the top 5 benefits of going sober

The Top 5 Benefits of Going Sober

The Top 5 Benefits of Going Sober


These days, it can feel like there’s a new health trend to follow every month. From following a paleo diet (or on the opposite side of the spectrum, a diet free from animal products) to consuming nootropics for brain health and wellness, many of us are constantly in search of the magic bullet that can improve our health and wellness or make us feel young and energetic again. 


But what if we told you that the latest health trend isn’t really a “new” trend at all, and it doesn’t involve any magic pills or adding something funky to your diet - rather, it’s about removing something from your diet that you may not even be aware is harming you! Even if you’re a light or moderate drinker, removing alcohol from your diet comes with some surprising health benefits. Many articles that tout the benefits of sobriety are geared towards those who have struggled with addiction or reliance on alcohol; but even those of us who drink socially and never to excess can benefit from cutting out alcohol. The truth is, even in moderation, alcohol can have a negative impact on your health. 


Did You Know?


  • Women have a harder time breaking down alcohol than men - they feel the effects of alcohol more quickly, and for a longer period of time
  • Drinking too much alcohol at once can dull your appetite, and interferes with the absorption of nutrients in your body
  • Your liver is responsible for processing alcohol, but it can only process one unit of alcohol per hour - drinking more than this puts a strain on your liver

The truth is, drinking alcohol affects every part of your body - the reason you find yourself slurring your words or losing your balance after excessive drinking is due to the effect alcohol has on your brain. Need to pee more often during a night out? Alcohol is a diuretic that increases urine production - too much of it can cause you to feel thirsty and dehydrated. 


So, What are the Top 5 Benefits of Going Sober?


  1. Mental Health and Clarity

Have you ever taken a week or so off from drinking, and noticed how much sharper your brain feels? The truth is that when we drink, we may only feel the immediate effects of alcohol for a few hours, but that doesn’t mean alcohol doesn’t continue affecting our body long after. Particularly if you drink a few nights a week, you may notice that when you take a break your senses are more in tune and you have much clearer focus. Since your brain doesn’t have to focus on processing and eliminating toxins, it can focus on other things instead.


  1. Better Sleep

Not only does alcohol affect the quality of your sleep, but it often causes you to stay up much later than you normally would, messing with your body’s natural circadian rhythm. While alcohol might initially relax you and make you feel sleepy, as your liver metabolizes the alcohol your sleep can be disrupted, and in fact the more alcohol you drink, the less sound you’ll sleep. Studies have shown that consumption of high amounts of alcohol can decrease the quality of your sleep up to 39.4%, compared to a decrease of 9.3% when low amounts of alcohol are consumed. 


Abstaining from alcohol will improve the quality and duration of your sleep, and by extension allow you to feel more energized during the day. No hangover, better sleep, this is sounding pretty good so far, right??


  1. Improved Diet

Ok, this one might seem a little far fetched, but stick with us. We’ve all been there. You get home from work and pop open a bottle of wine - you may have a glass with friends, or just by yourself as you catch up on your reading or unwind from your day. Before you know it, you’re hungry, but that delicious food subscription box you were planning to make for dinner seems a little labor intensive at this point. But there’s a bag of chips in the pantry and some un-expired dip in the fridge - and the pizza place down the street delivers pretty fast. Who needs to cook??


While abstaining from alcohol won’t magically improve your diet as well, it does make you less likely to get a little tipsy and forgo your usual healthy meals for garbage snacks or easy take out. 


  1. More Energy

The reasons that sobriety brings with it more energy really has to do with several of the other benefits we’ve already discussed. First and foremost, your body has to work pretty hard to process the toxins from alcohol. When you take away that chore, you can redirect that energy to other things. You’re also more likely to exercise and increase your body’s natural endorphins when you’re not drinking - have you ever tried to do yoga or run 5 miles with a hangover? Not fun. 


Because your body gets better sleep when you’re not drinking, you’ll naturally feel more rested in the mornings, and have more energy throughout the day.


  1. Better Skin and Appearance

Ok, this one might seem a little vapid, but if we’re being honest with ourselves, everyone likes to look and feel their best! If you’ve ever noticed the way your skin looks after a heavy night of drinking, or the bloating in your face the morning after, you’ll know what we mean. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and just like all the other organs, when you make a habit of drinking, it works hard to process and remove those toxins. You’ll likely notice a sallow complexion, redness in your skin, or breakouts, even if you drink in moderation. Removing alcohol from your diet gives your skin a break and you’ll likely notice improved skin texture and radiance when it doesn’t have to work so hard!


Don’t take our word for it - try going sober for a week or two, and make a note of all the positive changes you feel and see. You may even notice some new and personal differences in your mind and body - embrace them!

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