Since its beginnings in 2008, an impressive $73 million has been raised for Dry July. With over 290,000 Australians taking part in the initiative, it’s no wonder why. So, should you consider going alcohol free for a month? Well, not only will you be raising money for a worthy cause, there are a number of other personal positives to consider…
What is Dry July?
Dry July began when three friends decided to give up alcohol for a month in the hope of raising money to buy a TV for their local hospital.
Dry July now raises hundreds of thousands of dollars every year, with all money donated to local and national cancer support organisations around the country who provide practical and essential support services to people affected by cancer. The Dry July foundation aims to make a trying time a little easier, and everything they fund benefits patients, their families and carers. From wellness programs, accommodation and transport services to specialist support, they cover it all.
What are some of the benefits of not drinking alcohol?
There are many advantages to cutting alcohol out of your diet, including:
- Improved mental health: While you may think alcohol is a mood elevator, it’s actually a powerful depressant that can affect your overall mental health. Cutting out alcohol will allow your brain to neutralise and think with a clearer head, helping you to deal with any underlying mental issues in a more positive way.
- Avoid hangovers: It’s an obvious advantage to giving up alcohol, but it’s still an important one to consider. You can say goodbye to nausea, headaches and tiredness the day after drinking. This alone will help improve your mood and sense of productivity.
- Better sleep: While alcohol does make you go to sleep more quickly, it actually disrupts your sleep cycle, lessening your quality of sleep. Alcohol disrupts the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep, leaving you feeling tired and unmotivated the next day. Cutting alcohol will mean more restful nights sleep and you’ll wake up more easily in the morning and feeling refreshed.
- Energy: Not only can bad sleep quality make you feel lethargic in the morning, alcohol can also make you dehydrated, affecting your concentration and energy. Dehydration can also cause dry skin. By stopping drinking, your skin will start to regain its natural tone and glow and you’ll generally feel more alert.
- Weight loss: Some schooners of beer can contain the same number of calories as pizza and wine can equate to an ice cream. Over time, a drink or two each night can easily cause your weight to creep up without you even realising. Cutting out alcohol will reduce your calorie intake, helping you to lose that extra weight.
- Improved liver function: Alcohol has a negative affect on your liver, mainly because your body isn’t built to process it. Drinking alcohol causes your liver to work extra hard to process it and over time, it can get worn out. The moment you give up alcohol, your liver will begin ‘cleaning’ itself, and if you cut out alcohol for a few months, you will really start to feel the benefits.
Tips for cutting back on alcohol
Whether you decide to cut back on alcohol for Dry July or a longer period, keep these quick tips in mind:
- Talk to your friends and family about cutting down so they can support you
- Take it a day at a time to help keep you motivated
- If you’re not quite ready to cut alcohol out entirely, try reducing your drink size incrementally
- Try swapping your usual drink for an alcohol-free version. There are plenty of different types of zero- alcohol beer and wine.
How can I support Dry July?
There are plenty of ways you can support Dry July. Details on how you can sign up or support someone can be found on the Dry July Foundation website.
If you have questions regarding your overall health or lifestyle choices, call the practice today to book a consultation.