Five benefits of going sober this October

An annual event by Macmillan Cancer support, Go Sober challenges fundraisers to refrain from consuming alcohol for the whole of October. If you’re thinking of joining this worthy cause, then here are 5 great benefits to keep you on track.

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Image © izusek/Getty Images.
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Pexels under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

1. Health

In just one month of avoiding alcohol, you should notice a drop in blood pressure and an improvement to your immune system, helping you to fight against any cold or flu — perfect as you enter the colder months.
And your liver will thank you for the nice break; this hard-working organ is so vital, aiding over 500 of your body’s processes. To name just a few, it regulates blood clotting, removes bacteria and contaminants, fights infection and maintains your hormones, minerals and vitamins.

There are many short- and long-term effects on your body when you drink alcohol. To gain a deeper understanding on how alcohol affects the human body, enrol in our free course ‘Alcohol and human health’.

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Alison Duffy Tang | OpenLearn under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

2. Money

How much you can save will depend on where and what you drink, but as an example, if you had three medium (175ml) glasses of wine at an average bar, pub or restaurant per week, you could save nearly £50 per month using an average cost of £3.98 per glass.

This alone may not seem like much money, but when you add in the savings of not needing to get a taxi, then you would easily double your savings depending on where you live and the distances involved.

If you’re looking to put money aside for long-term goals, then reducing your alcohol intake is an easy and healthy way to reach your goals more quickly. Here are 5 additional tips on thriving financially.

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Pixabay under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

3. Beauty

Our skin loves to be hydrated, and while face creams do help to moisturise the skin, it’s drinking lots of fluids that will maintain your levels of hydration, and unfortunately, alcohol is a diuretic causing the opposite effect.

And then there are those extra calories you’re drinking away. One large glass of wine may not seem like much, but it could add 228 calories alone — a similar amount to a chocolate bar or scoop of ice cream.

By the end of your challenge, do not be surprised if your friends and family start to comment that you look better, whether it’s due to any weight loss or brighter, clearer skin.

And if you’re a chocolate lover, then you may be interested in finding out about the science of chocolate or to find out how hydration affects ageing by watching our short video by Dr Jitka Vseteckova .

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Pixabay under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

4. Time

With no hangovers or bad decisions to survive, and no erratic sleep patterns to get used to, another advantage of going sober is a potential increase in productivity and spare time. With a sharper, more focused mind, why not discover new pastimes or revisit old hobbies? So instead of doing your usual weekend drinks in a pub, you could learn or practise a new skill, whether it’s painting, singing or writing.

If the idea of writing sounds interesting to you, why not check out our free courses Start writing fiction or Writing what you know.

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Pixabay under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

5. Authenticity

Perhaps a controversial one, as it highly depends on why you drink alcohol, but for many, it is a way to reduce their inhibitions, aid relaxation and feel ‘more interesting’.

Although these reasons are understandable, this could be a form of self-medicating. If a reliance starts forming where you feel a bit lost without alcohol then it could become a bit of a crutch and potentially inhibit you from being your natural-born self.

To understand the reasons people drink alcohol, head over to ‘The science behind why we drink alcohol’.

This article was previously published on OpenLearn in October 2019 and can be viewed here.

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