30-Day No Alcohol Challenge!
No Drinking For 30 Days!
Today is St. Patrick’s Day, and many Americans and Irish descendants around the world will be heavily consuming alcohol. Last year around this time, I was intoxicated walking around the streets of my city with my drinking “friends” who weren’t my true friends. Over this past year I have been committed to my fitness and health and have decided to heavily cut back on alcohol. However, every once in a while when I travel I will have a few too many drinks. This heavily throws me off of my lifting routine and hurts my progress. I have decided to embark on a 30 Day-No Alcohol Challenge off of alcohol. In the past month I have half a glass of red wine and 1 glass of beer a week ago when I was in San Francisco. Even drinking that little amount made me feel sluggish and a little lightheaded. I encourage you all to join the challenge with me after I share the benefits!
Alcohol has a negative effect on one’s skin. It makes your face more red and bloated. Drinking alcohol dehydrates your skin, water is sucked out of your skin to deal with detoxifying the alcohol you put in your body. You’ll be more susceptible to having dark circles under your eyes and having acne breakouts – ewww gross nobody likes those! When you get off of alcohol, your body and face will be hydrated again – giving your skin that healthy glow that is so attractive!
The girl in this picture underwent a 30 day alcohol free challenge. This picture shows the before on the right, and after on the left. You can see the drastic difference in her glow!
Alcohol and Sleep:
Alcohol is a depressant and has been known to interfere with your sleep patterns. Alcohol makes you drowsy and allows you to fall asleep quickly. This is due to adenosine (a sleep inducing chemical in the brain) that is released before you fall asleep, but it is soon reduced and can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night. In addition to waking up, your bladder will be trying to excrete the toxins from alcohol and can cause nightly restroom runs. By doing so this is interfering with your natural circadian rhythm (natural sleep patterns every night).
The most noteworthy cause is by waking you up in the middle night you are destroying your REM sleep. This is the most important part of your sleep cycle where your body and mind does a majority of its healing. This is why after you wake up after a night of drinking you feel groggy and very weak. It is critical in order to have healthy sleep you must have REM sleep!
No More Hangovers – Be More Productive!:
We all know that dreaded feeling of waking up and just feeling like garbage! You lay in bed all day on Saturday dehydrated with a major headache. You consume as much water as you can and take ibuprofen. You read hangover cures on google – but they never work. Your hangover lasts until Saturday night. Then some people go out drinking and destroy their bodies all over again on Saturday night! Gross – you’re setting your health up for disaster!
Give up alcohol and you will be springing out of bed with a positive attitude and full of energy to tackle the next day. Before I had no energy, I would just lay in bed all day. Now on a typical Saturday get a great breakfast in. I go workout. I go over to my local college track and run a mile. I get several errands done and am able to meet up my friends for a nice dinner in the evening.
Extra Money In Your Bank Account:
We all know when we go out with friends we can certainty rack up a tab. I had a new friend who moved to my city a couple months ago and he was a big spend thrift. I never go out, but I gave in because he just moved here. He ended up matching me round for round when we went out. I ended up spending $80!! That’s a week or two of groceries! If you go out only once a weekend for an entire year and spend this much, you’re spending about $4,000! That’s incredible over 10 years that could be $40,000. If you go out 2 nights a weekend that could be $80,000 over 10 years! That could be a down payment on a house. Not only do you make poor financial decisions when you buy alcohol, you also spend money on expensive surge charge Ubers and crappy late night fast food loaded with bad carbohydrates that make you fat.
Stop spending this money on alcohol and invest in yourself – whether that be healthier food, a fitness membership, your stock and retirement account, or for a down payment for a house are all great options! You want to plan for your financial freedom.
Alcohol and Gym Gains:
In my previous article, Do Alcohol and Fitness Mix, I talk about alcohol and its negative effects on bodybuilding. To put it simply alcohol greatly hinders bodybuilding. It decreases your testosterone and increases your estrogen levels. You need testosterone for building muscle. It causes dehydration which impedes cellular repair and protein metabolism – the process for which your body converts amino acids into building muscle.
Alcohol makes you fat! Alcohol is full of “empty calories”, specifically 7 calories per gram. Alcohol is broken down into acetate in the body and since alcohol is a toxin, it is processed first before any thing else you eat. That is why the pancakes you eat after drinking or the dinner you had before will likely be stored as fat, due to the additional calories you in took from drinking. Only when you have a severe caloric deficit can you get away with drinking.
I suggest not drinking at all for the optimal body! I noticed when I drank in my past and was eating a lot of food to bulk up, a lot of that food was converted to fat because my body was breaking down alcohol.
Me in the gym getting a great workout in - I had great energy that day!
My Anecdotal Story:
Just because you don’t drink alcohol doesn’t mean you can’t hang out socially with people! I always order water with a lime in it, and I feel comfortable drinking that and that only. Most people will assume you are drinking an alcoholic beverage so you don’t have to tell them. Occasionally if people ask why you are drinking water you could tell a white lie that you are on a medication and you can’t drink. Or you can simply tell the truth and just say I am not drinking right now. The situation may feel awkward, but it’s the other people who always feel awkward. They question themselves and why they drink. Since I’ve mostly quit drinking over this past year, it has a had a positive effect on my friends! A few of them have quit or they don’t drink at all when they’re around me.
There are loads of people who don’t drink out there – you’d be surprised. Generally they don’t hang out at bars though! However one of my friends, let’s call him Jeff has never even had alcohol! He is in a fraternity as well and in college. He goes out to bars all the time with his friends and is sober, so he is able to look out for his friends! I’ve never seen him drink alcohol and one day I asked him why he doesn’t drink. I was curious if he didn’t do it because it was health related or his family had a history of alcohol abuse. Jeff told me he has never tried alcohol in his life and has no intention of it, even though plenty of his friends have. He asked me if I had ever tried a cigarette, I said “No.” Jeff replied, “See plenty of people smoke cigarettes, but you never have.” Jeff had a point, even if everyone does something it’s still relatively easy to choose not to do something. You just have to think for yourself and make the best choices for your life!
Now that I’ve explained the harm of drinking and the benefits that go with giving up alcohol I encourage you to go on a 30 Day No Alcohol Challenge! I have done it many times before. It really brings more energy, health, happiness, and wealth to your life! Humans don’t need to live with alcohol, and we are better off without it! I encourage you all to share your personal story with alcohol and what your current relationship is with it! Please comment and interact, let me know how your progress goes!
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