Why is Dry January becoming more popular?
Everleaf Mountain Cocktail at the Ugly Butterfly, Carbis Bay, Cornwall
Dry January is becoming increasingly popular, yet for some people it is still a challenging prospect - a sense that you have to abstain and miss out instead of enjoying social occasions to the fullest.
With Everleaf it doesn’t have to feel that way. Our delicious, complex flavours and the biomes that inspired them can enhance your wellbeing and transport you away from the dark, chilly realities of January in the UK. Contrary to what you might expect, it’s a season of optimism and a reason to celebrate. That is why we are here to give you the most delicious dry January ever!
Flavour aside, one of the main reasons our customers opt for non-alcoholic drinks is not to completely abstain from alcohol, but simply to moderate their intake to prioritise their health.
So, what are the health benefits of reducing alcohol?
In moderation, alcohol consumption can lead to feelings of relaxation, escapism and reduce stress. However, long term drinking can leave you with a decline in mental health, wellbeing & a hole in your pocket. Reducing your alcohol intake can quickly lead to improvements in both physical and mental health.
1. Weight Loss
One of the biggest reasons people decide to cut their drinking in the New Year is for weight loss. After the festive blow out, adults decide to eat healthier, stop drinking & exercise more. It is no secret that alcohol contains calories; a large glass of red wine has >200 calories and a double gin and tonic rounds up to 170 calories. Thinking about our recommended calorie intake, these drinks can easily add up on a night out!
Therefore, switching to non alcoholic alternatives such as Everleaf Marine can definitely help limit the damage without the need to miss out on the overall taste experience. One 50ml measure of Everleaf Marine served with 150 ml light tonic is just 38 calories, with soda only 15 calories! - that means you can have over 4 glasses for the same as a standard double G&T!
2. Liver Health
Since alcohol is considered a toxin by the body, it cannot be digested & metabolised the same way as food. Instead, once entering the bloodstream, alcohol must be broken down in the liver. Excessive alcohol can lead to alcohol fatty liver disease with early symptoms being increased thirst, abdominal pain and fatigue. Alcohol induced fatty liver disease may not be life threatening, but will increase your risk of chronic illnesses such as diabetes. However, you will be happy to know this is reversible and liver fat will begin to fall within a month of cutting out the drink, therefore improving your health prospects.
3. Better sleep
A misconception with alcohol is that it can help you sleep at night. In some cases this is true, with alcohol being a sedative to help you doze off. However, you may notice the next morning that you feel less rested & have increased tiredness throughout the day. This is because alcohol decreases the amount of quality restorative (REM) sleep which is when you are most likely to experience dreaming. Reduction in REM sleep reduces the quality of sleep and therefore leaves you with increased tiredness the next day. Reducing the frequency of alcohol consumption will help return your sleeping patterns to normal. Creating a routine bedtime & wake up will also improve sleep quality and ensure you are well rested.
4. Improved mood & energy
In the short term, the effects of alcohol may lead you to feeling happier and more relaxed in social situations, but ultimately alcohol is in fact a depressant. This means over time you may notice higher feelings of depression and anxiety throughout the day, which can cause you to turn to alcohol as a way of escaping or coping with these feelings - this is how alcohol dependence can begin.
If you are finding yourself feeling low or anxious more often, swapping alcohol for non-alcoholic alternatives like our range of aperitifs may help bring your mood more stable again. Alongside this, as you reduce alcohol intake and sleep improves you may notice yourself having more energy to perform daily activities - without the need for your daily 3 cups of coffee.
5. Better nutrient absorption
A less common known effect of alcohol consumption is its effects on nutrient absorption in the body. Excessive drinking can prevent the body from absorbing sufficient amounts of nutrients such as B Vitamins and Vitamin A, C, and D. Over time this can lead to deficiencies & reduced functioning of body processes, in particular the immune system. This is why here at Everleaf we try to limit our alcohol intake by making drinks which are delicious, grown up and don’t make you feel like you are missing out on the fun!
For the perfect serve we mix 1 part Everleaf to 3 parts light tonic & serve in a glass filled with ice and a garnish. If you are looking for a drink a little more exotic, check out our range of non-alcoholic cocktail recipes here - there is something for everyone!
Sit back, relax and sip away endlessly, knowing you won’t have a sore head tomorrow!
Written by Stephanie Evans (ANutr registered nutritionist)