You may have heard of ‘Dry July’ before. A month where people elect to go alcohol-free all in the name of a great cause – raising money for cancer patients, their families and carers. The money donated is used to fund supports for cancer patients such as transport, comfort and entertainment items, accommodation, wellness programs, hospital equipment, facility refurbishments and information resources (Dry July Foundation, 2020). What an incredible cause! Not only will going dry this July benefit cancer patients, but it may also have a positive impact on your health. Here’s how!
Benefits of Moderating Alcohol Intake
Over 80% of Australian adults over 18 years drank alcohol over the past year, with 17% drinking at levels which put them at risk of alcohol-related disease (Dry July Foundation, 2020). Alcohol is something which can be enjoyed in moderate amounts, however, when excessive can have negative health impacts, including:
- Weight gain
- Poor sleep quality
- Increased risk of cancer
- Irreversible brain, liver and nervous system damage
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Injuries or illness related to alcohol (Dry July Foundation, 2020)
By giving up alcohol for Dry July, you may see the following health benefits:
- Weight loss
- Improved sleep quality and concentration
- Decline in cholesterol levels
- Reduction in blood sugar (glucose) levels
- Decline in liver fat
- Improved mood (Dry July Foundation, 2020)
In addition to these health benefits, you will likely save a few dollars, with the average Aussie household spending $32.25 on alcohol per week; that means you will save > $129 for the month of July.
What are the Australian Guidelines for Alcohol Intake?
The Australian guidelines recommend that adults over 18 years of age should limit to no more than 2 standard drinks per day, with at least 2 alcohol-free days per week. Currently, 1.9 million Australians are drinking more than 6 standard drinks per day. (Dry July Foundation, 2020) So, how we can we modify our alcohol intake beyond ‘Dry July’?
Tip to Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
It is important to consider our alcohol intake beyond July, with any level of adjustment to our intake, likely to have health benefits. Here are some of our top tips for moderating your alcohol intake:
- Have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink
- Use a nip or shot glass when drinking spirits rather than free pouring
- Consider the alcohol percentage of what you are drinking; a light beer will be a better option than a full strength beer
- Watch how much wine you pour into your glass; you may even draw a line on your glass to identify a ‘standard drink’ or drink out of a smaller glass
- Avoid ‘bulk buying’ alcohol
- Aim for at least 2 alcohol-free days per week
- Avoid ‘top-ups’; wait for your glass to be finished, before filling up again to help keep track of how much you are drinking
From benefits to our personal health to supporting an incredible cause – you might just consider going dry this July. Beyond July, it is important to reflect upon your alcohol habits. This does not necessarily mean giving up alcohol for good but considering the level at which you are drinking and using our top tips to help you safely modify this. Any reduction in alcohol intake will have benefits to your health, wellbeing and back pocket! If you are looking for more ways to improve your health and nutrition, head to our website to get in touch with one of our amazing Dietitian’s today!
Interested in joining ‘Dry July’, follow the link to sign up today: https://www.dryjuly.com/users/sign_up