Last month after one hangover too many I took the decision that it was time for a break from alcohol. It’s now been just under a month and tomorrow marks the end of my detox so I thought it time to have a look at the results.
I had two main aims when I decided to take a break from booze. The first goal was to feel a little better and physically healthier in the morning as I’m getting closer to 40 and need to look after myself far better. The second was purely psychological, I was determined to prove to myself that I had the willpower to succeed.
The latter was certainly a success. I did not break and in reality I rarely struggled. There were a few tough days early on after our Covid scare and some rough times with an ill son but I stuck to my promise and stayed away from the fridge.
The first goal however is far more difficult to judge. I realise that alcohol is just one of many reasons that I often feel terrible in the morning. I smoke heavily, eat poorly, fail to drink enough water, rely on energy drinks to get through the day and just the thought of any real exercise leaves me exhausted. A few weeks without beer was never going to turn me into a perfect specimen of men’s health.
What are the benefits of an alcohol detox?
A little bit of life in the morning is not the only benefit of a month without alcohol. There is plenty of evidence suggesting so many positive effects of a detox so I thought I’d take a look and see how many make a noticeable difference.
You will be more hydrated and this will enable you to feel less fatigued. It will also help to prevent headaches and nausea as well as preventing ageing of the skin and fighting dry skin conditions.
Pretty tough to tell for me. I have never really struggled with headaches and nausea other than the occasional hangover which, quite obviously, has stopped.
I wouldn’t confidently state that my skin looks any younger or healthier, though I am a month older than when I started the detox so that may balance it out! A quick check with the wife was met with “you look lovely darling,” which only really proves that she is patronising and I already knew that. I do suffer with dry skin on my leg which has actually healed a little through the detox but it could also be down to different products I use to control it. All in all, I’m not too sure I’ve really felt the benefits on this one.
You will save money and lose weight
The first part seems obvious but as a home drinker the cost of beer is actually pretty cheap. As my build currently resembles that of a garden rake, I was keen to avoid losing weight too so have been replacing the calories lost through the detox by having a few extra snacks at the times where I would usually drink. As a result I have not actually saved any money nor lost weight but I am certain I am in a far better shape by replacing the empty calories from beer with healthier alternatives.
Your blood pressure will have lowered and your liver function has recovered.
These are the big ones for me. I am a proud dad now and have a responsibility to my son to take a little bit more care of my health. I want to be there for all of the big moments in his life and to stick around for as long as possible. The lower blood pressure vastly reduces the likelihood of heart problems and strokes as well as preventing kidney disease. The liver is in control of over 500 operations within the body and is a pretty good organ to keep in shape!
I have no real way of measuring the effectiveness of this detox on these vital organs. Perhaps I should have been prepared and taken a before and after blood pressure reading but I didn’t. So I’ll just have to leave it that any good I can do for these organs is a great result and be happy with that!
You will sleep better and more effectively
Back to where we started really. The technical side of sleeping is far more complex than I care to understand. There is a cycle of deep sleep and a rapid eye movement (REM) cycle. The thought is that a perfect balance between the two gives the most efficient sleep and that alcohol limits the REM cycles.
The issue for me is more that I have a son that refuses to sleep through the night, often requiring me to get up on numerous occasions. To get these cycles right will require far more than just giving up alcohol for me but again, anything that improves my sleep can only be good.
People who quit alcohol for a month are 72% more likely to be mindful of the dangers of harmful drinking for at least 6 months
A crucial yet vastly underrated benefit of taking a break. From my experience I’ve found that the long term advantages of taking a break are far superior to the short term. I fully understand that the past month will have been futile should I choose to spend the next week making up for it and plan to drink far less going forward than I had done previously.
To sum it all up, I’m proud that I managed to get through my detox and to have achieved many of the health benefits above. I still feel a little rough in the mornings but I am now in a far better position to fight it and find the cause to the problem. The realisation that I have the willpower to break habits will hopefully lead to a breakthrough with some of my other major flaws, only time will tell!
Thanks for reading and if you feel I have missed any benefits of an alcohol detox or would like to share your story, please drop a comment in the box below. Many of the statistics and benefits in this post come from www.priorygroup.com And I would strongly advise checking out this page if you require more information or are struggling with addiction.
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