Dry July… Teetotallers Unite!

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Dry July… Teetotallers Unite!

Dry July… Teetotallers Unite!

Has that weekly “cheeky glass of wine” slowly crept its way into your daily routine? If you answered yes, perhaps it’s time to break the cycle and say ‘hasta la vista’ to the booze…at least for the month of July.

The Benefits of Banishing the Booze

Taking a month-long break from alcohol brings with it a multitude of health benefits including:

  • Improved sleep quality: Drinking alcohol negatively affects the sleep stages, including rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep and deep sleep states, leaving you feeling unrefreshed the following day. Alcohol is also a diuretic, meaning you may wake frequently during the night to use the toilet.[1]
  • Improved energy: Poor sleep quality associated with alcohol can leave you feeling fatigued the following day; much like a real-life walking, talking zombie.[2]
  • Mental clarity: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways by slowing down the central nervous system. This disrupts cognitive, mood and behavioural processes, and can leave you feeling ‘foggy’ the next morning.[3]
  • Weight loss. Alcohol is loaded with calories, so cutting down your intake is an easy way to promote weight loss.[4]
  • Healthier skin. The dehydrating effects of alcohol can lead to poor skin texture and wrinkles. Additionally, alcohol is linked to facial redness and flushing, and can exacerbate pre-existing skin conditions.[5]

Bottles of wine | HealthMasters

Give Yo’ Liver a Break 

Another benefit of banishing booze is the reprieve it gives your liver. The liver is responsible for detoxifying and eliminating toxins we are all exposed to, including alcohol. Regular intake can burden the liver’s detoxification pathways, which in turn causes inflammation that damages cells, reducing liver function and, in extreme cases can lead to liver disease.[6]

It’s not all bad news, though. The liver is a resilient organ that can benefit greatly from regular detoxification and some extra TLC from antioxidants. As the process of detoxification can create damaging substances before they are eliminated, antioxidants help to protect the body by neutralising these harmful substances. Additionally, antioxidants have potent anti-inflammatory effects, helping to reduce damage caused by harmful substances such as alcohol.

As the process of detoxification can create damaging substances before they are eliminated, antioxidants help to protect the body by neutralising these harmful substances. Additionally, antioxidants have potent anti-inflammatory effects, helping to reduce damage caused by harmful substances such as alcohol.

You Don’t Need to Wait Until Spring to Spring-Clean Your Body

So why not be part of the Dry July movement and, for added benefits, combine it with a detoxification program that incorporates antioxidants. Supporting detoxification and improving the efficiency of toxin elimination can help ‘spring-clean’ your body and kick start your health.

Liver inflammed | HealthMasters

 

Herbs, nutrients and lifestyle adjustments that can optimise detoxification during your break-up with alcohol include:

  • Sulforaphane: A sulfur-rich compound found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, bok choy, and cabbage, it increases antioxidant activity whilst improving your body’s ability to detoxify.
  • Milk thistle: Exerts protective effects on liver cells, preventing cell damage and improving liver function.
  • Turmeric: Has anti-inflammatory actions and can reduce inflammation in the liver caused by alcohol.
  • Water: Increases toxin elimination by flushing toxins through your kidneys to be excreted via the urine.
  • Exercise: Eliminates toxins via the sweat glands through perspiration.
  • Social detox: Take a break from late nights spent partying. This removes the temptation of having a boozy bender.
  • Sleep: Has countless health benefits including supporting your body’s natural detoxification system.

Sober Up and Shape Up

If you feel yourself stuck in a boozy rut, ditch the drink for the month of July and create positive changes to your health and wellness. Adjustments to your drinking habits have been shown to have widespread benefits including improved sleep and energy, mental clarity, and aesthetic benefits such as weight loss and improved skin tone.

[1] Drinkwise Australia. Facts about drinking that will keep you up at night [Internet]. South Melbourne VIC: Drinkwise Australia; 2019 [cited 2019 Jun 4]. Available from: https://drinkwise.org.au/drinking-and-you/facts-about-drinking-that-will-keep-you-up-at-night/#.

[2] Drinkwise Australia. Facts about drinking that will keep you up at night [Internet]. South Melbourne VIC: Drinkwise Australia; 2019 [cited 2019 Jun 4]. Available from: https://drinkwise.org.au/drinking-and-you/facts-about-drinking-that-will-keep-you-up-at-night/#.

[3] Drinkwise Australia. Alcohol and your brain [Internet]. South Melbourne VIC: Drinkwise Australia; 2019 [cited 2019 Jun 4]. Available from: https://drinkwise.org.au/drinking-and-you/alcohol-and-your-brain/#.

[4] Drinkwise Australia. Is alcohol affecting your looks? [Internet]. South Melbourne VIC: Drinkwise Australia; 2019 [cited 2019 Jun 4]. Available from: https://drinkwise.org.au/drinking-and-you/is-alcohol-affecting-your-looks/#.

[5] Drinkwise Australia. Is alcohol affecting your looks? [Internet]. South Melbourne VIC: Drinkwise Australia; 2019 [cited 2019 Jun 4]. Available from: https://drinkwise.org.au/drinking-and-you/is-alcohol-affecting-your-looks/#.

[6] Duggan AE, Duggan JM. Alcoholic liver disease – assessment and management. Aust Fam Physician. 2011 Aug;40(8):590-3.

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  • Kevin Tresize
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