to a low or no alcohol way of life can improve your energy levels.
Better Mental health
You don’t have to be a heavy drinker to experience the harmful effects of alcohol on your mental health. The following short term mental health effects can occur even in a healthy person:
· Impaired judgement and movement
· Unstable emotions
· Memory loss
. Stress management
Alcohol is a depressive substance that raises stress levels and can lead to anxiety. It can have a detrimental impact on thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. Over time, it may also influence new mental health problems or make pre-existing ones worse.
Having a glass of wine can give you a short term boost and remove stress by slowing down the central nervous system. However, the effects can be temporary as alcohol suppresses the chemicals in the brain that help reduce anxiety naturally. This can lead to a cycle of adding more alcohol to make you feel better, and so on it goes.
It’s well known that taking a break from alcohol can help your liver function better, but what about your body’s largest organ – your skin?
The main effect of consuming alcohol on your skin is dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic that encourages the body to flush out liquids. Like your head after a few alcoholic drinks, your skin is also getting over a hangover of its own. Your body needs to work overtime to get rid of the excess toxins, and the results on your skin can include:
· Inflammation and puffiness
· Dark circles under your eyes
· Dry skin
· Blotchy, uneven tones
· Premature ageing – aka wrinkles!
Swapping out your social bubbles for a non-alcoholic sparkling will help avoid the above skin conditions.
Better Long Term Health Outcomes
There is a myriad of stats and facts that highlight the adverse long term effects of alcohol on your body—ranging from increased risk of chronic disease and dying from an alcohol related injury. The most well-known, long-term effect on your health is an increased risk of cancer; the less well-known ones include brain damage and brain-related conditions such as stroke and dementia. Increased risk of diabetes, fertility struggles and effects on sexual performance are other long term health issues.
At SipZERO we are committed to helping people to Drink Better. The effects of alcohol on your body go beyond the ones listed here. If you want to Feel Better and Look Better, check out our range today!