Updated: Feb 26
I'm seeing more and more people deciding to go sober. Not necessarily because they have a problem with alcohol, but because it doesn't add anything to their lives.
2020 was a telling mirror for our relationship with booze. Many of us ditched weekend drinking sessions in favour of cosy nights in with a glass or two of wine and realised they didn't need spirits or shots. Others drank more than they usually would, thanks to abolished commutes or being furloughed. And some turned to the bottle to numb out the pain and injustice of 2020.
So whether you're just wanting to give your body a break from filtering out the toxins from your bloodstream, or you're considering a more permanent switch, here are the top health facts you need to know about alcohol.
Alcohol has no nutritional value. Also referred to as 'empty calories', there are around 7 calories per gram. But different drinks and adding mixers will increase this. EG. A large glass of red wine at around 13% could contain 228 calories.
Drinking can lead to dehydration. Not only do we often forget to drink water for several hours, but the alcohol itself causes the body to release a hormone that reduces our water retention, meaning we become dehydrated quicker than usual.
Alcohol quickly travels into your bloodstream, firstly affecting your brain, then your kidneys, lungs and liver. We're all affected differently, based on our gender, age, weight and health.
On average, it takes 1 hour to remove 1 unit of alcohol from your body. So, a large glass of red wine (3 units) should take around 3 hours to leave your body.
Alcohol can weaken the immune system, with regular drinking increasing your likelihood of catching colds and infections. If you enjoy a nightly tipple, make sure you're eating well and hydrating throughout the day to ensure you're getting the vitamins and nutrients your body needs.
If you'd like to talk to someone about your relationship with alcohol, these are some great resources.