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5 Reasons Why Saying No to Even an Occasional Drink Can Be Good for Your Health

5 Reasons Why Saying No to Even an Occasional Drink Can Be Good for Your Health

Drinking too much and too often can have adverse effects on your immune system making you prone to pneumonia and other diseases.

Perhaps you started off with enjoying an odd glass of wine during the week and have progressed to a glass or more a day or are overdoing it with beer. Like Oscar-winning actor Ben Affleck, you could be on the way to cutting back on drinking and opting for an alcohol-free life. 

Many of us enjoy multiple drinks over the winter months and the summer could be a great time to take a break or stop entirely. Giving up alcohol for even one month in a year can improve your life and the benefits would be long-lasting. According to research from the University of Sussex led by Dr. Richard de Visser, giving up alcohol for even a month can help people getting control of their drinking, having more energy, better skin and losing weight. It also contributes to drinking less later. 

For others, abstaining from alcohol could be health related entirely. If you are exploring the possibility of giving up drinking, here are some benefits you need to know about: 

1. You'll sleep better

One study, The Acute Effects of Alcohol on Sleep Electroencephalogram Power Spectra in Late Adolescence, in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research said that consuming alcohol before going to bed increases cerebral activity that usually occurs when you’re awake but resting. This leads to disrupted sleep. Another review, Alcohol and Sleep, found that alcohol might help you sleep more quickly and deeply initially but worsens your sleep quality after that initial phase. Both are proof enough that alcohol leads to bad sleeping patterns. 

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2. Your immune system will thank you

Drinking too much frequently can affect your immune system adversely. Those who drink regularly are more susceptible to pneumonia and other respiratory disorders. They will also have a higher chance of post-surgery complications and poor wound healing. They will also be facing a higher instance of sepsis and certain cancers. Too much alcohol can literally make you sick. Without it, you will lead a healthier life and won't fall sick as often. 

“[Giving up alcohol]...will strengthen your immune system and make it easier for your body to fight off infection,” Kristin Kirkpatrick, a registered dietician with the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, tells Vice. He referred to a 2015 study that found that alcohol overstresses the immune system and decreases its ability to defend itself. 

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3. You'll reduce your food intake

According to a study, The apéritif effect: Alcohol's effects on the brain's response to food aromas in women, which was published in the journal Obesity, we eat more after drinking since alcohol heightens our senses. People ate 30% more food when they were given an intravenous alcohol infusion equal to about two drinks than those who were given a saline solution. The researchers concluded that even a little bit of intoxication can make you more sensitive to the smell of food prompting you to eat more, which means that you will probably lose weight once you stop drinking. 

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4. Your fertility will increase

One study, Alcohol consumption and fecundability: prospective Danish cohort study, monitored how much alcohol was consumed by healthy women while they were trying to conceive. The consumption was distributed into categories like 1-3, 4-7, 8-13, and 14 or more units per week. The women who were in the highest consumption category had 37 pregnancies in 307 cycles, while those who did not drink had 1,381 pregnancies in 8,054 cycles. They concluded that women who drank had 18% decline in the probability of conceiving. They also noted that having less than 14 units of alcohol in a week had "no discernible effect on fertility."

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5. Your skin will look better

Your skin will start looking more hydrated a few days after you stop drinking. Alcohol is a diuretic, causing you to urinate more,  Dr. Damon Raskin, a Los Angeles-based physician who is board-certified in addiction medicine, told Men's Health. Alcohol also brings down the body's production of an antidiuretic hormone. That hormone is important for the body to be able to reabsorb water. Cutting alcohol will reduce the ruddiness in your cheeks and around your nose and other skin conditions—such as dandruff, eczema, or rosacea—may also improve, Dr. Raskin says. 

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References:

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ev39wk/this-is-what-happens-to-your-body-when-you-stop-drinking

https://www.bmj.com/content/354/bmj.i4262

https://www.menshealth.com/health/a19532341/what-happens-when-you-stop-drinking-alcohol/

https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa41.htm

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/acer.12621

https://www.sussex.ac.uk/news/all?id=47131

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/oby.21109 

Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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