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Five reasons to go sober this January

The Bloodwise logo. Bloodwise appears in black text against a white background
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Updated 05 Dec 2018

We challenge you to Lose the Booze for a month to help us fund lifesaving research. Here are five benefits of giving up alcohol for four weeks, from saving money to better mental wellbeing.

Three people enjoy non-alcoholic drinks in a pub. They are having a sober January for charity

heart icon 1. Be fitter

According to the NHS, a glass of wine contains 126 calories, while a pint of 5% beer has 215 calories. But while alcohol is calorific, it doesn’t curb your appetite – in fact, it often increases your hunger. It also dehydrates you, which can lead to poor digestion and bloating.

In 2013, a UCL professor conducted a study on staff at New Scientist magazine. The study found that 1 in 10 people who gave up alcohol for a month showed significant health improvements compared to people who drank as normal. There was an average 15% drop in liver fat among the positive results. Participants’ blood glucose levels, a key factor in determining diabetes risk, fell by an average of 16%.

Brain icon 2. Feel better

Yes, a few drinks can spark energy and loosen your inhibitions. But it’s a depressant.

Alcohol can worsen anxiety. It changes serotonin levels and affects other neurotransmitters in the brain. Heavy drinkers may be predisposed to developing an anxiety disorder and may find it difficult to recover from traumatic events.

SIGN UP FOR LOOSE THE BOOZE

Dollar icon 3. Stash the cash

You’ll save money by giving up drink. According to a 2017 survey by Voucher Codes Pro, the average Briton spends £82.50 a month on alcohol. This comes to £990 a year. The survey also found that 64% of respondents bought alcohol with money not their own, and 75% borrowed money from a friend or family member to buy it. Read more about the survey.

If you do go to the pub, make sure you avoid being dragged into buying rounds. They can prove costly if your friends aren’t abstaining from the sauce!

Tick icon 4. It could be the start of something new

Many who have had a dry January have used the month as a springboard to a longer-term change. Researchers from the University of Sussex followed up nearly 900 people who chose to stop drinking for charity for a month. Six months on, 72% had kept harmful drinking episodes down and 4% were still not drinking.  Read the BBC’s report on the study.

Tablet icon 5. Help fund lifesaving research

And last but not least, every pound you raise during by losing the booze will help us fund blood cancer research and support for people affected by blood cancer.

If you decide to lose the booze, it’s a good idea to prepare for withdrawal symptoms. Once it comes to February, keep in mind that your tolerance to alcohol will be lower after a month without drinking. For help, see the NHS guidance on alcohol.

Ready to go sober for charity this January? Sign up to Lose the Booze in support of Bloodwise