It’s now three whole days into the New Year, and to be honest, I’m still feeling a little hungover from my first night out in four years. Just like many other drinkers this new Year, we all now understand the meaning of “I’m never drinking again…maybe.” But here are three things that happened when I awoke on the first: 1. My face was so puffy from the lack of H2O and amount of alcohol I consumed, 2. Sunlight became an enemy, and 3. My skin was blotchy and pink..everywhere.
We all react to alcohol differently, and after spending a total of about $50 for one night out with friends, my wallet (and body) is screaming for me to take a break. This one night out of the year isn’t just the only time everyone drinks. On average, Americans drink anywhere from $50-$200 in alcohol per month. Just imagine what you could do with that kind of cash…pay extra on debt, put it into savings, buy a new pair of pants to replace the ones your sparkler burned a hole in, the options are really limitless.
So what is it I’m proposing? Let’s take a dry month. Now before you freak out or say “But why?” Let’s talk about the science behind alcohol consumption and help you understand what your body needs this more than your wallet.
You go to the bar, order a drink, consume said drink, and your body carries this bittersweet liquid down to the small intestine where your body then distributes it to your body tissues proportionate to the amount of water content. So in other words, if you haven’t been drinking enough water, you’re screwed. After the alcohol is distributed to your body’s tissues, your body absorbs it depending on how much you’ve eaten and the alcoholic content of the drink you’ve consumed. The higher the alcohol percentage, the more likely you are to feel the drink.
So by this point, the alcohol has now hit your lower intestine, distributed it to your body’s tissues and is also absorbing the alcohol into your body’s blood stream. You blood alcohol level goes up when your body is taking into more alcoholic content than it can release. Which is why when you’re playing a drinking game and end up downing three or four beers, you’ll become drunker faster. Ouch.
In addition to becoming drunk quickly because you may be lacking water and nutrients, now you’re peeing more. This isn’t just a girl thing either. It’s science. Regardless of who you are or “how big your bladder is” you’re going to be peeing every 30-60 minutes after your body has passed its 60-90 minute dilution and distribution process. Urinating is one way of releasing the alcohol the other two are what make your hangover gross. You won’t notice this until the next morning either because your body is slowly sweating out the alcohol and your exhaling it too. This is why part of the hangover is smelling like alcohol and having dragon’s breath.
Let’s backtrack for a sec. So by now we understand that, we’ve spent oodles of cash on a night of drinking ($50-$200), we’ve consumed more drinks than our body is capable of keeping up with (forcing us to hydrate at a rapid rate and consume more food than we should), and our body is trying to work the alcohol out of our system over the next 24-48 hours. In short we’ve spent money on drinks, more money on food ($20-50) to counteract the alcohol, and we’re starting to smell and pee a whole lot. The part I haven’t gotten to is the brain, but I’ll keep this part short with this visual representation:
Okay so being drunk is fun in the moment because you have ZERO clue or cares about what’s really going on. So, now that you know, stop melting in your chair and go dry for a month. What’s taking a dry month you ask? Here’s the simple explanation: You’re sober for 30 days. No wine at communion, no beer at dinner, and unfortunately for me, no mimosas at brunch. Before you whine about it – see what I did there 😉 – here are the benefits:
- You’ll lose some weight
It’s actually proven that with less alcohol (and the aftermath of being drunk) you can lose up to 5 or 8 pounds.
2. You’ll feel and actually be less bloated
Remember earlier when I said I woke up Sunday with a puffy face? Yeah that puffy face will thin out over the next 30 days because my body won’t be constantly in survive the alcohol mode.
3. You’ll sleep WAY better
Your body won’t be working it’s ass off trying to get rid of every bit of alcohol keep throwing in it and can actually relax while you sleep.
4. You’ll save money (obviously)
Seriously, that $50-$200 a month you’re spending on drinking will go to good use. If you’re really down to take saving money to the next level check out this Rockstar Financial Summit happening next week! It’s free so, Bonus+!
5. You’ll be actively pursuing your New Year’s Resolutions
If your resolutions are to lose weight, be healthier, be more active, and take general good care of yourself, starting with 30 days dry is the way to go.
Lighten up, be healthy, and be well in January. Kick start your New Year positively.
Also, major props to my friend Melanie Lockert from Dear Debt who has actually done this and has seen the results. You go girl.