The benefits of sobriety are truly endless, as abstaining from alcohol certainly has its plethora of health perks. There are many reasons why a person would decide to live a sober lifestyle and abstain from alcohol. Perhaps alcohol addiction is something that genetically runs in your family, you’ve seen a family member succumb to alcohol addiction, and you vowed to live a sober lifestyle. Or, maybe you used to drink alcohol but realized you had an unhealthy relationship with alcohol or had an addiction. It’s possible that your drinking was negatively impacting important relationships in your life, or impacting your work, and you realized you needed to practice sobriety.
There are also people who live their lives sober simply because they don’t like the way alcohol affects them. Maybe alcohol affects some of you unfavourably due to genetic alcohol intolerance.
The people that live their lives sober often rave about how healthy they feel. Many of these sober-living people look younger and healthier, too.
There are many people who converted to a sober life after trying it for a month. Those trendy months of “Sober October” or “Dry January” can end up changing someone’s mind about drinking in general. Perhaps they tried sobriety for a month and noticed many health benefits. The benefits of sobriety can be noticed even after just 30 days of abstaining from alcohol, so this makes sense. One month on the sobriety wagon can cause someone to ditch the habit for good.
The sober lifestyle is about more than just abstaining from alcohol, though. It’s about abstaining from recreational drugs, too.
There can be tragic consequences of unhealthy reliance on intoxicants, but the benefits of sobriety can transform your health. Your body and mind will reap the rewards of sobriety.
The benefits of an alcohol-free lifestyle include more energy, a better mood, increased productivity, better skin, improved mental clarity, weight loss, healthier relationships and much more. Below, we’ll discuss some of the benefits of sobriety in more detail.
Better Brain Health
Your brain will definitely thank you for going sober. In general, by staying sober, you’re allowing your brain to function at a more optimal level. A research study out of the University of Tasmania found that long term heavy drinking can shrink the frontal lobes of the brain and impair thinking skills.
Did you know that the human brain can completely re-heal the damage done by alcoholism if that person quits drinking?
This German research study found that the brain’s lost grey matter (which is responsible for processing information in the brain) began regenerating after two weeks of abstaining from alcohol. The brain’s regenerative abilities are truly remarkable.
Healthier Body Weight
Alcohol has a lot of calories, but that’s not the only reason sobriety can lead to weight loss. In addition to the calories, alcoholic beverages contain, consuming alcohol can actually make it harder for our bodies to burn fat.
Then there’s the ‘beer belly. It’s common knowledge that excessive alcohol consumption can lead to excess belly fat. Since there are many health risks associated with excess belly fat, it’s definitely healthy to ditch the booze and shed some of that excess fat.
Not only is alcohol a depressant, but drinking alcohol also interferes with the neurotransmitters in your brain that are responsible for your mental health. Regularly drinking alcohol can lower the levels of serotonin in your brain that help regulate your mood. Many people will find that their mood stabilizes and improves after a couple of months of living a sober lifestyle.
Staying sober can help you have healthier relationships. Drinking alcohol can exacerbate existing mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, which can be destructive to personal relationships.
Alcohol-fueled fights are very common among couples, especially since drinking affects emotional functioning. Being intoxicated lowers our inhibitions, making things like infidelity more likely.
Alcohol abuse increases incidents of domestic violence. This includes both emotional and physical abuse in relationships. In both romantic relationships and friendships, consumption of alcohol can lead to mistreating others.
More Energy and Better Sleep
Without alcohol, you’ll have more energy in general and no more hangovers. Since alcohol is a depressant, the day after a night of drinking can be followed by low energy, low mood, and other aches and pains of being hungover.
That low energy, headache and foul mood that comes with being hungover decreases any likelihood of you being productive and getting your to-do list finished. We need the energy to be productive in life, and the after-effects of drinking alcohol leave you the opposite of energized or productive.
Drinking alcohol also makes you very dehydrated, which can drain your energy and lead to fatigue and brain fog.
Furthermore, drinking alcohol diminishes your overall quality of sleep, so you can count on feeling less rested when you drink regularly.
Alcohol dehydrates you, which means you’ll be more likely to get dry skin. Drinking alcohol also causes your face to become puffy, red or blotchy.
Drinking alcohol slows down skin cell renewal, which can give your skin a dull or grey appearance.
One of the benefits of sobriety is that your skin will not only look better, but you’ll look younger, too. Alcohol is a substance known to break down collagen in the skin. Our skin needs collagen to stay firmer and younger-looking.
Since alcohol is a substance that can interfere with the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals, that disruption of your body’s nutrition process can impact your skin health.
Prevention of Certain Cancers and Health Conditions
According to the CDC, drinking alcohol can increase your risk of many cancers. These include colon cancer, breast cancer, liver cancer, throat cancer, and laryngeal cancer. Drinking alcohol excessively can result in other very serious (and potentially fatal) health conditions such as cirrhosis of the liver. By choosing to abstain from alcohol and be sober, you’re lowering your risk of these health conditions.
Improved Quality of Life
With zero hangovers, more energy, better brain function and a better mood, it’s obvious why sobriety can lead to overall improved quality of life. You’ll have healthier relationships and more time to explore new interests, try new hobbies and go on more adventures. You won’t miss out on opportunities because you’re hungover.
Is it in Your Genes to Struggle With Alcohol?
A DNA test could tell you a lot about your food intolerances, drug responses, and whether or not you might have alcohol intolerance.
The CircleDNA test can even tell you whether or not you’re genetically more likely to develop an addiction to alcohol. If you’re interested in preserving your health, think about cutting out unhealthy foods and substances. You’ll see how much of a difference what you do and do not consume can make when it comes to your health.