Dry January: The Benefits of Giving up Alcohol


The typical American of legal drinking age consumes an average of 13.6 beverages per week. 

When you consider the cost of each of these drinks and the calories consumed in each glass, these two factors alone provide ample reason to give up the habit. Of course, drinking is a social activity, and many Americans feel obligated to partake in the act to have a good time.

However, with the current restrictions on socializing due to the global pandemic, there has never been a better time to try out dry January. 

What is dry January you ask? Follow along to learn about the month-long challenge and discover the benefits you could experience from just one commitment. 

What Is Dry January?

Dry January is a challenge that takes place over the month of January or any 31-day period of time. For one month, you’ll cut alcohol from your daily or weekly routine. Through this time, you’ll notice changes take place in your body, often encouraging a long-term shift of habits. 

While many participants make changes to maintain the benefits they’ve experienced, taking the challenge does not obligate you to a life-long switch. Whether you treat this time as a detox for your system or use it to set goals for your future, the benefits of just four alcohol-free weeks are amazing to observe. 

Dry January Benefits

As your body adjusts to the absence of alcohol, you’ll notice subtle differences in your body functions. When you stick to it for long enough, your body will even have the chance to restabilize essential organs for a healthier state. 

So what can you expect to see as you take the alcohol-free journey?

Week One

Having a drink or two after work each night can feel like a harmless activity, but the constant introduction of alcohol to your system can actually force your body into a state of dependence.

In the first week, you’ll need to break those daily habits by finding other activities to focus on. 

Trying out dry January activities such as picking up a new hobby, going for an evening walk after dinner, or spending your drinking budget on movie tickets and other entertainment is a great place to start. 

After just one week of no-alcohol, your body will jump to work to repair itself. Some differences you may notice include:

  • Sharper mind
  • Improved mood
  • Stronger immune response
  • Healthier sleep patterns
  • Better hydration
  • Reduced headaches
  • Improved exercise performance
  • Higher energy

With no substances present to impede on these functions, you’ll experience an increase in all of these benefits as the dry January continues.

Week Two

If you’ve made it to the second week, give yourself a big pat on the back. This means you pushed through the weekend, one of the most difficult times to obtain from drinking activities. 

In the second week, the biggest change will take place in your stomach. As you may have already guessed, alcohol can wreak havoc on your stomach lining, causing an increase of acid to settle in the organ. 

If you’ve been suffering from acid reflux, this is when you’ll notice the symptoms dissipate. This is because your stomach will begin to normalize, repairing the lining and regulating acid production. 

You may start to notice some other changes in your stomach as well, such as a little dry January weight loss progress. Let’s use wine as an example to illustrate the difference.

If you consume the American average of nearly 14 drinks a week, and each of those glasses of wine contains 130 calories (average for white wine), in just two weeks, you’ll have sipped away at 3,640 calories. 

On top of this, the sugary composition of wine often increases cravings, encouraging drinkers to consume more throughout the day. Cutting out alcohol directly can save you a substantial amount of extra calories and encourage further cuts from the lack of drunken snacking.

Week Three

The third week strikes the heart (no really). After just three weeks of alcohol-free days, your blood pressure will begin to come into a healthier range. This lowered blood pressure aids in ensuring a healthy heart and can reduce the chance of serious heart problems such as a stroke. 

On top of this, you may notice changes in your vision. With the decreased pressure, your eyesight could even improve, allowing you to see the world in its true and beautiful state. 

And of course, this regulated blood will assist your body in achieving better kidney health, ensuring the vital functions of this organ are carried out with precision and ease.

Week Four

After four weeks of focus and determination, your skin will begin to glow with pride. Believe it or not, dry January can deliver more beautiful skin by increasing cell turnover. The increase of hydration in your skin will also assist in fewer signs of aging on the skin’s surface. 

And of course, the final dry January benefit is in your liver. Since your liver is responsible for so many essential processes in the body, the recovery of your liver function can be observed in many ways. 

A few of these liver fueled benefits include:

  • Regulating blood clots
  • Nutrient conversion from foods
  • Protein and enzyme production
  • Hormonal balance
  • Energy levels

At this stage of the challenge, you’ll notice a significant difference in the way you feel and look. According to the earlier example, you’ve now saved on 7,280 empty calories which may begin to show on your waistline.

Struggling With Dry January?

While the dry January benefits are certainly worth it, sticking to the challenge can be quite difficult. This is especially true for those who have been consuming more than the average alcohol intake for long periods of time. 

Fortunately, you are not alone. If you find yourself struggling with these changes, the support and guidance of professional detox programs can assist with breaking through key hurdles. 

There is no shame in asking for help to change your habits, and once you’ve made the change, you may even begin to experience life in a whole new light. Just remember to focus on healthy additions to your routine such as those dry January activities instead of dwelling on the absence of your comforts. 

Take the Dry January Challenge

Now that you know the dry January benefits, it’s time to take the challenge for yourself. Notice the changes on the inside and out with your own alcohol-free month and get on the path to a happier, healthier, and rejuvenated you.

Ready to get started? Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help kickstart your dry January efforts and ensure you accomplish the best possible results from your experience.