Photo: Keith Ellwood
Whether you’re considering embarking on a dry month to balance yourself out and detox after going a little too hard on the booze or you’re sober curious and wondering if cutting out alcohol for good might be a better fit for your lifestyle, stopping drinking (even if it’s just for a short period of time) can come with major benefits for your body and mind—even your productivity in the workplace.
Wondering if cutting out booze is really worth the effort and commitment?
We spoke to a handful of experts—including authors, doctors, and alcohol-free coaches—to get their insights on exactly how eliminating alcohol from your diet can overhaul your lifestyle and bring your health and wellness to the next level.
Heightened clarity and connection with your intuition
According to Alcohol-free Life Coach Karolina Rzadkowolska, mental gymnastics and chatter dominate a drinking pattern.
Without any regrets, rumination, decision fatigue, or recrimination, people can expect to experience a sense of clarity and re-connection with their intuitions.
Healthier ways to manage stress
“While many people drink to relax, alcohol actually induces the release of more cortisol and adrenaline in the body and brain,” explains Rzadkowolska.
This means that the body is on a constant adrenal overload from a work-hard-relax-hard cycle. “Learning to take care of yourself in a healthy way to cope with emotions is the secret to long-term sustainable success,” she adds.
Increased mental energy and time
Mental time and energy expands when you go alcohol-free—especially when you realize how much time you actually have in the evening and on weekends.
“Most of my clients rediscover new hobbies, passions, and experiences that would have never crossed their minds before,” says Rzadkowolska.
Fostering creative new ideas
“Going alcohol-free grows gray matter in the brain and allows neurons to regenerate,” Rzadkowolska says.
“As you get clarity on who you authentically are, what you really need, and what truly makes you happy, you discover so much about yourself and your purpose.”
Rzadkowolska also added that her clients go on to write books, launch new businesses, get promotions, and even change careers all because they re-evaluated the role of alcohol in their lives.
Improved liver function
According to Lisa Richard, Nutritionist and Author of The Candida Diet, the liver processes everything that enters the body and because alcohol is a macronutrient—yes alcohol is a macronutrient—it puts the liver under stress if consumed in an excessive amount.
Not consuming alcohol for a month or more can allow the stressed liver to rest and actually recover.
Healthier drinking habits
“Any client I have ever worked with who engaged in a period of intentional abstinence gained a stronger awareness of their drinking habits and alternatives,” explains Swati Mittal Jagetia, LMHC, CPCC, Founder of Purpose Squared Mental Health Counseling and Executive Coaching.
“They almost always leave the experience with a healthier relationship to alcohol.”
And, according to Jagetia, when old habits sneak their way back into everyday life, they have often either imposed a new dry period of time for them, or recommitted to Dry January as a reset.