Drinking alcohol has to some extent been normalised, even glamorised, by society. We celebrate, we drink, we commiserate, we drink, it’s a Wednesday, we drink. Well, some of us. But there’s a danger to being so blasé about drinking alcohol and its effects. It’s all fun and games until you’re in A&E with no idea how you got there.
In moderation, alcohol can be a nice treat to end the working week. But when ‘one more drink’ takes priority over your actual health, maybe it’s time to take a break from the booze. Here are 10 reasons to think about it.
Do it for your body
Fact is, alcohol is a drug. And like anything, when it’s used and abused, your body pays a price for it. From head to toe, alcohol takes its toll on every major organ – inflammation of the pancreas, nerve damage, fatigue, high blood pressure, the list goes on.
If you truly want to reduce your risk of developing an alcohol induced chronic illness, cut back on the number of units you consume, or better still, stop completely. What seems like harmless fun can lead to cancer, dementia or depression in the long run. By being unit wise with alcohol to start with, you could save yourself a lot of trouble further down the line.
Your liver can repair itself
Not surprisingly, your liver can suffer massively from boozy sessions. The role of the liver is to detoxify chemicals, remove toxins and metabolise drugs. Send your liver into overdrive and naturally, it’s going to struggle.
Alcohol Rehab explains, “it is not necessary for the individual to become a hardened alcoholic in order to develop cirrhosis. It is suggested that 90 percent of all heavy drinkers will develop fatty liver. This is the first stage of alcoholic liver disease.”
In the UK, the government advises that men should not regularly (i.e. most days during the week) drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol, and for women 2-3 units of alcohol. By being drink smart or taking a booze-break, you can reward your liver with the rest and recovery it deserves.
No more hangovers
Subjecting your body to dehydration isn’t pretty. Alcohol is a diuretic, which causes the body to lose increased amounts of water, leaving you feeling tired, irritable, and nauseous the morning after a boozy night. Take a break from alcohol, and spend your weekend fresh and hangover free.
Think of the money
You refuse to buy that coat you love because it’s not in the sale, but think nothing of spending half of your week’s wages on a blowout with friends – where’s the sense in that? As you begin to switch from messy nights out to cosy nights in, you’ll notice that your wallet/purse will start to weigh heavily in your pocket.
The amount you’ll save will definitely surprise you. According to Macmillan Cancer Support, in the UK alone, “the average Brit spends £787 each year on alcohol, with those in London spending nearly an extra £100 – a whopping £886 on booze.” Imagine what you could buy with that kind of money, hangover-free.
Get ready for a gorgeous complexion
You are what you drink, and the first place a heavy night on the town likes to show itself is on your face. Dehydration works in mysterious ways, gradually leaving your complexion gaunt, ashen and wrinkled the more you drink.
Of course, the odd tipple on a special occasion is unlikely to cause too much damage. But if you’re regularly hitting the shots hard, you’ll starve your complexion of the nutrients it needs and won’t look as youthful as a result. Even by taking a short break from the booze, you’ll witness noticeable differences.
You’ll have a new found energy
Hangovers aside, even the odd glass of wine in the evening can have a dramatic impact on your energy levels. Alcohol interferes with your sleep, causing you to wake up earlier than you ordinarily would, break your regular sleeping pattern and leave you feeling dreadful the morning after. A lack of sleep + excessive dehydration = a very fatigued and unhappy you. Take a booze-break and get your drive for work and life back.
Hello new hobbies!
Drinking alcohol saps you of your energy. Overdo the booze, and you’re left drained and completely unmotivated. Just imagine what great things you could achieve if you hadn’t been out till the early hours of the morning. Instead you’re waking up incredibly nauseous and filled with regret from the night before.
There are plenty of other lovely hobbies for you to take up that don’t harm your health, and instead, give you a wonderful sense of achievement. If you’re looking for ways to fill the alcohol void, get a load of these 5 fitness trends you need to try.
Sober nights change you for the better
Seeing drunken friends through sober eyes can completely change your perspective of the drinking culture. Slurring words, wobbly legs and dishevelled hair – not fun. Hopefully you’ll realise that alcohol doesn’t necessarily equate to a good time, and there are far more enjoyable things you can dedicate your time to, without splashing the cash or getting a hangover.
If drinking in moderation is a no-go when it comes to spending a Saturday night with friends, consider giving your body a break from the booze for a while – choosing cosy nights in over a forgettable night out is a good thing, trust us.
People will love you
Alcohol may make you the happiest, carefree person in the world, but it’s often short-lived. Next come the tears, tantrums and in the worst-case scenario, violence. Losing your inhibitions doesn’t always have the best outcome and can lead to some pretty risky situations – fights, fall outs, trips to A&E. Then there’s the morning after, when you’re so hung-over that the thought of talking to people is out of the question.
As a depressant, alcohol can alter your brain chemistry and have a negative impact on your mental health, disrupting your feelings/actions and removing rational thought.
Be the most amazing person you can possibly be. If you need a natural confidence high – no toxins required, look to exercise. It’s the best endorphin boost around, and leaves you looking/feeling in far better shape.
Make lovely memories
Brain fog is one of the worst parts of a horrendous hangover. What did I do, who did I see, where am I now? This happens because alcohol interferes with the ‘hippocampus’ part of the brain, and in turn, causes memory impairment, or even worse, complete blackouts.
Why put yourself through that? Instead, concentrate your efforts on making lovely, enriching memories that you can treasure for years to come. Your body will appreciate a break from the booze, as will your mind.