What is "Dry January"?


Have you ever taken part in “Dry January”? People who do abstain from alcohol for the entire month of January often in an effort to get healthier. But whether or not it actually makes one healthier depends. 

Dr. George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) explains, “The biggest benefit is learning where your body is in relation to alcohol and what you want your relationship with it to be.” In other words, it depends on how much alcohol you normally drink in the first place. 

If you typically have several drinks per week, one of the main benefits of sober January could be a decrease in the overall calories you consume, since a standard drink is around 150 calories. You may also find you sleep better, have more regular digestion, find you are more focused and motivated, and you could even lower your risk of getting sick, as being intoxicated can acutely suppress immune function making you more vulnerable to pathogens. 

The take-home message: you could use Dry January to assess your overall relationship with alcohol, and determine how you may want to change it.



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