Drinking less and the benefits for your body

DATE PUBLISHED

7th January 2021

TOPICS

Alcohol facts

Lifestyle

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At Drinkaware we have done a lot of research over the course of the coronavirus pandemic to understand if it’s had an impact on the nation’s drinking behaviours. In short, it has.

For many of us, life is challenging. When it comes to drinking, some people have used alcohol to cope with feelings of stress or boredom, while others have found they’re not drinking as much as they used to because their social life has changed.

Interestingly, our most recent study shows the proportion of people who tell us they’re drinking a bit or a lot less than usual since the onset of restrictions in March, has grown. From about one in seven (15%) when we asked in August, to about one in five (19%) when we asked last month.

Have you been drinking less than usual?

What have you noticed?

  • Better sleep?
  • Improved mood?
  • Increased productivity?
  • Brighter skin?
  • More energy?
  • Fewer hangovers?
  • Easier to manage weight?

These are just some of the more noticeable benefits of cutting back on – or cutting out – alcohol.

If you’ve been drinking less, your insides will be grateful too. Heavy drinking and binge drinking can affect your body’s immune function, making you vulnerable to infections and other illnesses. Drinking a lot of alcohol can also irritate your stomach, lead to liver problems, increase your chances of high blood pressure, affect your fertility and even cause seven types of cancer – including breast cancer.

With our health more important than ever, if you’re drinking less, our message to you couldn’t be clearer – keep going!

Remember, to keep your health risks low, make sure you drink no more than 14 units of alcohol each week. And make at least three of those days drink-free.

Read more about the health effects of alcohol

Tips to stay on track

If you’ve cut back on alcohol or you want to give it a go, here are our top tips:

  1. Stay within the low risk drinking guidelines of no more than 14 units a week, and include at least three drink-free days.
  2. Try one of the many low alcohol or alcohol-free drinks on offer – the choice of alternative beers, wines and spirits has never been better.
  3. Track your units with the free Drinkaware app to help you stay in control each week.
  4. Don’t give in to pressure if you know you tend to cave in when a certain friend or family member elbows you into drinking.
  5. Watch out for a change in your tolerance for alcohol. It may have decreased so be careful if you do have a drink as it may have an effect you’re not used to – drink plenty of water and make sure you don’t drink on an empty stomach.