Dry January 2023 (January without alcohol): what are the benefits?

Dry January 2023 (January without alcohol): what are the benefits?

Zero drop of alcohol throughout the month of January: this is the objective of the “Dry January” or “January without alcohol” challenge in France. What are the benefits for this month of abstinence? For weight loss? Detox your liver? Improve your sleep? Origin, application and advice to meet this challenge!

No alcohol consumption for 31 days: this is the challenge offered by the Dry Januarytranslated by January Sober or January Without Alcohol in French. Right after New Year’s, so from January 1, 2023this challenge proposes to take a break from drinking alcohol for a month, in order to change his relationship with alcohol. According to a study conducted by the University of Sussex on almost 3,000 Dry January participants (published in January 2019), 71% of them slept better, 58% lost weight, 57% better concentration and 54% better skin.Many of us know the health risks of alcohol – cancers, liver disease, mental health issues – but we often ignore that drinking less also has more immediate benefits. Sleep better, feel more energized, save money, better skin, lose weight…the list goes on. Dry January is helping millions of people reap these benefits and make a more lasting change to healthier drinking“says Dr Richard Piper, CEO of Alcohol Change UK, a British charity and campaign. what are its health benefits? Losing weight ? Detox your liver? Have better quality sleep? How to get started in 2023? Our expert’s opinion.

Definition: what is the Dry January or Janvier Sans Alcool challenge?

With the easing of restrictions we experienced at the height of the pandemic, the opportunities to get together and drink alcohol have multiplied. And after the excesses of the end-of-year celebrations, it’s time for good resolutions! Across the Channel as in France, millions of people are determined to participate in the “Dry January”a challenge to do not drink a drop of alcohol during the whole month of January and thus, to put his body to rest.

Logo Dry January
Logo Dry January © Dry January

What is the origin of Dry January?

This challenge, imagined in 2013 by the British Association Alcohol Change UKquickly went viral on social media and received thousands of shares, including in France with the launch of Sober Month or Sober January by Laurence Cottet. In 2021, the number of participants is estimated at 6.5 million. The health benefits are proven: better sleep, renewed energy, better concentration, weight loss and ultimately, better controlled alcohol consumption, even among those who did not completely pass the Challenge.

What is the translation of Dry January in France?

Literally, Dry January can be translated as “Dry January”. In France, we prefer to call it “Janvier Sobre” or “Défi de Janvier”.

When does Dry January start?

As its name suggests, Dry January is supposed to start as soon as January 1st ! As it’s New Year, we tolerate starting on January 2nd.

The Dry January consists of Stop all alcohol consumption between January 1 and January 31. On its website, the French association “Janvier Sobre” explains that more broadly the objective is “achieve a reasoned consumption and keep at least 2 days without alcohol per week”. A Facebook group is accessible to all those who want to participate in “Janvier Sobre”.

For Jean-Michel Delile, president of the Addiction Federation and psychiatrist, this challenge constitutes “a very positive, unifying and non-judgmental initiative [qui] don’t demonize the productbut which allows you to distance yourself from it in the form of a game, with the support of social networks“. For the rest of the year, he advises “to invent your own challenge“like not drinking alcohol two or three days a week, or plan weeks without consuming a single drink. In short, “taking care of your liver by banishing all alcohol consumption for a period of time is essential for preserving your health and restoring the right balance in your body“. details Professor Marcellin.

What are the benefits of Dry January for the liver?

During the holiday season, we tend to eat more fat than usual, consume more alcohol and be a little more inactive. And these three factors increase the risk of overloading your liver with fat. This is called the steatosisa lesion of the liver which corresponds to a fatty deposits inside liver cells. “It is true that under the effect of too rich a diet, excessive alcohol consumption and a sedentary lifestyle, the liver can suffer and reach the stage of steatosis after only a few days of excess. But rest assured, this steatosis is completely reversible provided you stop drinking alcohol (or have extremely low alcohol consumption) immediately after a period of excess“, explains Professor Marcellin, hepatologist at Beaujon Hospital and president of the APHC (Association for the improvement of the care of patients with chronic liver diseases). Whether you are an occasional or regular consumer , “Dry January” is a great way to boost the toxin elimination process in his body and particularly in his liver, an organ that provides many essential functions of the body.

Within days we can have a healthier liver.

In a few days, we can have a healthier liver and regain a better shape, good sleep and better energy. In addition, a healthy and detoxified liver allows strengthen your immune system just before spring and fight against certain viruses such as the flu, specifies the hepatologist. Finally, it also has psychological effects : indeed, this period of abstinence makes it possible to become aware of one’s true alcohol consumption (consumption often underestimated), and above all, proves that the less alcohol one drinks, the less one wants to drink alcohol , because the brain gets used to alcohol relatively quickly!

Benefits of Dry January

  • Detoxify your liver
  • Avoid seasonal viruses (flu, etc.)
  • Limit your weight gain
  • Reduce your risk of cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension and cancer
  • Improve your sleep

Is Dry January effective for weight loss?

Alcohol is high in calories and very sweet. One gram of alcohol represents 7 calories. For example, a glass of red wine or champagne contains 70 calories, a glass of Martini displays 112 calories on the counter, a hundred calories for 25 cl of beer. Not to mention the sodas and other juices that often accompany liqueurs and brandies! Logically, reducing or even stopping alcohol consumption can limit weight gain, due to the calories not ingested when you trade your cocktail for a glass of water. Otherwise, consuming alcohol tends to slow the elimination of fat. Worse, it even promotes its accumulation in the abdominal strap. A mechanism well known to those who are colloquially called “beer drinkers”…

Does Dry January have any benefits for sleep?

At very low doses, alcohol tends to “make you sleep” and does not affect the quality of sleep. On the other hand, regular or excessive alcohol consumption can promote or exacerbate certain sleep disorders, including insomnia, sleep apnea, and snoring. Sleep is fragmented, punctuated by waking up, which prevents proper recovery. This contributes in particular to the “hangover” of the next day… Remember that the sleeping pill/alcohol mixture is very dangerous, can cause breathing problems, violent behavior, parasomnia or reinforce sleep apnea.

Which application to easily do the Dry January?

Try Dry is the official app of Dry January, created and managed by Alcohol Change UK, the British NGO behind Dry January. It is available on Android and iPhone. It contains tips, notifications full of motivation and allows you to individually follow the economic and health benefits of this alcohol break. You can download it from the Dry January website.

In general, how many glasses of alcohol max per week?

If there is no consumption threshold that would certainly limit health risks throughout life. an expert opinion from Public Health France and the National Cancer Institute proposed in 2017 to define a benchmark value that concerns both men and women. This benchmark value is 10 standard alcoholic drinks per week maximum, without exceeding 2 standard drinks a day, and not every day. Nevertheless, “recent studies have shown that from 20 to 30 g of alcohol per day (20 g for women and 30 g for men), there were health risks“, specifies Professor Marcellin. We remind you that a standard glass corresponds to 10 g of pure alcoholthat is :

  • 10 cl of wine,
  • 2.5 cl of pastis at 45°,
  • 25 cl beer at 5°
  • 10 cl of champagne at 12°

If in doubt about potential excessive alcohol consumption, do not hesitate to ask your doctor for advice so that he or she prescribes a liver test (assay of transaminases).

Thanks to Professor Marcellin, hepatologist at Beaujon Hospital and president of the APHC (Association for improving the care of patients with chronic liver disease).

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