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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14 responses to “Alcohol Detox over, what are the results”
In a medical context, alcoholism is said to exist when two or more of the following conditions are present: a person drinks large amounts of alcohol over a long time period, has difficulty cutting down, acquiring and drinking alcohol takes up a great deal of time, alcohol is strongly desired, usage results in not fulfilling responsibilities, usage results in social problems, usage results in health problems, usage results in risky situations, withdrawal occurs when stopping, and alcohol tolerance has occurred with use.
Well done what a great achievement, it is brilliant when we can stick to our goals and prove to ourselves we can go without our vices. I really need to work on my health and have planned to exercise more and cut out the calories. From experience you are always going to feel rough if your sleep is broken by the kids but they do sleep eventually! #KCACOLS
Thanks Jade. Two years on and still waiting for my little man to sleep through the night! At least he is getting a little better, down to just one wake up most nights now.
We had lots of sleep issues with my eldest but when he went to pre school it got much better and then when at school he was more consistent and sleeps through the night fine now. Thankfully my youngest is generally a good sleeper.
Good for you! I’ve been wondering if I should do this – I only have one a night, and 2 alcohol free nights a week, but those alcohol free nights are much harder than they should be, and that’s my cause of concern. And I need to shift some weight and the cocktails are probably an easy place to start…as for the mood. It’s such a rough time. There’s a great article about using all our surge capacity in lockdown and now, when we should be ‘better’, there’s nothing left.That, and there is no end in sight, so this unknown is an issue for most of us solution based thinkers. I am finding this half life much harder than lockdown. #KCACOLS
Well done on completing your challenge. Now you’ve psychologically proved your will power do you have any other challenges in mind?
Thanks Katrina. It has actually given me a little motivation to try something else. Really need to quit smoking at some point so it was nice to prove to myself that I can kick a habit, even if alcohol is much easier to replace
Well done on the detox! That’s brilliant. I reckon you’re never going to feel better in the morning when you have young children keeping you up. That’s my excuse anyway! #kcacols
Thanks Helen. One of the great joys of having a toddler is that he gives me a genuine excuse for so many of my problems. Not sure I can blame for forcing me to drink too much alcohol though!
Well done! Funnily enough I’m on an alcohol detox myself for the month of September. Thankfully it has been easier than I thought it would be. I think after this month I will definitely be reducing my regular intake. That’s the plan anyway.
Good luck, not long left now! I’m sure you will reduce it, I’ve been drinking far less since as the habit seems to have been broken a little.
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Thanks. Hope so 🤞
Well done! I don’t drink a huge amount, but I think I might struggle to not have any at all for a month. I do recognise however, that I often feel more tired if I’ve had a couple of glasses of wine ( and that is really all it takes for me, I rarely drink more) the previous night. It’s not a hangover, just a general lack of energy. This seems to have got worse with age.
A totally different thing though, now we’re on the subject of low energy levels: Some vitamins and minerals make a big difference, so if you’re often feeling tired, it could be a good idea to get some supplements. It’s certainly something that’s been helpful for me 🙂
Thanks so much for linking up with #KCACOLS, hope you come back again next time! x
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