Top 9 Reasons to Not Drink Alcohol
If you’ve ever considered giving up drinking (either for now or forever), you likely have a reason or two driving this decision. Maybe you’re feeling sluggish. Or perhaps you want to save money. You may even be worried about alcohol’s long-term effect on your body.
The good news for you is that there are a lot of reasons you should consider not drinking (or only drinking non-alcoholic alternatives). If you’re looking for a little inspiration, here are our Top 9 Reasons to Not Drink Alcohol:
Alcohol Hinders Weight Loss
Talk to anyone who has given up drinking, and they’ll tell you the same thing – the weight just melted off as soon as they gave up the booze. We profiled some amazing before and after alcohol weight loss transformations here, and after speaking with real life success stories, it’s clear why. Not only is alcohol loaded with empty calories (some cocktails can carry 500-600 calories or more per drink!), but it also sabotages your ability to lose weight in other ways. It hinders sleep, which makes getting up for that morning workout difficult. It slows recovery, meaning you make less progress in the gym. And it can absolutely wreck your willpower, making it that much harder to stick to your healthy diet.
Alcohol is a Cancer Risk
One of the most hidden facts about alcohol is that it’s classified as a Group 1 Carcinogen – the same level as radiation, tobacco, and asbestos. This is why the World Health Organization states that there is no known safe level of alcohol consumption, and that alcohol can increase risk of breast, liver, mouth, throat, and stomach cancer.
Alcohol Damages Your Heart
For years, there’s been a dangerous rumor that drinking red wine is good for your heart. This rumor stems from the substance “resveratrol” – a polyphenol present in grape skins that has shown some signs of lowering LDL cholesterol (AKA the “bad” cholesterol). However, there are many ways to get resveratrol without the alcohol (for instance just eating grapes or drinking red grape juice). And since alcohol consumption is one of the leading indicators of heart disease, it’s important to note that no amount of resveratrol in red wine will mitigate the other damage to your cardiovascular system caused by alcohol.
Not Drinking Saves You Money
Whether you drink at home, at a bar, a restaurant, or some combination of all three, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that even moderate drinking can put a huge dent in your wallet. For example, if you drink two bottle of wine a week (~one glass per night), that can easily add up to over $1,500 per year. A decade of drinking, and you’re out over $15,000!! Imagine what you could do with all that extra cash.
Alcohol Can Cause Mental Health Issues
According to the Mental Health Foundation, those who drink alcohol are statistically more likely to develop mental health issues. The most prominent of these issues is depression, which is only exacerbated by the damaging effect alcohol has on sleep (more on this below). Many patients in alcohol and depression studies report a noticeable improvement in mood and demeanor within a single week of giving up alcohol.
Alcohol Ruins Your Sleep
After a few alcoholic drinks, it may feel super easy to fall asleep. But what many people don’t realize is that alcohol makes it nearly impossible to get a good night’s rest. One recent study showed that just two drinks for men and one drink for women for bed decreased sleep quality by nearly 40%! So instead of your normal 8 hours of sleep, it’d be like you were getting less than 5 hours rest.
Alcohol Ages Your Skin
Like many of your other organs, your skin quickly feels the effects of alcohol consumption. Dehydration and accelerated aging driven by alcohol can cause your skin to age prematurely, leading to wrinkles and a dull complexion. In fact, one of the first things many people notice when they give up drinking is how quickly their skin restores to a bright, radiant glow.
Drinking Impairs Judgement
Alcohol attacks your prefrontal cortex, lowering your inhibitions. At first, this may feel like it’s helping you “relax” – but what it’s really doing is lowering your inhibitions and decision-making abilities. It’s no wonder that there are over 300,000 arrests and 500,000 hospital visits attributed to alcohol in the U.S. every single year. With lower inhibitions comes poor decisions.
Not Drinking Eliminates Hangovers
Last, but certainly not least on the list of reasons not to drink is that not drinking eliminates the chances of experiencing a hangover. From a slight headache to crippling, flu-like symptoms, hangovers are never enjoyable. And not only do they make you feel crummy, but they also rob you of life’s most important resource…time. A day battling a hangover is a day where you’re unable to do much else. Imagine what your life would look like if you could take those days back!