Why is Dry January good for your health?

By Suchetana
Dec 26, 2018

One of the inevitable side effects of the festive season is excessive drinking and hangover. So for those of you who are already committing to a dry January, here are some facts to keep you doubly motivated.

Dry January

Firstly, keep in mind that taking a one month’s break from drinking won’t turn back the clock nor will it make it okay to binge-drink for the rest of the year. So it’s important to know why you are committing to dry January, instead of following a fad.

One of the most obvious benefits of a one-month hiatus from alcohol is a decrease in your total calorie intake. A standard drink contains around 100-150 calories, and it also accelerates our hunger pangs, inducing us to eat more. Alcohol also has a dehydrating effect, making us feeling bloated. Following a dry January would mean cutting down on all those extra calories, without depriving your body of any nutrients. Of course, you’d hardly be visibly thinner after just a month, but you’ll surely feel a lot fitter if you stick to the path of abstinence.

Dry January

Alcohol is also known to put your liver in stress, with a lot of liver diseases being caused by excessive boozing. So it may actually give your liver a bit of rest to abstain from alcohol, as long as you don’t overdo things for the remaining 11 months of the year. A healthy liver means regular digestion and, hence, better sleep and healthier lifestyle. This can impact your productivity, leading to a much better quality of life. 

Being intoxicated can also lead to lower immunity. Dr George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, USA, says: “Being intoxicated can acutely suppress immune function making you vulnerable to pathogens, while chronic drinking can lead to inflammatory reactions throughout the body.” While less drinking won’t guarantee that you won’t catch flu, it’s definitely safe to assume that it’d lead to a healthier version of you.

Dry January

However, while committing to dry January, do remember that being a moderate drinker is better for your health in the long term than going from one extreme to the other. Abstain by all means, but fight the urge to make up for it later!