Giving up alcohol entirely is no easy undertaking. After all, cracking open a frosty one or pouring out a bit of your favorite whisky at the end of a hard day’s work is one of life’s great indulgences. It is, however, a pleasure that can hit your health firmly if you overindulge.
In support of Sober October, we asked a nurse and a fitness expert to group eight eye-opening health and fitness benefits that you can await to enjoy when taking a break from the beer, covering everything from a cheerier mood and a leaner waistline to better sex, a more handsome face and a drive to revive your principal fitness levels.
1. You wake up feeling awesome! Just as day shadows night, an unshakeable exhaustion follows a big session on the booze because getting a concrete night’s kip is problematic with one too many beers inside you. Alcohol interferes with your normal sleep pattern, so waking up after a few hours or feeling exhausted the next day is common. Taking a pause from alcohol will allow you to get better-quality sleep, eventually giving you more energy.
2. Help eliminate your snoring! If you’re commonly accused of snoring and disrupting your s/o, a sober October should help you make less noise. On top of disturbing your normal sleep pattern, alcohol also relaxes your throat muscles which causes you to snore when you sleep. Taking a break for a while could help you, and your partner, get a better night’s rest.
3. Say goodbye to trashy eating! Ever wondered why you want to eat downright garbage when drunk or hungover? Alcohol wreaks havoc with your blood sugar levels, causing your body to desire sugar and starchy foods. Staying off the booze will give you a much better chance of making improved food choices.
4. Working out will come easier and more frequently! Ever unsuccessfully tried to work out after a night out? A hangover writes off the whole day and leaves you feeling lazy, sluggish and absolutely not wanting to train. Waking up renewed will enhance your levels of motivation and reducing the calories that alcohol brings means you can look forward to more operative training and better results.
5. Beer bellies will disappear! Alcohol mobilizes insulin, a fat-storing hormone, which can lead to the production of fat cells around the middle. You’ll be amazed how speedily your waistline starts to shrink when you bin the booze.
6. Get ready for a more handsome face! When you finally surrender to the urge and break the seal in the pub, it’s not only your inner plumbing that you’re putting under strain. It’s your skin, too. Alcohol is a toxin that makes you go to the bathroom more often. It also makes your kidneys work harder and your liver has to go into overtime to break it down. This leads to dehydration, which can cause parched, scaly skin.
7. Better sex! Cue the gut-wrenching flashbacks… Sadly, brewer’s droop isn’t a myth – too much booze over a long period can lead to problems getting and maintaining an erection. Ditch the whiskey and saddle in for a ride.
8. Queue a better overall mood! While your first drink may make you feel better, alcohol is actually a depressant. Those feared hangover blues, or beer fear, are caused by a direct effect of alcohol on your brain chemistry. While one drink is fine, booze will soon betray you by interloping with neurotransmitters in your head and can even diminish your levels of happiness-boosting serotonin.