You may hear your friends say: “I’ll take a nightcap, then I’ll sleep better!”. What is a nightcap? It’s alcohol! Drinking alcohol probably makes you fall asleep faster, but the sleep quality is a lot less. Most people who drink alcohol say that they find it nice and cozy but alcohol use remains one of the leading causes of burden of disease globally among people aged 10–24 years and a frequent alcohol intake would lead to alcohol addiction.
Alcohol addiction is one of the major reasons people nowadays are having a weak immune system and mental health challenges, we would know. The overall health of an individual deteriorates with time due to the huge amount of alcohol consumption that affects physical and mental health. This results in your mood swings as well which will affect your personal relationships.
Did you know that many people are unaware that their alcohol consumption level puts them at risk for adverse health consequences and alcohol use disorders (AUDs)? Stopping drinking alcohol does a lot to your body and mind. There are huge health benefits associated with quitting alcohol. Knowing that these benefits are coming can be extra motivation to make this choice! Obviously one cannot find the benefits of not drinking alcohol instantly but this happens in various phases. Let’s first discuss them!
Initial Days Of No Alcohol Consumption
The initial days during the first month of sobriety are very difficult and disturbing.
For a long time, one’s body is dependent on alcohol intake so it shows the need for alcohol. Initially, this alcohol dependence will badly affect inner satisfaction and a person will desire alcohol. But eating more is a trick that recovering alcoholics apply to themselves. During these days sugar cravings increase and a person wishes to intake sugar as much as he can. Which in turn is bad for health, since white sugar is not good for health but it is much better than having alcohol.
Stop drinking alcohol is so far has not shown positive results in the initial days but all these symptoms are a signal that your body is recovering from alcohol addiction slowly.
A Month After Quitting Alcohol
A month of giving up alcohol is a piece of cake for some. Others find it a lot more difficult. Still, it’s good to try, because a few months of no alcohol show positive changes in your health!
In mild to moderate drinkers, the body quickly starts detoxing, which can sometimes cause mild withdrawal symptoms. But if you have been a heavy drinker for a long time, you may experience (sometimes severe) withdrawal symptoms at first. To combat these symptoms, it is best to drink as much water as possible, as your body is dehydrated from alcohol consumption.
In the first days of stopping drinking, you may tend to eat more. Stopping drinking leads us to foods richer in carbohydrates. After all, alcohol raises blood sugar levels and those who stop drinking will feel like they are abstaining from sugars. Fortunately, this need for carbohydrate-rich foods diminishes after a few days, although it can take several weeks before it completely disappears. Make sure to take as many fruits and vegetables as possible instead of sweets or fat.
So far, stopping drinking alcohol has made positive effects on your body in a month. You are now more focused and more energetic.
After 2 Months Of Not Drinking Alcohol
Now, you are going to notice some of the benefits of not drinking alcohol.
You will sleep better (and deeper) again. Your sleep quality would start to normalize. Alcohol often seems to help you in falling asleep, but it actually disrupts sleep, causing a “false sleep feeling” and waking up exhausted. By not drinking alcohol, your sleep will improve, which will also give you more energy and improve your physical and mental health.
By stopping drinking alcohol, the liver has to work less hard. After all, alcohol consumption is a risk factor for liver disease caused by prolonged and excessive drinking. In heavy drinkers, the fatty liver gradually decreases, although it will take a long time before the damage is reversed. If liver cirrhosis has developed, it is unfortunately irreversible, although you can limit further damage by not drinking alcohol anymore.
In addition to liver function, digestion will also begin to improve. After all, consuming alcohol causes our stomach lining to produce more saliva and stomach acid. Stop drinking normalizes the situation.
Positive Effects After 3 Months Of No Alcohol
If you have achieved a target of quitting alcohol for up to 3 months, so yay! You have achieved a lot! It’s very difficult to quit alcohol once being addicted but after 3 months of giving up alcohol, you will find yourself more fit and energetic than before. Let us now discuss the benefits of not drinking alcohol for the 3 months that you are gonna see.
1. Lose Weight Easily
Many people forget alcohol gives a high-calorie count: 7 kcal per gram. Add to that the calories from the carbohydrates (and sometimes fats in cocktails ). Wine glasses or a bottle add 100 to 150 calories, but with cocktails, this can go up to 300 or 400. If you drink a solid evening, you will have ingested an extra 1500 calories. This means weight gain in just a small timeframe.
This does not only have to do with the number of calories. Alcohol in your body also boosts the production of cortisol. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone, but it has multiple adverse effects. The main effect of high cortisol for people who want to lose weight is that it causes your body to break down muscles faster and store body fat faster.
Thus stopping drinking alcohol and intake of healthier foods would certainly show positive effects on your weight!
2. Have A Better Sleep
Many people still believe that alcohol makes you sleep better. And it’s true that it quickly makes you feel drowsy, so you may fall asleep faster. However, that does not mean that you rest well. Because of all that poison in your body, the quality of your sleep is bad after a night out.
Moreover, many studies have now proved that excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to sleep disturbances and insomnia. According to a recent study conducted in Italy on a group of night and day workers reported that there is a bidirectional link between alcohol and poor sleep quality. Those who work at night were more prone to excessive alcohol than the rest, which eventually led to them experiencing insomnia. Also, your liver has to work very hard to break down alcohol. That is one of the reasons why you do not wake up so refreshed after a night out: your body has had to work to drain everything and has not been able to rest.
By cutting off alcohol you will notice that your sleep quality has become much better. And skipping that hangover, that’s just a bonus!
3. Better Resistance
By not drinking for 3 months, the levels of your white blood cells rise, which reduces the risk of getting sick. Not unimportant in corona times. Alcohol hinders the production of white and red blood cells and thus weakens your immune system. Chronic heavy alcohol consumption is associated with fewer white blood cells, which are important for good resistance. Deficiency of this increases the risk of both bacterial and viral infections.
You also get less flu when you drink less, and that’s not just because you’re better rested. Alcohol also affects your immune system. For example, the amount of blood cells in your body decreases after you drink. However, it is precisely those cells that are essential to ward off viruses and bacteria.
Stop drinking alcohol and you will see your immune system boosted up!
4. Healthy Liver
Your liver, more than any other organ, bears the brunt of your drinking habits. This organ is in charge of your body’s cleansing and must break down all of the alcohol you consume.
When your liver is forced to break down drink excessively and quite often, the fatty liver develops. Because of the alcohol, your liver expands, making you feel nauseated and prone to vomiting. This can also cause liver damage. After just over a month there is 15% less fat tissue around your liver. After 3 months your liver will settle down and the fatty liver will have largely decreased. Liver damage chances are much reduced. Unfortunately, if you have liver cirrhosis, it is not reversible.
Your liver will mend after a few days, but if you continue to drink in the meantime, your liver damage will increase and you will never completely recover. In the worst-case situation, cirrhosis of the liver, which can be fatal, can develop.
After 3 months without alcohol, your liver damage is cured up to a higher extent and your libido can increase.
5. Brighter Skin
When you drink, the poisons that your liver can’t handle end up in your skin. This produces pollutants, which can lead to inflammation and other problems. Additionally, alcohol has a dehydrating impact on the skin that you can see. Overall, you will appear grayer and unwell! Don’t start with all kinds of skincare products, but clean your skin in a natural way: drink more water and less alcohol.
Stopping drinking is one of the most efficient ways to regain a healthier complexion.
Your skin will continue to improve, especially if you drink enough water. You start to look healthier. Your skin makes new cells and gets the chance to improve its natural elasticity. When you stop drinking, your skin will look more vibrant again.
6. Better Mood
There is a stress hormone called cortisol, which you all have heard of. Alcohol abuse increases the synthesis of that stress hormone. In the long run, this has a number of drawbacks, including muscle tissue degradation and the development of excess fat. An important effect of an excess of cortisol, however, is that you will feel chronically stressed.
Always take into account that heavy alcohol consumption and depression have a direct relation. You will feel relaxed and happier over a period of time without drinking.
In the beginning, you may suffer from gloomy showers when you stop drinking, but these are usually completely passed after a few months. Furthermore, not drinking might boost your self-esteem and make you feel better. That will make you happy!
Your mood brightens, you just feel much better!
7. Stronger Muscles
Alcohol has a negative impact on muscular development. Alcohol makes building muscle more difficult. And it ensures that your body recovers less well after exercise.
Bear this in mind: you need sleep to recover from your exercises, you need to feel rejuvenated in order to exercise consistently, and you need surplus energy in order to show off your muscles. All of this is tough if your alcohol consumption is on a daily basis! Furthermore, drinking lowers testosterone levels.
If you exercise, this has more effect on your body. You build muscle faster. Because your sleep cycle has already normalized for months, and your muscles have gotten their required proportions. If you stop drinking, your overall outcomes will improve substantially.
If you don’t drink, building muscle and endurance is easier and faster.
8. More Vitamins And Minerals
Alcohol prevents you from absorbing minerals and vitamins. Because your body is preoccupied with processing your drink, the remainder of your meal receives less attention. In other words, all the effort you continue to make to eat healthily is partially negated.
This sounds very disturbing. If your body is not getting the required vitamins and minerals from time to time, your health would start to deteriorate which ultimately affects your physical health badly.
Thus no alcohol for 3 months would help you in regaining those minerals and vitamins that were neglected during your alcohol consumption. So quit drinking and let your body welcome vitamins and minerals!
9. Your Teeth Are Less Affected
Alcohol contains sugars and acidic substances such as citric acid that damage tooth enamel, causing tooth decay, increasing plaque, sensitivity, and sometimes bad breath.
All these teeth issues are common nowadays and it’s because people are drinking alcohol too much which ultimately shows an adverse effect on their teeth.
Also, you must have heard about “sweet tooth”. It’s basically about liking sweet things. During drinking, you gradually start to lose your sweet cravings due to heavy alcohol intake. But as soon as you start to quit drinking you’ll notice that your sweet cravings especially that tooth are getting into force again. You start regaining your sugar cravings and this is how you start your way towards a healthier life.
In short, having no alcohol for 3 months will make your teeth stronger and less affected.
10. Increases Fertility
Fertility is a major issue seen in today’s world. The main reason that affects fertility is alcohol!
Alcohol reduces fertility. Alcohol directly affects the inner parts of the body, especially hormones are badly affected. Up to a certain extent, fertility is based on hormones, and if hormones are affected that would surely affect men and women.
Women who don’t drink are more likely to get pregnant. In men who do not drink, there is less chance of damaged sperm.
Initially, you’ll not see fertility effects but as soon as months would pass after quitting alcohol you will definitely feel like you are improving.
11. You Save Money
Drinking alcohol costs money. Does this sound like a silly reason?
You should keep an eye on how much money you actually spend on those tasty alcohols and those wine glasses. If you look at that on a monthly or annual basis, it quickly amounts to hundreds of dollars! Money that you can better invest in good food or relaxing outings.
If you stop drinking, you will have that money left over. Have you ever calculated how much your alcohol consumption has been spent on your money? Meanwhile, you haven’t spent a cent on alcohol in 4 weeks. If you drank on average for 3 or 5 dollars a day, you have already saved 90 to 150 dollars!
Set this amount aside and buy yourself something nice after a while. Maybe it’s time to reward yourself by buying that book or piece of clothing you’ve been wanting to have. You’ve earned it!
12. Symptoms Of Disappear
People who suffer from depressive or anxiety symptoms often also notice an improvement in these complaints when they stop drinking alcohol. Not immediately when you drink excessively because as your body and mind are weaning, this can initially cause feelings of discomfort. So keep going!
In addition to depression, drinking a lot of alcohol is often accompanied by anxiety. Especially if you drink to dampen your fear, which can cause even more feelings of fear to surface and you end up in a vicious circle. Stop drinking often ensures that anxiety symptoms disappear on their own.
Suppose you are in psychotherapy, this therapy will also “work” much better when you stop drinking because your mind is clearer and you are more eager to deal with your low mood.
Among the benefits of no alcohol for 3 months, this is the most valued benefit! In this state, your mind is relaxed and stressless.
13. Your Love Life Also Improves
During this time, your relationships with others especially with your life partner must have been disturbed up to an extent.
Quitting alcohol may have improved your life if you previously drank excessively. Guilt and shame feelings are reduced or gone, leaving you feeling freer in your relationships. The irritability of the first weeks without alcohol is out of your system, so you may invest more in your relationships and in fun activities. Considering the love life, Men can also get an erection more easily if they don’t drink. Women who do not drink also have fewer complaints during menstruation.
Your self-image may also have improved, which in turn manifests itself positively in the connection with others.
14. You Feel Happier
If you stop drinking, your mood will improve. In addition, alcohol detox can also improve your self-confidence and will make you sense better. That will make you happy!
Drinking alcohol can make you sad. Drinking can make you feel more confident and relaxed at the moment. If you drink a lot and often, those pleasant feelings can turn into negative feelings. For example, you feel gloomy, anxious, or angry. Even if you felt good before drinking. This feeling can linger. Drinking a lot of alcohol is associated with psychological dilemmas such as sadness, depression, or anxiety.
Quitting alcohol for 3 months or more will definitely improve your mind, mood, and mental health which will keep you happy.
15. Your Interest In Activities Returns
Alcohol artificially increases dopamine. In an effort to restore a natural balance, the dopamine-sensitive neurons switch off some of their receptors. As a result, there may be a loss of interest in activities that previously gave you satisfaction. You start disliking those activities which are once your favorite hobbies.
Once you start disliking your activities you will keep yourself lonely. This state of mind (being alone) is the most killing state. It makes a person boring, dull, depressive, and short-tempered.
But now since you have quit alcohol for months, you get your own dopamine reflex back, and the desire to do things will also return. You start to find yourself again and indulge yourself in various good activities that will give you pleasure and satisfaction and thus, your mood improves.
16. You Feel More Fit And More Energetic
Since your sleep cycle is normalized you would feel much more fitter and energetic.
During the consumption of alcohol, your sleep quality is affected badly. As you need about six to seven cycles of rem sleep during one night, you only get about one to two rem sleep while you are drinking. This leads to reduced health and affects your fitness.
Having no alcohol for months would help you in increasing your sleep quality and you feel much more alert throughout the day. Your rem sleep would improve which in turn will help you in being more energetic and fitter in the morning. You will wake up fresh and thus feel more fruitful each passing day. In this way, you would be able to innovate and do hard work based on your interest.
17. Physical And Mental Health Improves
Alcohol affects brain function and after just one or two drinks the brain works less well. As the brain works less both your mental and physical health is affected badly. You will start seeing mental health issues in yourself.
Having an active mind and being occupied with an activity helps you to be aware of your own abilities, to work productively, and to better cope with the normal stresses of the day-to-day. Keeping yourself busy in activities creates chemical reactions in the brain that helps you to have good mental health, be alert, and improve your concentration.
If you stop drinking, you may notice that you have more overview and are more decisive.
18. Improved Blood Pressure
Since the ingestion of alcoholic beverages affects the whole organism. But it is especially harmful to cardiovascular disease and blood pressure. Indeed, abusive consumption increases your chance of having a cardiovascular disorders, suggests a study published in Alcohol Research exploring alcohol’s effect of cardiovascular system. You remain caught in high blood pressure issues which can even risk your life.
People who do heavy drinking must remember that alcohol directly goes to their bloodstream and damages their blood flow causing their life exposed to high blood pressure, and high blood pressure means the risk of having a heart attack multiplies.
Thus quitting alcohol is the only option for them for living a healthy and happier life.
19. You Eat Less Junk Food
Heavy drinking often impacts your eating habits. While drinking you tend to eat a lot of junk food and are reluctant to eat healthy food. This way your healthy liver also gets affected since it has to break down alcohol and now the unhealthy food.
Heavy drinkers find this thing more in themselves. Junk foods not only affect health but also changes the taste of your tongue by making a habit of taking junk foods. Excessive intake of junk foods can lead to heart disease as well as junk foods are made up of things that directly affect your heart and blood flow. In this way, your blood pressure can also increase.
Thus, quitting alcohol for months shows various health benefits. It decreases your chance of heart disease and blood pressure by controlling your intake of junk foods.
20. Improved Sense Of Humor
The practice of giving up alcohol for months contributes to the improvement of the sense of humor.
Due to alcohol abuse, many alcoholics get irritated with just a small number of things. Their mental health is affected so badly that their sense of humor has been lost somewhere.
A good moment to laugh out loud, according to psychologists, is one of the greatest relaxing treatments available. Laughing stimulates the brain to produce dopamine, a chemical associated with love and kindness. Both the negative and the positive sides of a person’s sense of humor are acquired, developed, and taught, just like any other skill. Since giving up alcohol can you can focus on various other fun activities as mentioned before so the setting in which an activity takes place is perfect for enhancing one’s sense of humor.
People not giving up alcohol are likely to miss all these laughing chances. It’s better to give up alcohol and you yourself will see the benefits of not drinking alcohol in just a small span of time.
21. Improvement Of Cognitive Processes
The benefits of not drinking alcohol also affect the psyche of the person, such as through cognitive processes such as memory and attention.
It is a reality that people who drink frequently (and especially those who are addicted) end up having more difficulties when it comes to concentrating or retaining certain information (in addition, they may seem slower when talking or reasoning); that is, their minds are less clear.
By eliminating all traces of alcohol in our brains, we become more agile. Likewise, we have a better capacity for attention and learning and we increase our memory and judgment.
Therefore, stopping drinking alcohol will help you to have a clearer mind, to think faster, and to memorize better.
22. Less Risk Of Cancer
It is proven that the habit of alcohol consumption in excess promotes the appearance of cancerous diseases. Among the most common is cancer of the mouth, stomach, esophagus, liver, and breast. Liver cancer is one of the most common types nowadays.
“The liver, responsible for eliminating toxins from the body, is the organ that works the most when you drink alcohol,” says Robin Barnett, author of a book on addictions entitled ‘Addict in the House’. If the liver is loaded with work, it suffers stress that causes the rest of the metabolic activity to slow down as it has to focus its efforts on eliminating the toxic substance from the body. And this makes the body much more exposed to occurring diseases such as cancer.
“Alcohol consumption has consequences for the health and well-being of those who drink and, by extension, the lives of those around them” (Health Risks and Benefits of Alcohol Consumption, Alcohol Res Health, 2000.) Consuming alcohol continuously or excessively, even sporadically, is a harmful action to our overall health. Well, as a toxic substance, its intake has multiple negative consequences; some immediate and others that will emerge over time. Therefore, the consumption of alcoholic beverages only serves to spoil the good times and in the long term, to deteriorate your quality of life.
However, deciding to refuse to consume it or to give up the habit, if you already have it, brings many advantages and prevents many evils. Among all of them, perhaps the most important is that it helps prevent the disease of alcoholism. Reach out to Lantana Recovery if you want to experience the benefits of being alcohol-free!