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How your body transforms when you don’t drink alcohol for 31 days

Ali Condon

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| Last updated 

How your body transforms when you don’t drink alcohol for 31 days

If you're hoping to get into shape, improve your mindset and memory, or even get better sleep in 2023, taking part in Dry January might be the best thing for you.

The popular sobriety challenge actually has some staggering long-term health benefits, even if you only keep it up for 31 days - though it's actually quite likely you'll keep up the healthy habit.

A study from the University of Sussex has found that taking part in Dry January had significant benefits - even if you don't last the full month. Sounds like it's definitely worth a try.

Are you doing Dry January in 2023? Credit: Unsplash.
Are you doing Dry January in 2023? Credit: Unsplash.

According to the University of Sussex's research, led by psychologist Dr Richard de Visser, people who participated in Dry January were still drinking less by the following August.

And even if you do fall back off the wagon on the first day of February, there are still some impressive health benefits that kick in almost immediately.

According to Alcohol Change UK, in the first week alone you'll already notice significant changes, from a boost in your energy levels and concentration, to a better quality of sleep.

People often refer to week two as the 'fog lifting', when your mindset suddenly becomes clearer.

You'll also become much more aware of your hydration levels as you become more aware of how much water your body needs. Hello, clear skin.

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Week two will also see a reduction in any heartburn symptoms.

By the third week, you're past the halfway mark - and you'll notice it, too.

This is when you'll start to notice a bit of weight loss, particularly if you plan on hitting the gym this January.

There are approximately 200 calories in a pint of beer, and an average of 142 calories in a glass of wine - which is why you might notice your jeans get a little looser around this point.

And, finally, by week four, your blood pressure and cholesterol levels have likely dropped, and your risk of type 2 diabetes has started to lower.

There are so many immediate benefits to ditching the drink - even if you don't make it the full 31 days.  Credit: Pixabay
There are so many immediate benefits to ditching the drink - even if you don't make it the full 31 days. Credit: Pixabay

Dr Richard Piper, CEO of Alcohol Change UK, said: “Put simply, Dry January can change lives.

"We hear every day from people who took charge of their drinking using Dry January, and who feel healthier and happier as a result.

“Many of us know about the health risks of alcohol - seven forms of cancer, liver disease, mental health problems - but we are often unaware that drinking less has more immediate benefits too."

If you want to discuss any issues relating to alcohol in confidence, contact Drinkline on 0300 123 1110, 9am–8pm weekdays and 11am–4pm weekends for advice and support

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: Food And Drink, Science, Health

Ali Condon
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