The Benefits of Cutting Alcohol Consumption

Posted on: January 23rd, 2020 by Pat Mesiti No Comments

Are you out of holiday mode yet, or are you still going to great barbeques and parties, and catching up with old friends and family? I love summer time in Australia. It is the season to get out on boats, fish, swim and socialise, and of course socialising means a few drinks. But have you noticed that more and more people are giving up alcohol? Many say they are motivated to get off it for health reasons. Have you ever considered doing this?

I have a European background, and alcohol is part of my heritage – part of my culture. Italians love a glass of vino with meals. I personally like fine wines and liqueurs, however as I’ve gotten older I’ve eased back on drinking alcohol. There are times in my life when I focus on my health and try to exercise more and cut out indulgences, like alcohol. I think we all tend to do that after the festive season when we have eaten and drank way too much. But what would it be like to leave alcohol behind forever? I notice quite a few celebrities have become non-drinkers, among them Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Lopez, Bradley Cooper, even Brad Pitt. Most of them say they gave up for health reasons. Let’s look at what the benefits are to not drinking alcohol.

Alcohol is bad for the skin

Skin specialists say drinking alcohol is one of the worst things you can do to your skin. Alcohol dehydrates the skin and makes fine lines and wrinkles more visible. It also dulls the tone and aggravates conditions like rosacea. Stop drinking alcohol and drink the recommended two litres of water a day and your skin will drastically improve. Under your eyes will look less puffy, and conditions such as dandruff, eczema, and rosacea will get much better. After a month you can expect to look radiant, healthier and younger.

Too much alcohol can damage your sight and earing

Drinking too much alcohol can cause problems for both hearing and sight. 

Excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of the eye condition, macular degeneration. This is when there is damage to the macula, the oval-shaped pigment near the centre of the retina. Also changes in blood pressure, caused by alcohol, reduce how many nutrients and how much oxygen the optic nerve in the eye gets. And drinking also changes B12 or thiamine levels, which can damage vision. On top of that, some studies suggest that excessive drinking can cause an increased risk of cataract.

High alcohol consumption over a time, like the festive season, can also lead to damage in the central auditory (hearing) cortex of the brain, which can then cause the brain to shrink. Damage to the auditory nerve accumulates over time meaning even moderate drinkers are at risk of hearing loss in the long run.

Your sleep will improve

Have you noticed that you become very sleepy after a few drinks? However alcohol actually  reduces sleep quality. Alcohol blocks deep sleep or Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. That is the time in the night when your brain processes and files new information. Giving up alcohol gives you deeper sleep. This will help you to feel more mentally sharp. You are also likely to wake up with more energy after lots of REM sleep.

Women should be aware that alcohol can increase the frequency and intensity of hot flushes because of its effect on the nervous system and adrenaline levels.

You will be less moody

Alcohol acts as both a stimulant and a depressant. Studies have found that the effects of alcohol depend not just on how much you drink, but also on whether your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is going up or down. When you first start drinking your BAC goes up and alcohol acts as a stimulant. You feel a rising level of excitement and you become less inhibited. If you are suffering any depression it will fade but when the effects of the alcohol start wearing off and your BAC begins to go down, you will feel restless, anxious and depressed – in short after a big night you can feel really down. If you stop drinking, you will get off the emotional roller-coaster for good. Remember alcohol is an addictive substance, and it supresses any anxieties and fears we feel. Isn’t it better to face these head on and deal with them?

You eat better

Drinking affects our ability to think rationally and reduces our inhibitions. We are more likely to eat junk food when we are drinking excessively. One study found that men consume an extra 730 calories while drinking, and women consume an extra 715 calories. Another study found that when we drink alcohol we tend to gravitate to salty food, which is hardly good for blood pressure. 

Remember also that alcohol is full of calories. There are around 125 calories in a glass of wine, and more than 150 calories in a beer.

Alcohol is bad for your teeth

Alcoholic drinks generally have high sugar content, which can lead to tooth decay and there’s an acid content in alcoholic drinks which strips teeth of their enamel, then thins and weakens them. Remember alcohol also dehydrates teeth and gums by reducing saliva, which aggravates decay and gum disease.

Will you try going dry?

It is not my place to tell you whether to drink alcohol or not drink alcohol. As an Italian-Australian, alcohol is part of my culture, and I could not imagine quitting drinking for life, however I have times when I cut my alcohol consumption way down and focus on getting healthy. All I can say is that you have to do what is right for yourself, but why not give up drinking for a month and see how you feel? After one month you may find yourself slimmer, richer and healthier. You might decide to give up drinking for life!

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ABOUT PAT MESITI

Pat Mesiti is a best-selling author, coach and educator in the area of personal development. Having built some of Australia’s largest people-driven organisations, Pat understands the power of harnessing human potential. He has shared the stage with some of the world’s great business minds and has sold over millions of copies of his books and materials.

 

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