DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – If you didn’t hop onto the Dry January band-wagon, that’s ok! You can do it any month and it can have a myriad of health benefits.
“We are a drinking nation,” Parkland Hospital physician Dr. Manisha Raja says, but “abstaining from alcohol for 30 days can help refresh your body.”
A recent British study found people who gave up drinking for the first month of 2018 reported drinking less eight months later.
Researchers from the University of Sussex observed of the 800 people who took part in a Dry January campaign, 7 in 10 participants slept better and some even lost weight.
Dr. Raja says you might learn from the experiment as well.
“You get to learn about your patterns of drinking and how you want that to be in the future,” she says.
Abstaining from alcohol can help your liver and insulin functions and even lead to better sleep and concentration.
Luckily the trend is catching on across the country.
Big brands like Budweiser and Heineken now sell zero-alcohol beers. The non-alcoholic beer industry is expected to grow to over $25 billion by 2024. There are also a slew of alcohol-free spirits saturating the market. But watch for sugar in those drinks.
Raja also suggests making some adjustments to your schedule. “If you come home and you’re used to having a glass of wine or beer, try to make a date with a friend to go walk,” she said. “If you’re used to doing social activities and drinking socially, then you might want to do something that’s more along the lines of movies or bowling rather than going to a bar.”
The CDC dietary guidelines for drinking alcohol are one drink a day for women and two a day for men.