Less alcohol please!
Updated: Oct 28, 2022
Alcohol is everywhere, and advertising always makes it look cool! But is this really true? Let’s look a little closer at the new trend in town, led by the health and wellness-conscious ‘grown-ups’ but also the health-aware Millennials and Generation Z-ers. Alcohol is perhaps not so cool any longer but sharing fun cocktails with friends is definitely alive and well, making sure that the strong emergence of low or non-alcoholic drinks has continued to grow in recent years. So, wellness and mental health is clearly a leading priority, with a strong message - 'we want the fun but not the hangover'!
What's 'no' and what's 'low'?
Soft drinks have long been a non-alcoholic go-to, and alcohol-free beers have been on the market since the 1980s. But what about low alcohol drinks? By definition, a low alcohol drink has an alcoholic strength by volume of between 0.05 and 1.2% AIF. A reduced alcoholic drink is a little different, meaning it will have an alcoholic content lower than the average strength of a drink of its type. Take a look on the supermarket shelves and you'll likely find a variety of light wines for sale, while pubs and bars are clearly on message when it comes to being drink aware, offering a growing range of low and no-alcohol beers and mocktails.
Drink awareness Drink awareness is a vital message when it comes to driving and personal health and safety, but alcohol effects our bodies in lots of ways:
A good night's sleep! Alcohol makes us feel sleepy at first and even though we may think it puts us to sleep quickly, it disrupts our sleep patterns by creating an imbalance in the sleeping cycle. All that does is leave us feeling groggy and lethargic the next morning, even if we don't feel particularly 'hung-over.' It's also likely you'll need to get up a few times during the night to get some water, as alcohol acts as a diuretic, which means you'll get dehydrated.
A huge amount of damage to the skin! Alcohol affects any mucous membrane, from the pancreas and liver to the skin. The first effect is dehydration, as it actually takes all the fluid out of our skin, leaving it dull and parched, as well as causing a loss of elasticity.
Alcohol is SUGAR! Excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to unhealthy weight gain, as it contains a lot of calories, though they are 'empty calories' which don't hold any of the nutrients we need. And, because our bodies are unable to store alcohol, it needs to be broken down, which slows our metabolic rate, meaning we burn less fat. On top of that, alcohol can trigger our hunger pangs, which can lead to over-eating and even more calorie intake.
More long-lasting health problems! The damage that excessive drinking does to the liver is one of the most well-known serious health impacts. But drinking also raises our cholesterol which can increase the risk of heart disease, and it can also increase the risk of developing mouth, throat or breast cancers.
Want to make a change? You've probably already guessed how you can! Cutting down on your alcohol intake will have a positive impact on your overall health and wellness, and a healthy diet will mean you'll be good for the odd drink.