“If you don’t take care of this, the most magnificent machine that you will ever be given…
Where are you going to live?”
– Karyn Calabrese, U.S. Raw Foodist
Our culture is awash with alcohol – literally. Incessant, constant reminders are all around us, from full-spread glossy magazine ads to the number of bars, clubs and liquor stores that adorn our busy city centers.
You certainly can’t hide from it all, but you can make the choice as to whether a few beers after work are really necessary or that second bottle of wine really will cap off the evening nicely. In no way is this article meant to be anti-alcohol, but it is designed to be pro-quitting for a reasonable length of time – time enough for you to witness for yourself the amazing health benefits of doing so.
If you believe what you read and hear to be true, alcohol is the #1 ingredient for a good time. A few sips and you’ll be the life and soul – guaranteed. It’s probably why you meet your friends where you do, where you socialize with your work colleagues, and, if you go out for dinner, it’s got its own menu just for you.
However, while the odd drink has been shown in many medical research studies to be actually good for you, too much of that good thing is, quite clearly, not. In addition, there are many similar studies to bear that out.
As a recovering alcoholic (now 6 years sober), you may think my view would be somewhat bigoted. Not the case. Absolutely. Each to their own and long live freedom of expression. Alcohol, for many, doesn’t lead them down the path that my life took, and they’re the lucky ones in that respect.
Whatever drove me into the grip of addiction doesn’t clearly affect everyone; the world would be an even crazier place if it did. To be very candid, there is still a hint of jealousy whenever my daily travels take me past the bar. One thing that sobriety has taught me, however, is the effect that alcohol has on the body for a prolonged period of time, and how just stopping for a significant period will bring some amazing health benefits right to your front door. Let me explain.
This is the cold, hard truth; the negative effects of alcohol far outweigh the positive ones. Sorry if you didn’t want to hear that, but it’s true. For those who drink occasionally and in distinct moderation, any impact upon health is minimal.
However, if you’re drinking far more regularly, and getting drunk regularly too, the physical impact upon your health is hard to miss. Here are 5 reasons why you should quit alcohol for 30 days and feel the amazing benefits of doing so:
Alcohol = Empty Calories. They don’t teach it in school, but this equation is one of life’s lessons worth remembering. Your body holds the sugar that exists in alcohol as excess fat. Worth repeating… Excess fat. It has no good side in this respect. It certainly doesn’t contain the minerals or vitamins, for instance, that your body actually needs to survive.
Furthermore, it will prevent your body from absorbing the good stuff you get from food and other drinks, like fruit juice. The body needs the good stuff, like vitamins C and B12, folic acid, zinc, and thiamine, to be at its best. In other words, to be fit.
So, let’s return to this excess fat; research has shown that those who binge drink are far more susceptible to weight problems. If you are trying to keep your weight to a certain healthy level, your chances of doing so increase plenty by doing it sober.
Will exercise help? Of course, but a high consumption level of alcohol will affect your body’s ability to recover from workouts and even will slow your metabolic rate. This means that your body will not be able to convert carbs into the usable energy you require.
To summarize, alcohol affects your weight, your fitness level and your ability to get fit. When you stop drinking and get into alcohol detox you will be led to a naturally healthier body, better endurance for physical activity, and a higher level of energy during the day.
If you were told that the International Agency for Research on Cancer regards alcohol as a Group One Carcinogen, would that make you think twice about your current intake level, or, at least, that second beer or glass of wine?
Alcohol is considered by many medical research centers around the world as a major factor in over 60 separate diseases, increasing the prevalence of an array of cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and cognitive disorders.
Here comes the cold, hard truth again. Alcohol consumption over a significant period of time is linked, amongst others, to:
- Dementia: By accelerating the speed at which your brain shrinks over time, you are more likely to develop dementia.
- High Blood Pressure: Always a danger signal, high blood pressure can result in heart and kidney disease, and also strokes, and
- Diabetes – Type II.
Quitting alcohol will bring immediate positive results. Just stopping your alcohol intake for a mere 30 days will:
- Improve Liver Function
- Cholesterol & Blood Sugar Balance
- Increased Immunity from Infection
- Faster Healing from Injury, and
- Increased Fertility (yes, you read that right)
Sex and alcohol haven’t always been the easiest of bed-partners (excuse the pun). Although a certain amount of alcohol will, undoubtedly, increase your libido, too much and you’ll endure an inability to demonstrate the size of that libido… In other words, men and women can both have issues with alcohol consumption and sexual enjoyment, both in terms of proper and satisfying arousal. Take it from me, sober sex is great sex.
Furthermore, add to that the issue of STDs and you’ll wish you hadn’t bothered in the cold light of day. Increased alcohol consumption will lead you to more risky behavior, whatever the circumstances. So, by quitting alcohol, you’ll have better sex and fewer “problems.” And that includes unwanted pregnancies.
Your ability to think clearly (and be completely rational in the process) is affected by alcohol. One of those cold, hard truths again. Alcohol impairs your thought processes, dulls your senses and affects your mood.
It will also affect your ability to learn new things. Trying to function properly, as we are all too far aware, whilst suffering from a hangover is an impossible task. Quit drinking for 30 days and all will be clear again. You will literally feel smarter.
Last, but by no means least, there’s your happiness to consider. Alcohol affects your brain and, therefore, your moods and emotions. So, throw alcohol into a problem you’re facing, and you’re going to experience emotions that are more extreme than usual. It has been proven to result in depression, emanating from distorted emotions of anger, regret, and sadness.
Being sober will give you a much more stable emotional base, through which you’ll feel much happier, in a natural and balanced way.
30 Days out of Your Entire Life…
Looked at it that way, it’s not much, is it? 30 days to see if you do feel the benefits described above, and you will. Better fitness, better health, better sex, better thinking and just being happier. Personally, I’ve experienced these 5 amazing benefits for slightly longer – 6 years, 7 months and 2 days, to be precise.
Everything written above is true if you’re prepared to just try it. You may or may not return to alcohol after this period of detox (that’s your freedom of choice), but it will possibly show you another better way of enjoying your life.
If there is something that you wish to add, another benefit you have experienced, or, perhaps, a particular view of alcohol and well-being that you wish to share, please feel free to leave a comment below. Go on. 30 days? It’s nothing.