What’s the point of Dry January?
Are you looking to improve your overall wellbeing in the New Year? Does cutting back on alcohol consumption seem appealing after the excesses of Christmas? Dry January promises to support you in making those changes. Its supporters swear that it helps them to cut back on the amount they drink, not just for a month, but for the rest of the year as well.
We're going to take a look at what happens to your body during Dry January and beyond. And of course, there are a few tips on how to cope with a month abstaining from alcohol, including alcohol-free drink recommendations both at home and when you're out.
What happens to your body short-term during Dry January?
Firstly, it's important to point out that what happens to your body will depend on your usual level of alcohol consumption. If you drink regularly, consuming a moderate to high amount of alcohol, then the effects may initially be quite negative. Your body will be withdrawing from alcohol dependency, which can cause some worrying symptoms. If you drink in moderation and don't consume alcohol every day, the impact will be significantly different. Let's take a look at each situation separately.
Effects of giving up alcohol: Heavy drinkers or those who consume a moderate amount daily
Should you stop consuming alcohol suddenly having regularly consumed moderate to large amounts, you may experience the following symptoms:
If you start to feel any of the above symptoms, we advise taking advice from a doctor as soon as possible. They are an indication that your body has become reliant on alcohol. If this is the case, it is definitely advisable to cut down. However, your doctor may feel it is better for you to do this slowly rather than cutting it out all of a sudden.
If your doctor is happy for you to do dry January, we advise staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest in order to minimise the symptoms as much as possible. You may feel like you are hungover due to being slightly dehydrated, so drinking plenty of water will help. Red Magazine advocate a glass of water before bed to keep your night-time hydration levels up.
Effects of giving up alcohol: For those who don't drink daily
The only negative impact you may experience from quitting alcohol if you don't drink every day anyway is starting to crave sugar. Because there is quite a lot of sugar in many alcoholic drinks, your body may try to replace it elsewhere. You might find that from day five, you want to eat more sweets, biscuits and chocolate than usual. However, this is also the day when you're going to feel that your brain is a little sharper and your concentration improves.
By the end of week one, you will probably be sleeping better and more consistently. However, you may also find that your dreams are more vivid. By the 10th day, you will experience an improved mood and you'll feel more energised and less sluggish.
Are there long-term health benefits?
By the end of a month without drinking, you may be surprised to hear that your appearance is likely to have changed. With improved hydration comes healthier skin, brighter eyes and a more refreshed looking appearance.
Your immune system is going to thank you for doing Dry January too. Immunity can be suppressed by alcohol so you are more susceptible to catching things like colds and flu. You may find them difficult to fight off too. So, by the end of the month you might find the Winter germs are starting to leave you alone.
Other long-term health benefits of Dry January may include:
- Decrease in blood pressure
- Decreased diabetes risk
- Weight loss
- Better relationship with alcohol leading to reduced consumption all year
How to cope with Dry January
Let's face it, many of us find Dry January rather difficult even if we don't usually drink daily. Whether it's a glass of wine with a meal or a gin and tonic at the weekend, there's probably something we'll miss. Don't worry though, we have a few tips that will help.
Find alternatives to your favourite drinks
The non-alcoholic drinks market has changed dramatically in recent years. Its popularity is growing and as a result, the options available are increasing. Our drinks selection includes white, red and rosé wines as well as a variety of spirits. Read on for our Dry January product recommendations.
Change your routine
Sometimes, drinking isn't about the alcohol so much as the routine. Usually enjoy a beer in front of the television after dinner? Don't switch on the television. Let's face it, there's never anything decent on in January anyway. Taking a walk, going to the gym or pool or visiting a friend straight after dinner before you sit down can take away the temptation.
If you've ever been on a diet, you'll know that when you're bored, thoughts of food consume you. The same rules apply to Dry January. This is a great time to take up a hobby, do some voluntary work or connect with old friends.
Dry January product recommendations
We stock a delicious range of non-alcoholic drinks so we can suggest like-for-like swaps for most of your favourite tipples. Check out the table below to help you decide what to stock up on for Dry January. We've included product links to make it easier for you to find what you need.
Alcohol Free Alternative
At present, we don't sell beer. However, many brands have a non-alcoholic version, so the best option is to check whether you can get your favourite beer without the alcohol.
Going out during Dry January
Many of us cope perfectly well with Dry January at home. It's when we go out that the problems start. Fortunately, times are changing when it comes to non-alcoholic drinks options. There was a time when remaining sober meant drinking fruit juice or soft drinks. These days though, there's much more choice.
Did you know that our alcohol-free drinks are sold in bars and restaurants across Switzerland? Check out our map to find your nearest stockist