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Alcohol break: 5 positive effects

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The one after-work beer has turned into two or three over the last few months? Have you been topping up that one glass of wine a few times to wind down in the evening? It’s hard to turn the screw back. The best way is to avoid alcohol altogether for a while. It’s not just your health that benefits in the long term.

Why should you take a break from alcohol?

“Taking a break from alcohol, even if just for a few weeks, is a good idea, especially if you normally consume more than the recommended amount,” says addiction doctor Dr. Damon Raskin from Los Angeles. And according to the WHO recommendation, this amount is 24 grams of alcohol per day for men, which is roughly equivalent to a large glass of beer (500 ml contains 20 grams of alcohol) – and that only 4 to 5 days per week.

Which doesn’t mean that this amount of alcohol is “recommended”. The truth is: There is no safe level of alcohol, says Dr. Lars Möller, head of the Alcohol and Illicit Drugs Program at the WHO Regional Office for Europe, said alcohol is closely linked to at least 60 different diseases. And the more and more often you drink, the higher your chance of developing one of these diseases.

How much does drinking alcohol increase the risk of developing cancer?

Very strong! In 2020 alone, more than 740,000 new cancers worldwide were linked to alcohol consumption, according to an in The Lancet Oncology published study. The latest data from the Alcohol Atlas Germany of the German Cancer Research Center (dkfz) show that “even a low alcohol consumption of up to 12.5 grams of alcohol per day (increases the risk of developing cancer in the mouth and throat, the esophagus and the female breast) “.

It has also been clearly proven that the risk of developing esophageal, liver, stomach, intestinal and pancreatic cancer, for example, increases proportionally with the amount of alcohol consumed regularly. And this doesn’t just apply to older people: alcohol is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths in the 20 to 24 age group, according to WHO Europe data. These are further consequences of alcohol.

So if your alcohol consumption tends towards “more and more”, you should urgently think about abstaining from alcohol, at least for a limited period of time, in order to get back to a reasonable level. In the long term, this will reduce your risk of developing serious health problems. But your body also benefits in the short term from abstaining from alcohol.

What effects does abstaining from alcohol have on my body?

Those who abstain from alcohol not only protect their liver and reduce their risk of developing cancer. These 5 positive effects on your health will reward you for your self-discipline after just a short time:

1. You sleep better without alcohol.

Studies show that those who drink a lot of alcohol in the evening sleep worse. Maybe you know what happens after a night of drinking: you fall asleep quickly, but wake up again after a short time. It’s difficult to fall asleep again, you toss and turn in bed until you finally fall into a restless sleep. The reason for this is increased activity of alpha waves in the brain caused by alcohol. These waves mainly occur when you relax, meditate, visualize, daydream. That’s why alcohol helps so much to “come down”. But not when you sleep, your brain is too active for that. Without alcohol, you will reach deeper, relaxing sleep phases more quickly, wake up in a better mood and start the day more productive. These are the 9 most dangerous consequences of lack of sleep.

Instead of reaching for a glass of beer in the evening, you should turn on the kettle and make some tea. There are special sleeping teas that have a calming effect on the nerves and can relieve nervousness, exhaustion and anxiety. Teegeschwister’s sleep tea contains calming herbs such as lemon balm, lavender, passionflower and valerian and ensures that you can relax and wind down after a strenuous day.

2. When you abstain from alcohol, you eat less.

According to one in American magazine Obesity According to a published study, alcohol is one of the biggest causes of overeating. Study participants who received an infusion equivalent to two glasses of a moderately strong alcoholic beverage while eating ate 30 percent more than subjects who received a saline solution injection. The study leaders concluded that even a non-excessive amount of alcohol can increase brain activity to such an extent that you perceive the smell of food more intensely – and react to it by eating more.

Therefore: Abstaining from alcohol, even if only for a limited time, not only steers your drinking behavior back into moderation, your eating behavior also benefits from it.

Training and nutrition plan

3. You will lose weight while abstaining from alcohol.

If you avoid alcohol, you will lose weight faster, because wine, cocktails, etc. not only have a lot of calories and sugar (a margarita, for example, contains around 300 calories, mainly from sugar). Alcohol also blocks metabolism: “As long as the liver is busy breaking down alcohol, it breaks down less fat and instead stores it in the fat cells,” says Michaela Goecke, head of the department for topic-specific health education at the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA).

4. You look better after the alcohol break.

Within a few days without alcohol, you will notice that your skin not only feels better, but looks better too. The reason for this is the absence of the diuretic effect of alcohol. This reduces the body’s ability to store water. And the less water the body is able to store, the drier and wrinkled the skin becomes. “Redness on the cheeks and around the nose also begins to fade, and dandruff disappears,” explains Dr. Raskin.

5. Temporarily abstaining from alcohol makes you more active.

If you have regularly consumed too much alcohol over a long period of time and plan to be abstinent for a while, you may experience mild withdrawal symptoms. “It’s important to know that there will be moments when you feel empty – and that that can make you pretty damn irritable,” says Dr. Raskin. These are the tastiest mocktails for men.

Don’t dwell on the bad emotions. Use the regained energy to do activities that you otherwise couldn’t or didn’t want to do because of your alcohol level. After dinner, go for a walk in the fresh air, whether jogging or walking. By the way, now is the perfect moment to finally start running. You can find all information about this here:

Try non-alcoholic drinks. For example, order a non-alcoholic beer package with 12 different types of beer to try. Such combinations of non-alcoholic drinks of different types are also available with non-alcoholic craft beer and non-alcoholic wines. Sign up for the gym. Or go to the cinema with friends instead of dozing on the sofa and watching series.

“Taking a break from alcohol can be a challenge at first,” says expert Dr. Raskin too. But it’s worth it. Your organs get time to regenerate, you gain more energy in everyday life and you look even better. Just start! Now!

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