Tea for your “Dry January”
Now that all the holiday celebrations are over, many people like to start the new year off voluntarily abstaining from alcohol for the entire month of January. This is what has been referred to as “Dry January” and it’s a way for people to kick off the new year sober and more level-headed.
During the holidays many people enjoy their yuletide & new year’s celebrations with spiked eggnog, mulled wine, and champagne. Some enjoy a little too much of it. According to health experts, two or fewer drinks a day for men and one or fewer drinks a day for women is the recommended limit if you choose to drink. Any more than this and you may be increasing your risk surrounding health-related issues.
If your end-of-the-year celebration involved a little more drinking than normal, participating in a month-long break could be really good for your health. When February comes you may feel so good that you realize that you don’t need alcohol as much as you thought. You might even feel so good that you give it up altogether.
It can be hard for some to give up alcohol for an entire month. In a recent blog post entitled, Christmas Tea and Alcohol, we talked about the temperance movement and how many were able to give up alcohol by replacing it with tea. Incorporating tea into your Dry January can not only help you avoid alcohol, but it can also increase the health benefits of your month-long hiatus.
Here is a list of some of the health benefits you could see by taking a break from alcohol and replacing it with tea.
Health Benefits of Drinking Tea during Dry January
You’ll Get a Boost in your Immunity
You were told that drinking a glass of red wine a day was good for your immunity. Well, you’d be right in that one glass of wine does fall within the limit and grapes do contain a considerable amount of antioxidants themselves, but it isn’t the alcohol that’s working for you here. While binge drinking by those who consistently consume a moderate amount of alcohol a day has shown to give a temporary boost to their body’s disease-fighting ability, when the booze leaves their system a couple of hours later, their immunity plummets possibly leaving them susceptible to various health concerns. When you take a break from drinking, your body recalibrates to a more harmonious balance.
By drinking tea during this same time period you will not only re-level your immunity, but may also increase it. Tea is a better source of antioxidants that help fight oxidative stress in the body. Many teas also contain antiviral and antibacterial properties as well which all helps to boost your immunity with the alcohol fighting against it.
Your Sleep will Improve
After a night of one too many drinks, you might find yourself knocking out pretty quick. However, this sleep is usually short-lived and a few hours later you will be waking up not feeling too great. That’s because alcohol tends to mess with our natural sleep cycles making for a less restorative slumber. And, if you manage to sleep longer than a few hours, you will likely wake up the next morning with brain fog, feeling groggy and hungover. This will likely suck your morning energy levels dry and our mornings tend to set the mood for the rest of the day.
Instead of alcohol, drink some chamomile tea at night which is known to have a sedative-like effect on the body. It contains a specific flavonoid that binds to receptors in the brain that are responsible for inducing sleep. This will help you fall asleep at night without the need for those other intoxicating elixirs. If you are looking for an additional boost of energy to get your mornings started right, try yerba mate. This herbal tea is robust in caffeine and l-theanine and the combination of the two creates a stress-free boost of energy.
You May Lose Some Weight
Alcohol is full of empty liquid calories and depending on how much alcohol you were consuming, you could lose a considerable amount of weight when you abstain. This is especially true if you were consuming beer in excess. There is a reason they call it a beer belly. When you say no to alcohol for a month you are saying no to a whole lot of calories and often a whole lot of garbage food you were consuming with it.
Replace that alcohol with tea for the month and you may even lose some additional weight. We have a list of weight loss tea that may work to boost your metabolism, curb cravings, and increase the effectiveness of fat-burning activities. There is a combination of catechins in tea, which are powerful polyphenols that help the body more effectively burn calories.
You’ll Reduce Inflammation & Bloating
Besides adding to your caloric intake of liquid calories, alcohol can also contribute to gastrointestinal irritation which can cause bloating. Well, that definitely doesn’t help the way we look and feel. If that wasn’t enough, alcohol also can contribute to swelling or inflammation within the body. If you mix up your drinking with sugar or carbonation you only add to the gassy discomfort and bloated feelings. Another downside of alcohol is that it is dehydrating and when the body is feeling dehydrated it attempts to hold to as much water as possible within the skin and vital organs. This may also make you feel bloated.
When you are in the middle of your Dry January, you may experience a decrease in all of these symptoms. When you replace your tonics with tea, you are not only hydrating the body, but you are adding healthy compounds that reduce inflammation, calm upset stomachs, and reduce that bloated feeling in the body.
Should you Participate in Dry January?
Now that we have given you the low down, it is entirely up to you whether you jump on the Dry January train or not. You may have already started and now you may be wanting to incorporate some tea into the equation. We have a huge selection of teas and you can even shop by benefit by using the tabs at the top of our front web page. We wish you success in every aspect of your mental and physical health and we know that reducing our alcohol intake and including tea may contribute to that healthier lifestyle.