SHA Magazine Health & Beauty
These are the 8 immediate benefits of giving up alcohol
Eliminating alcohol from your lifestyle causes an instant improvement in every organ and system in your body.
A beer with an aperitif, two glasses of wine at lunch, a liqueur with dessert, a cocktail after work… Alcohol consumption is widespread and normalised by society, despite being linked to multiple health problems, such as mental and behavioural disorders, liver cirrhosis, some types of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, injuries, deaths from violence and traffic accidents.
The World Health Organisation warns that three million people die each year worldwide as a result of harmful alcohol consumption, i.e. one every 10 seconds, and that it is a causal factor in more than 200 diseases and disorders. As Vicente Mera, head of the Genomic Medicine and Healthy Ageing Unit at SHA Wellness Clinic, explains, “there are two types of problems with alcohol. On the one hand, chronic alcoholism, which is an eminently psychiatric illness that manifests itself with a physical dependence on alcohol and with tremors, restlessness or insomnia. On the other hand, the regular drinker, which is a toxic-metabolic pathology and has more to do with habits and lifestyle”.
The problem is that alcohol is a psychoactive, legal and socially accepted substance whose consumption is associated with moments of happiness and celebration. The good news is that more and more people are becoming aware of its risks and are deciding to cut it out of their lifestyle. Holiday trends such as sober tourism, social movements such as Dry January and the proliferation of mocktails (alcohol-free cocktails) bear witness to this.
Melanie Waxman, Natural Therapies specialist and Healthy Nutrition Consultant at SHA Wellness Clinic, lists some of the health benefits of giving up alcohol:
- Concentration and mental clarity.
Your brain will have the opportunity to function at a higher level and you will wake up refreshed, without hangovers or blurred memories.
- More regular sleep patterns
Your body will return to a natural, regular rhythm, including deeper, more restful sleep.
- Optimal energetic health
The body will be able to work, cleanse and detoxify efficiently, resulting in increased energy and a sense of well-being. Alcohol is a depressant that can make you feel tired, fatigued and lack energy.
- Maintaining a healthy weight
Alcohol contains no protein, minerals or vitamins and is full of calories with no nutritional value (a glass of wine contains 125 calories), leading to an increased demand for food and drink. The body processes alcohol as fat, converting sugars into fatty acids that are often stored in the waist and abdomen.
- Connect with the present moment
You become more aware and present and are able to better understand and connect with yourself. Achieving happiness is easier when you take care of yourself, look and feel good and are able to function at an optimal physical level.
- Increased overall health
By cutting out alcohol, sugar intake is reduced, liver function and kidney function improves, the risk of high blood pressure is reduced, the heart stays healthy, gut health is improved, especially acid reflux, bloating and gas, and the immune system is strengthened.
- Increases nutrient absorption
Alcohol can damage the organs involved in digestion and cause nutritional deficiencies because its metabolism involves many vitamins, especially B vitamins and essential nutrients such as folic acid and zinc.
- Improved skin quality and texture
Giving up alcohol also has a very positive effect on skin health and you will notice more radiant, stronger and healthier skin.