If you’re looking to drink less this January, you aren’t alone. Around 4 million people take part in Dry January every year. Even outside of this particularly dry period, a quarter of young adults don’t drink and almost 20% only drink once a month. More and more people are cutting down on alcohol and Dry January is a great way to get started.
Why should you do Dry January?
Over the last few years we’ve seen a massive increase in people getting involved in Dry January. That’s because the reasons to do Dry January are worth making the drastic lifestyle change.
Sure, overindulging throughout December is one reason many people take part, but there are lots more Dry January health benefits. Of course, one of the most popular reasons to do Dry January is mental health. Because not only can you avoid hangovers, but cutting down on alcohol is one step towards better sleep, flawless skin and stress-free* living. Plus, you could stand to save some money too.
1. Cocktail connoisseur? Learn New Drinks & Mocktails
We all get stuck in a drinking rut from time to time. Whether that’s sticking to the same cocktails or being hit by a wave of boredom when it comes to finding new recipes. Luckily, Dry January helps you get creative. Plus, with so many more non-alcoholic spirits emerging, the possibilities are endless.
To get you started we recommend our Z&T. This alcohol-free twist on a Gin and Tonic just needs three ingredients. Add 50ml ZEO Botanical Dry and 125ml of Fever-Tree Light Tonic into a glass with ice and garnish with a lemon twist.
2. Mental health benefits: Bye bye beer fear
Did you know that alcohol is actually a depressant? That’s right. So, it’s interesting that lots of us use alcohol as a coping mechanism or to help us unwind. By using alcohol in this way, many underlying mental health problems can remain untreated and diagnosed conditions can get worse. For example, drinking alcohol with a pre-existing mental health condition can increased low moods and heighten your anxiety.
The good news? Cutting down on alcohol can help massively. de Visser (2019) found that taking a month off alcohol meant 67% of surveyed people had better concentration. Plus, 66% had more energy after Dry Jan. So, this January rather than drinking to unwind, why not drink less to avoid hangovers, heightened anxiety and beer fear?
3. Physical benefits: Weigh to go if you fancy a nightcap
It’s life’s wicked curse that wine, spirits and your beloved G&T are packed with calories and sugar. That’s one reason why lots of people do Dry January. Cutting down on alcohol for the month could mean looser jeans in a matter of weeks. Don’t fancy cutting out the experience of drinking? Switching to an alcohol-free spirit can help keep your calorie intake down. For example, in 50ml of ZEO Botanical Dry there are just 4.5 calories. So, pairing it with a low-calorie tonic water makes for a diet-friendly drink.
Sleep is key to maintaining a healthy weight and drinking too much doesn’t help it. A tipple just before bed might help you nod off but having alcohol in your system equals restless sleep. Avoid alcohol and your body will have plenty of time to do its job, Plus, you won’t wake up feeling sluggish. In fact, de Visser’s 2019 study found 54% of people had lost weight during Dry January and 70% were sleeping better.
4. Health benefits: Love your liver
When it comes to cutting down on alcohol, lots of people wonder if ‘Does Dry January improve health?’. Well, the answer is yes. Drinking less in general will have a positive impact on your health in lots of ways but is particularly harmful for your liver.
Our livers tend to be pretty hardy. But regularly drinking too much for long periods of time can cause serious damage to your liver. We aren’t saying you need to go stone cold sober to help your liver recover but cutting down definitely helps. And, whilst every liver is different, we love them all. Drinking less will give yours a chance to do its job properly.
A study by de Visser (2019) found that after Dry January approximately 65% of people found their health had improved. So, even though it’s just a month long, Dry January really can improve health.
5. Financial benefits: Save money
Lots of innovation and high-quality ingredients go into most non-alcoholic spirits. So, replacing your favourite traditional spirit with an alcohol-free alternative won’t necessarily cost less. It’s actually the decisions you make whilst drinking that can help you save money in Dry January.
The things that add up are those takeaways you grab on the way home from the bar and those pricey cocktails you’d never normally buy if you weren’t drinking. That’s not even mentioning the taxis you likely splurge on from time to time. Cutting all these out during Dry January means you’ll surely save some money. In fact, de Visser (2019) found 86% of Dry January participants saved money. Will you be one of them this year?
Best of all, by drinking less you’ll be present in the moment and making memories you won’t forget. Get started by opting out of rounds, making it a single rather than a double and ordering alcohol-free drinks.
*Stress relief subject to pandemics, trade deals and global climate destabilisation
Reference: de Visser RO (2019) Evaluation of Dry January 2019, School of Psychology, University of Sussex