FOOD

Dry January – What Happens To Your Body When The Alcohol Is Off The Menu

We have now entered January. With the prosecco and buck fizz bottles piling up high in your recycling bin and your body is screaming out at you for a glass of green smoothie, asap! A new year calls for you to add morning affirmations, and practise healthier boundaries surrounding your alcohol consumption. 

Have you entered Dry January? It may sound unappealing when the thought of no more wine o’clock at 6 pm, but before you jump ship, hear me out. The benefits of cutting out the prosecco for 31 days, might just be enough for you to decide not to have an alcoholic beverage but instead opt for the mocktails.

How Alcohol Impacts The Boday?

Having a delicious glass of Bailey’s whilst sitting near the fire with a book in hand or an Aperol Spritz whilst you’re watching the sunset in the warmer months, I bet you’re still unaware of the impact of the alcohol from your first drink. You might feel positive sensations such as giddiness, stress levels lower and inhibitions lowered. It all sounds so dreamy, right?

Sadly all these positives somewhat outweighed by the potential negatives,as an increase in confidence might sound fun when the prosecco first hits, but the danger of decreased perception of danger increases you impulsive behaviour – from loss of coordination, headaches, nausea, trouble focusing, gaps in memory, changes in perception and personaility. Then chuck in some dehydration and potential loss of consciousness if you over do it too much. All of a suddenly that 6pm friendly tipple seems less appealing.

But let’s be serious, what is the science behind such as drastic changes from substanaces that we can easily access along with your Crunchy Nuts in your local supermarket? Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, most commonly know as GABA. It’s an important neurotransmitter in inhibitory function, the intergral part of the part process is thrown out of whack with alcohol and leads to a reducation in coordination, slower moto abilities and all fo the above short term but nevertheless potential dangerous side effects.

Of course the volume and regularity of alcohol you drink will determine the extent and severity of changes to you mind and body. Even those who enjoys a few glasses a week may not be aware of the effect in can have to their body, both short term and long term.

There is quite a bit of evidence that demonstrates that long-term high volumne drinking can seriously shorten life expectantcy, increases your risk of devloping cancer, diabetes, liver, heart and cognitive problems. So avoiding alcohol can bring a whole wealth of positive benefits.

clear shot glass with water

Are You Currently Struggling With Dry January? Well, here’s what happens whe you have ditched the booze…..

Detoxing from anything, whether that’s fast food, caffine, alcohol or any other substance use in general, the intial first few days are usually the hardest – remember your body has to adapt to life without this addition to your system. Once your intial hungover subsides, you should start to feel more refreshed in general pretty quickly – just bare in mind that you could take upto 72hrs before you mentally and physical feel back to normal after drinking.

You will probably notice a difference within 5-7 days after you last drink, but at the two week mark you should notices a huge improvement in you sleeping pattern. Also you will likely see your body weight drop, eye bags reduced and less bloating – part of this is beacuse alcohol impacts your appetite and increases hormones that makes you hungery and will probably lead to you bingeing on food that are unhealthier.

After 3 weeks, your blood pressure will reduce, which can help with any long term health problems because by drinking alcohol on a regular basis, causes your blood pressure to rise and can be really danagerous. At the 3 week mark, you’ll notice an improvement in you overall cognitive ability and engery levels. Then after 4 weeks, your skin and eyes will look alot brighter and clearer. Your skin will be irritated and normally dry will feel so much better due to the fact that hydration is added to your body, and liver fat reduces upto 15% which increase it’s ability to get rid of toxins out of the body – mild liver disease such as fatty liver can be reversed completely if a person stops drinking alcohol completely and once there is no alcohol in your blood several months, then the liver cells can return back to normal. You may also find that you have more energy, skin much more clearer, feel less bloated – may be even drop a dress size – brain function and productivity increased and you will generally feel so much better overall in yourself. By stopping drinking, the benefits are endless and it doesn’t just involve physically benefits, you may notice that your relationships, emtional wellbeing and productivity improves – life feeling a little lighter and motivation toward doing things increases, plus you don’t have to deal with being hungover or having a sluggish start your day.

The whole dry january sound so wonderful and have so many postivity health benefits (both mentally and physically), cutting out the brooze – whether that’s just for dry jan or for the foreseeable future – life without alcohol, especially if it was the centre of you social life isn’t as easy as it may sound. Changing your routine, lifestyle and the way you relax after a stressful day at work, will take a lot of work and time on your part.

Saying No To Alcohol Doesn’t Just Mean Only Tap Water

Cutting alcohol back or altogther doesn’t have to mean that you’ve only got tap water as an opition. Oh, no! It doesn’t matter whether you are hibernating in your cosy home during the winter months and you really like to spice this up a on friday night, or want to try every mocktail on the menu at your weekend out. Carry on reading, if you want ultimated sober drinking opitions that are far from being dry.

Peach Melba Punch

Serving Size:
12
Time:
Pre: 15 minutes
Difficulty:
Easy

Ingredients

  • 4 peaches
  • 250g raspberries
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1.25L lemonade, chilled
  • Fresh mint sprigs

Directions

  1. Chop up 3 peaches into roughly chopped chuncks. Place the chopped peaches and pineapple juice into a blender. Blend until smooth, before then sieving the mixture over a bowl – use the back of a spoon to press the peah mixture through the sieve. Discard the solids.
  2. Put in 1/2 of the raspberriers into bowl, then light crush them with a fork. Thinly slice the remaining peach.
  3. Put in ice cubes into a 2L jug, add in the peach slices and puree, crushed and whole raspberries and pour in the lemonade. Stir the mixtre with a large wooden spoon. When you serve, top with mint.

Grapefruit Fizz

Serving Size:
8
Time:
Prep: 50 mintues
Cooking: 5 mintues
Difficulty:
Easy

Ingredients

  • 2 cups grapefruit
  • 1.25 litres soda water, chilled
  • 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • Ice cubes, to serve

Directions

  1. Put both sugar and 1/2 cups cold water in a saucepan over a medium heat. Cook for 5 mintues and stir until fully dissolved. Add in the grapefruit juice and stir to combined.
  2. Transfer the mixture into a jug. Cover over and refrigerate for 40 minutes or until cold.
  3. Add soda water, grapefruit slices and ice just before you serve.

Frozen Apple Margarita

Serving Size:
6
Time:
Pre: 10 Mintues
Difficulty:
Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 lime
  • 2 cups sparkling apple juice
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 apple
  • salt, to serve

Directions

  1. Grate the lime rid into a small bowl, cut the lime in halve. Squeeze on havle of the lime into a small bowl and thinly slice the other halve. Slice the apple too.
  2. Sprinkle a pinch of salt onto a plate. Run the sliced lime around the rim of the serving glasses. Dip the salt to coat.
  3. Pour in the sparkling apple juice, half of the lime rind, lime juice and ice cubes into a blender. Blend until smooth, then pour evenly into the pre-pepared glasses.
  4. Before you serve, decorate with the apple slices and lime zect.

Watermelon (Nojitos)

Serving Size:
8
Time:
Pre: 15 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes
Difficulty:
Easy

Ingredients

  • Watermelon
  • 2 lime
  • 2 cups soda water, chilled
  • 1 small bunch fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • Ice cubes

Directions

  1. Pour in the sugar and 1 cup of water into a small saucepan over a meduim heat. Cook for 5 minutes and stir continuously. Increase the heat to high and bring it the boil. Boil for 5 minutes without stirring, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool down completely.
  2. Cut the watermelon into chuncks and then place them in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  3. Slice the limes and put the slices into a large jug – use the end of a rolling pin, slightly crush the lime to release juice.
  4. Add watermelon, lime juice, cooled sugar syrup and soda water. Stir and combine the ingredients together and then add mint.
  5. Put extra sugar and lime rind onto a small plate. Place 1/4 cup of water into a separate bowl, then dip in the rim of the serving glasses into water and sugar mixture. Put ice cubes in the glasses, add the watermelon mixture and serve.

Serving Size:
2
Time:
Pre: 10 minutes
Difficulty:
Easy

Ingredients

  • 2.5 mls Grenadine
  • Alcohol-free sparkling wine or alternatives
  • Orange juice

Directions

  1. Pour equal amount of orange juice and non-alcoholic sparkling wine (or alternative) into a glass.
  2. Then slowly pour in the Grenadine.
  3. Granish with you own choice of fruit and serve.

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