Advantages of an Alcohol-free August

Sunny hikes, lake breezes, and long days at the beach offer the perfect backdrop for thinking about changes we can make to feel our best.

It can be easy to grab a cocktail, beer, or seltzer to relax or cool down. However, these moments of indulgence can take a toll on our health: a recent study in The Lancet Oncology journal found that over 740,000 of the 18.5 million cases of cancer diagnosed last year were tied to alcohol consumption, with heavy drinking leading to 47% of new cancer cases.

Even modest drinking can have a significant impact on our health. A recent study in Nature Communications found that one alcoholic drink a day was linked to changes in brain tissue, and going from one to two daily drinks was comparable to two years of aging in the brain.

It’s well-documented that avoiding alcohol can boost energy levels, improve skin health, and prompt weight loss — but up until now, these effects have mostly been thought of as short-term.

However, new research at the University of Sussex has found that a month away from alcohol could offer health benefits even eight months later.
Researchers discovered that, after a month of sobriety, participants’ drinking days in the months that followed fell from 4.3 to 3.3 per week, and the
units they consumed dropped from 8.6 to 7.1 per day. Even better, these benefits were seen even in those who didn’t avoid alcohol the whole month.
Of those who took part in the study, 67% had more energy, 58% lost weight, and 57% reported higher concentration levels.

An Alcohol-Free August can be a great way to refresh, reset, and recharge your body — and since you’ll be getting better sleep, you’ll have more energy for walking the beach, browsing the farmers’ market, and taking in the summer sun.

Sources: Olivia Petter. The Independent. “Dry January Benefits Could Last Until August, Studies Claim,” (Dec. 29, 2018), (accessed June 28, 2022); Richard de Visser, PhD. The University of Sussex. “Evaluation of Dry January 2019,” (Dec. 2019)

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