What its really like to give up alcohol

16 June, 2023 / words by IALH Editorial Team

Written by IALH Editor

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So you’ve taken the plunge and decided not to drink. It may be out of necessity – medical or pregnancy related. Or you just felt like a detox because your body really can’t do what it used to during that uni fresher’s week! Whatever your reason, it’s a big shift in lifestyle and can have big or small impacts on your day to day life in ways you may never have expected. Now this isn’t us telling you whether you should or not, that’s entirely up to you and your lifestyle choices (we love a cheeky wine as much as the next hun!). We’re just giving you some insight into our experiences so if you’re considering an alcohol detox you’re fully prepared…

The pros

Better sleep – you’ll likely find you drift off at night far easier and wake up in the morning a lot more refreshed and ready to start your day. Heavy drinking the night before can leave you sluggish the following day.

Faster metabolism – alcohol slows down your metabolism, so yep you guessed it. When you give it up it’ll return to a faster rate and your body will process fats and sugar more quickly. You’ll also likely lose a bit of weight (so long as the alcohol isn’t substituted for fizzy drinks!) as most alcohol is high in calories.

Save money – drinks aren’t cheap! If you give it up you’ll likely find you spend less on a night out or at a dinner.

Clearer, smoother skin – now this one takes a while, but eventually you’ll probably notice your skin is healthier and more hydrated. This is because without alcohol your body can absorb more water.

The cons

It’s not an overnight fix – there are lots of health benefits to giving up alcohol and this may be one of the reasons you’ve chosen to do it. But be aware that you won’t see a difference straight away, better moods, immune system, weight and energy levels can take anywhere from a 1 – 3 months to start showing.

It can impact your social life – if your social plans revolve around alcohol often (so bars, clubs, bottomless brunches), it may feel very different to do these things without a cocktail in your hand. Those around you may want to still drink and you need to be prepared to potentially be the only one staying sober.

FOMO – similar to the last one, but Fear Of Missing Out is so real. So many of us rely on alcohol to have a good time and if that’s what your used to it can take a while to adapt.

Things that can help

Find a 0% alcohol alternative that you love – there’s plenty on the market, but be warned they definitely vary in quality and taste. Find one or two you really enjoy and stock up. When you’re out ask the bar if they have it or failing that create you something similar to sip on all night long. Here’s some of our faves:

Pentire Margarita
New London Light 0% Gin
Kopparberg Alcohol-Free Premium Cider

Try activities that don’t involve alcohol – now this might not be for everyone and society is hugely concentrated around alcohol-based fun. But it is possible to have a good time without it!



IALH Editorial Team


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