why ditching alcohol is the best thing you can do

Why Ditching Alcohol is the Best Thing You Can Do for Your Health

Why Ditching Alcohol is the Best Thing You Can Do for Your Health


It was a pretty common theme during the pandemic; everyone was stuck at home, and Zoom happy hours reigned supreme. Most of us probably found ourselves drinking more during most of 2020 as we all grappled with a new and daunting reality. For some of us, old habits have died hard and even if you weren’t a heavy drinker pre-2020, you may be having trouble cutting back now that life has (sort of?) gone back to normal.


While having a few drinks a week certainly isn’t indicative of a problem, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have an effect on your health. Studies have shown recently that even moderate drinking can affect your health and wellness. That’s why ditching alcohol is the best thing you can do for your health - we’ll highlight just a few of the reasons why, and maybe it will help inspire you to take the first step. The best part? You don’t have to give up wine just to go sober - our Tethos non-alcoholic wines allow you to enjoy the bold taste and relaxing flavor of a nightly glass of wine, without the nasty hangover or other negative health impacts. 


Whether you want to ditch alcohol for good, or just want to give your body a break and a reset, you’ll notice both short term and long term benefits when you take a break from booze.


Short Term Benefits of Ditching Alcohol


No Hangovers - Most of us have likely been there - you wake up the morning after a night out feeling nauseous, fatigued, dizzy, and with a pounding headache. Everyone’s tolerance is different, and while some people can drink to excess without feeling the effects, some of us notice a hangover over just one drink! Hangovers are caused by a number of factors, including dehydration and the body’s attempts to process the toxins in alcohol. The body processes about 1 drink per hour - when you drink more than that, or don’t drink enough water in connection with your alcoholic drinks, your body has to work harder to process the alcohol. Alcohol is also a diuretic and when your body eliminates water from the body (we’re all likely familiar with “breaking the seal”...) your body can become dehydrated - leading to those not-so-great hangover symptoms like headache, fatigue, nausea, and dry mouth.  


Better Sleep - You’ve likely noticed that you toss and turn more often after a night out. Not only does staying out late disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythm, but alcohol inhibits the body’s production of glutamine, which acts as a stimulant. When you stop drinking, your body goes into overdrive and produces excessive glutamine to make up for the shortage produced while you were drinking. So your body actually self-stimulates as it comes down from a night of drinking, resulting in disrupted sleep and fatigue the next day.


Improved Digestion - Alcohol wreaks havoc on stomach lining by increasing acid production in the stomach, and also causes inflammation in the intestines and digestive tract. This is why so many people feel nauseous after drinking too much. Since alcohol is a depressant, it actually slows down the digestive process, which can cause abdominal discomfort and feelings of fullness in conjunction with nausea. Heavy drinkers actually run the risk of permanently affecting their digestive system, including stomach bleeding and destruction of the mucosa that lines the digestive system and aids in proper digestion of food and absorption of nutrients.


Stronger Immune System


As we explained earlier, alcohol contains toxins that your body has to work hard to expel. If you drink regularly, your body puts a lot of effort into constantly ridding itself of those toxins - leaving it weakened to fight off infections. Also, the more nutrients your body consumes, the more those nutrients contribute to a robust immune system. If your body isn’t digesting food and absorbing nutrients properly due to frequent alcohol use, it will affect the strength of your immune system.


More Energy and Possible Weight Loss


We’re all about embracing our natural bodies here - but there’s a difference between a healthy body of any size and a body that is unnaturally bloated due to poor diet and heavy alcohol consumption. The fact is, alcohol contains empty calories, which can lead to bloating and weight gain. Frequent drinkers are also more likely to eat greasy “hangover foods” that provide no nutrition to your body, but plenty of calories. You’re also more likely to exercise when you’re not waking up hungover from a night of drinking. Simply put, ditching alcohol will likely cause you to treat your body better, consuming healthier foods, less empty, processed calories, and will also probably give you more energy to exercise or move your body in whatever way makes you feel your best!


Long Term Benefits of Ditching Alcohol


The truth is, most of the short term benefits we listed above can be experienced pretty quickly after you stop drinking. Our bodies are amazing, and have an impressive capacity to regulate themselves to achieve balance (or “homeostasis”, if you remember 9th grade biology class). All of these short term negative effects however, if left untreated, can cause long term issues. Poor digestion, chronic inflammation, poor nutrition, and lack of sleep over years can become serious health issues. The World Health Organization estimates that excessive alcohol consumption is responsible for 7.1% of disease in males, and 2.2% of disease in females. 


Ditching alcohol lowers your risk of developing health issues such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, liver disease, sexual dysfunction, and gut problems. Alcohol use has been shown to increase the risk of developing certain types of cancers such as bowel cancer, breast cancer, liver cancer, and mouth cancer. 


These statistics aren’t meant to alarm, but our society puts such a focus on alcohol that it’s important to remind ourselves that consuming alcohol, even moderately, doesn’t come without risks. If you’re a low to moderate drinker you may not feel the need to cut out alcohol entirely, but we’d urge you to give your body a break once in a while, and take notice of how much better your body feels!

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