Bet You Didn’t Know All This Happens When You Stop Drinking for a Year

| Well Being
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(Photo: Instagram / @katiebowkett)

Thinking of making a change in your happy hour routine? Here’s the truth about what not drinking for an entire year can do for your performance, your body and even your appearance.

Your fitness routine gets a MAJOR boost

Sure, many people may cut down on their drinking in pursuit of some nebulous idea of being “healthier” — but did you know that getting fit feels a lot easier when alcohol isn’t part of your weekly routine? “With no boozy weekends to throw us off track, we’ve been able to really commit to getting fit and healthy,” according to the blog The Freedom Travellers, who took on a little no-alcohol experiment of their own. Not only does no alcohol mean no hangovers to wipe out your weekend, it also means you’re contending with fewer calories to begin with — which can make a big difference in your existing fitness routine. Those same sets of squats go a lot farther when you’ve cut out those late-night beer calories.

MORE: Is Your Workout Routine Sabotaging Your Metabolism?

Your concentration comes back

Feel like you’re constantly fighting to stay on task? Cutting out alcohol can help with that. Just one month sans-booze has been proven to up your concentration and improve your performance at work. Even after just 24 hours without alcohol, you begin to feel more clear-headed, and the results only improve from there.

Your sleep cycle returns to normal

Not only does that Friday night binge cut into your beauty sleep, the way the hangover (and mimosas) affects the rest of your weekend means it’s almost impossible to keep up a reliable sleep routine. Sleep experts have noted that the ideal sleep routine involves going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (weekends included)— which sounds impossible until you cut out alcohol. And as alcohol is a diuretic, it can cause more trips to the bathroom during the night, which equals adverse effects to your body’s ability to get the uninterrupted rest it needs. 

Still not an early riser? These tips can help you make a permanent change.

Your skin skips the hangover, too

Because your skin is your body’s largest organ, it stands to reason that alcohol takes its toll. But the good news is that, within a month, your skin starts to rebound from alcohol consumption — meaning fewer signs of premature aging and better elasticity — according to alcohol addiction expert Dr. Niall Campbell. If you’re skimping on anti-aging skincare, cutting out alcohol might be the easiest (and most cost-effective) option there is. 

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