The side effects of taking a break from alcohol may motivate you to give Dry January a try

It’s no secret that drinking alcohol can harm your health, especially if you happen to regularly indulge in your favorite bottle of red or white wine, craft beer, and Pinterest-worthy cocktails. On the other hand, staying sober for any length of time can give your body the kind of boost it may need to feel refreshed and invigorated. That’s why you might be tempted to take part in “Dry January”.

Choosing to take a break from alcohol, particularly after the often booze-filled holiday season, is a popular choice for many people. CNN Business reported in February 2022 that 35 percent of adults in the United States who were of legal drinking age were taking part in Dry January. That number is up from the 21 percent of adults who chose to stay away from alcohol during the first month of 2019. Of course, there are some very good reasons why you might want to become one of those people. Not only can it give your wallet a rest and hangovers at bay for a while, but it can also seriously benefit your body.

Read on to learn about the benefits of taking a break from drinking alcohol. So, if you decide to give Dry January a try, here are 5 Mocktail Recipes That Are Almost Better Than The Real Deal.

It can help your liver health

Do not drink

Do not drink

“For one thing, it can help your liver focus on healthy detox functions instead of processing alcohol. Alcohol can be considered a toxin [which means] that the liver stops performing all of its other functions until the alcohol is cleared, which could take a few hours depending on the number of servings,” he says Paulina Lee, MSHS, RD, LD, functional gut health dietitian and founder of Savvy Stummy, LLC. “For women especially, the liver will divert its attention to detoxifying alcohol instead of estrogen, which can lead to estrogen dominance and a host of other hormonal symptoms.”

Eat this, not that

Eat this, not that

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It can give your gut a break

Say no to more alcohol

Say no to more alcohol

Lee notes that “alcohol, especially in large quantities, can also damage the gastrointestinal tract by promoting intestinal inflammation.” Apparently, “alcohol has been shown to disrupt intestinal imbalance, causing intestinal dysbiosis, bacterial overgrowth, and increased intestinal permeability, which can lead to intestinal issues like gas, bloating, and more inflammation.” That’s why Lee points out, “If your New Year’s resolution is to be healthy, limiting or taking breaks from alcohol could be a place to start.”

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It can help you if you have a chronic disease

woman refusing or saying no to pouring a glass of wine alcohol

woman refusing or saying no to pouring a glass of wine alcohol

If you like how you feel after staying off alcohol for a month, then you might want to keep your streak sober. This may be even more beneficial for some types of people. Lee explains that “If someone already has a syndrome or chronic disease, such as IBS or liver disease, it may be recommended to limit or stop alcohol consumption, depending on the individual’s reactions to drinking alcohol.” .

Of course, it’s not always easy to say no to a drink, which is why Lee says, “If you’re looking to socialize without drinking alcohol, there are plenty of new non-alcoholic products out there, and some that come with adaptogens for added health benefits.” .

Finally, Lee notes that “If you decide to drink, try to stick to the daily recommendation of one or two drinks per day, alternate alcohol with water, and try to balance your alcohol intake while focusing on sleep, nutrition and the increase of antibiotic-inflammatory foods or habits.”

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