Ditching alcohol or cutting back on your drinking isn't easy, but with the right motivation, it can be a total game-changer for your health and wellbeing. Whether you're already exploring ways to swap out your usual drinks for non alcoholic drinks or just curious about the benefits of a drink swap, it's always good to have all the facts.
So, let's dive into the surprising impacts that alcohol can have on our bodies and why making the switch to alcohol free drinks might be the best decision you ever make.
First, let's define what alcohol really is. Despite its name, alcohol is actually a colorless liquid that's found in wine, beer, and spirits. Its main ingredient is ethanol – yikes! It's important to remember that alcohol is an addictive drug that can have powerful effects on our mental state and mood, making it one of the most commonly abused substances.
Now, let's take a look at some unknown reasons why drinking less and switching to zero alcohol options could be the best thing you ever do for your health.
Protect Your Liver: Drinking too much alcohol can put a significant strain on your liver, which is responsible for detoxifying alcohol. Heavy drinking can lead to fatty liver, hepatitis, and cirrhosis, causing permanent damage to the organ.
Pancreatic Peace: Alcohol misuse can lead to pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas. This is because it triggers the premature activation of pancreatic enzymes, causing the pancreas to digest itself and leading to inflammation. Chronic pancreatitis can cause permanent damage and conditions like nutrient malabsorption and diabetes.
Cancer Concerns: Alcohol consumption is a risk factor for certain types of cancer, such as stomach, liver, mouth, colon, and breast cancer. Studies have shown that even one drink a day can increase the risk of mouth and throat cancer.
Brain Health: Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, so it can have various effects on the brain, like slurred speech, slowed reaction times, memory lapses, difficulty walking, and blurred vision. Chronic drinking can even speed up the ageing process of the brain and, in some cases, lead to early dementia.
Strong Bones: Chronic drinking can affect bone health, especially during adolescence and young adulthood. It interferes with vitamin D and calcium production, leading to a loss of bone mass and increasing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
Heart Health: Heavy alcohol consumption can increase blood pressure and put a strain on the heart, causing cardiovascular complications like angina or heart failure. Binge drinking can also increase the risk of stroke.
Immune System: Chronic alcohol consumption can weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to infections. Alcohol suppresses the production of white blood cells and can trigger inflammation in the gut, killing off healthy bacteria necessary for health.
Weight Management: Alcohol is high in calories and can lead to obesity if consumed regularly.
Addiction: Alcohol dependence, also known as alcoholism, is a condition where an individual becomes addicted to drinking alcohol and has trouble controlling their drinking, even if it's causing problems in their daily life, like relationship problems, family problems, work problems, or legal problems.
So there you have it! Some of the lesser-known reasons why drinking less and making a drink swap to non alcoholic drinks could be a life-changing decision. Remember, drinking is about more than just having fun – it's about taking care of your health and wellbeing. Knowing is just the first step, the next step is to think twice before reaching for that nightly drink out of habit or purchase a non-alcoholic option instead.