This year many people, including students, gave up alcohol for January. Whilst this seems like a very healthy idea, many people have reacted to the difficult task in January by bingeing this February. I will provide some of the advantages and disadvantages of alcohol consumption and explain why I believe moderate alcohol consumption is much better than cutting out alcohol all together.
Giving up alcohol has many benefits. Many people choose to give up alcohol to help with weight loss as alcohol can be high in calories and can often lead us to crave a greasy takeaway after a night out. Lowering alcohol consumption has also been linked to an improvement in metabolism and allows us to have a better sleeping pattern. Other key benefits to lowering alcohol consumption include improved skin and a better immune system.
The above factors seem to make dry January and giving up alcohol a great idea, nevertheless there are still benefits to the consumption of alcohol. Moderate alcohol consumption has been proven to lower risks of heart disease, strokes and diabetes. Additionally, the consumption of alcohol is social and can be fun with friends. Consuming alcohol, in moderation, is healthy and isn’t something we should worry about.
Whilst I can’t argue that the benefits of alcohol are better than the disadvantages of alcohol, I believe alcohol in moderation is perfectly normal and will prevent unhealthy cycles such as ‘binge February’.
Following on from the Dry January phenomenon, many people have fallen into habits of binge drinking and now believe it is acceptable for them to consume ridiculous amounts of alcohol because they have had a month off. This is incredibly damaging for our health and can lead to incredibly negative consequences.
The increase this month in the excessive consumption of alcohol can be extremely dangerous. Binge drinking leaves individuals vulnerable to all sorts of health problems and can become addictive.
The University of Sussex and the charity Alcohol Change UK has developed research into the effects of cutting out alcohol and reintroducing it. In their studies they found that those who didn’t consume alcohol for one month drank far more alcohol than those who drank alcohol moderately. Additionally, the alcohol had a stronger effect on the drinkers, leaving them vulnerable to feeling drunk quicker and giving them a worse hangover.
Whilst Dry January can be a healthy challenge and can leave us feeling good, it is important in February to remain cautious of alcohol consumption. I personally would argue that moderate alcohol consumption is much better than cutting out alcohol all together, as it can be healthy for us in moderation.