Most people enjoy letting loose with a drink or two or seven, but what happens if you decided to quit? Here are our picks for the top five things that could happen when you stop drinking alcohol.
Your immunity will improve
No one likes being sick. As humans, we rely on our immune system to not only keep harmful germs and illnesses out, but also to fight them once they’ve made it in. The problem with alcohol is that it diminishes our body’s ability to fight off these microscopic assailants.
In fact, a study published by the International BioMedical journal called ‘Alcohol’ found that within 20 minutes of ingesting an alcoholic beverage, your body’s immune system is severely weakened, prohibiting it from performing all the functions that keep you from coughing and sneezing for two weeks straight. Drinking wagon might just be the cold and flu remedy that’s escaped you all these years! Nevermind.
You’ll lower your risk for cancer, but possibly increase your risk for heart disease
While knocking back a few adult beverages can be a blast, the health effects can be downright deadly. Heavy consumption of alcohol can lead to an increased risk of various forms of cancer including those that affect the liver, breast and colon according to the National Cancer Institute. As such, giving up the suit’s dramatically decreases the risk of contracting these forms of alcohol related diseases.
However, because moderate alcohol consumption can help reduce the risk of heart disease, the chances of quitting negatively impacting your most important organ may increase. So if you do decide to stop drinking, it may be best to speak with a health care professional to ensure you don’t experience any negative heart related drawbacks.
You’ll get better sleep or will wake up feeling better
It has been long accepted that a little drink before bed will help you not off a little quicker. While it is true the alcohol can make you sleepy, the disadvantage begins with alpha wave patterns in the brain. Alpha wave patterns are kind of like the brain equivalent of when you close your laptop, but it doesn’t really slip into sleep mode.
Because consuming alcohol before going to bed increases these waves, it leads to disrupted sleep. It is also a diuretic which is a fancy science talk for saying it makes you pee more. Having to pee while sleeping causes you to wake up earlier and more often than normal, but then of course the only thing worse than waking up too early is waking up hungover.
It will be easier to lose weight
It’s no secret that alcohol doesn’t do your body any favours. However, many people don’t realize just how many calories they are consuming during the Friday happy hour. With sugary drinks such as margaritas containing anywhere between 300 and 500 calories, it is easy to see how cutting out the booze can lead to a thinner waistline. Additionally, a study by the American Journal of Nutrition found that alcohol is one of the biggest drivers of excessive food intake.
How many times have you stumbled home from a club at 3 a.m. only to stop for a quick burrito with a side of cheeseburgers? All those late night snacks and empty calories from liquor add up. Drop the booze and you’ll drop the pound.
You’ll save money
Whether you’re drinking scotch from a crystal tumblr or Pabst Blue Ribbon from an unsanitary beer bong, alcohol can leave a major dent in your wallet. A night out on the town can sometimes feel like a scene from Ocean’s eleven where the casino vault is your bank account and Danny ocean and his friends are the bartenders.
Simply put, quitting the hooch will lead to more money in your pocket. From taxes and tips to fine wine and celebratory champagne, drinking is a costly endeavour. Who hasn’t woken up after a long night only to realize the hundred dollars he or she took out of the ATM is nowhere to be found. Stop consuming alcohol and your wallet will thank!