From improved sleep to skin health, these are the benefits of lowering alcohol consumption
While many people are participating in Dry July this month, take the opportunity to learn more about how you may benefit from reducing your alcohol intake.
With many people taking part in Dry July this month, we thought it was fitting to discuss some of the benefits that come with reducing our alcohol intake, whether that be altogether or by a glass or two. From glowing skin to improved sleep, keep reading for a breakdown on these benefits, plus a few trusted alternatives to help reduce your alcohol consumption.
While the body digests alcohol, it becomes more psychologically stimulated. Reducing your alcohol consumption allows rapid eye (REM) to occur, helping you fall asleep sooner and sleep more soundly. Quality sleep will in turn have a positive effect on your energy, mood and productivity when awake.
Sexual arousal is largely controlled by an increase in blood flow to your genitals. Drinking less can aid your body’s natural arousal response by increasing this blood flow that essentially primes your body for self-lubrication, sexual pleasure and orgasms. One drink less may also help your body increase its sex hormones, such as testosterone and dopamine, in turn having a positive affect on your mood and an increase in your libido. This means you may find sex more desirable the less alcohol you consume.
As alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it helps flush electrolytes and water from your body, you may find you produce more urine when consuming alcohol. Reducing alcohol consumption can mean less frequent urination, and a more even balance between the liquid you are consuming and producing (so your own hydration levels aren’t trying to keep up with frequent water loss through increased urination), allowing your body to stay better hydrated. Keeping hydrated is also in part to your body maintaining its essential electrolytes and not having them flushed from your body. These electrolytes help retain fluid, meaning your skin looks and feels plump, while your thirst is quenched.
Alcohol naturally speeds up the process of your digestive tract and changes the way your body absorbs fluids. By having a glass or two less you may help slow down this process, providing your body time for your stomach’s contents to empty into the small intestine before moving through the large intestine. This helps water reabsorb into your body at a normal rate, maintaining your body’s normal, regular bowel movements and a balanced gut microbiome, thanks to your stomach emptying itself as normal.
For a hydrated, healthy and luminous complexion, a glass or two less could help. Reduction in alcohol means less toxin build-up in your skin’s deeper layers, which can help eliminate breakouts and persistent congestion. Fine lines, wrinkles, dullness and puffiness are also less likely to be pronounced, as water is better retained in the skin’s tissue.
Feel good swaps to try
If you’re participating in Dry July or are looking to reduce your alcohol consumption by a glass or two, why not look to alcohol-free alternatives that can help you unwind?
Whip up a mocktail, or enjoy an alcohol-free alternative
If you’re heading out with friends or are hosting something at home, swap alcohol-heavy drinks for a refreshing mocktail. You could combine fruit and herbs with soda water, juice and natural sweeteners – watermelon and mint or passionfruit and ginger are delicious options. These days, it’s also possible to buy alcohol-free alternatives for your favourite drink.
Replace that second drink with herbal tea
Sometimes it’s the ritual of pouring a drink and settling into the evening that’s comforting, so why not switch an alcoholic beverage for a cup of herbal tea? Our Organic Lavender Tea has a delicate floral flavour that’s both soothing and delicious.
Unwind with meditation or sound healing
Sound healing and guided meditation are perfect ways to relax, particularly after a stressful week, and both can be done at home to quickly shift your mindset, instead of unwinding with an alcoholic beverage.
Want more swaps to help reduce your alcohol consumption? Try unwinding at home after a busy week with your own at-home spa ritual.