Diet & Nutrition

Dry July 2017: what is it and what happens when your give up alcohol?

Dry July is about so much more than just giving up alcohol for a month, find out below.

By Holly Royce
What is Dry July?
Dry July is where people elect to go alcohol-free for the month of July and raise money for various cancer organisations, including fundraising ideas like wellness programs and accommodation projects.
Dry July is about so much more than annoying social media posts from people who have decided to go booze free for a month
Did you know that an of 11,181 Australians will be diagnosed with cancer in July?
Sadly, it's true and these alarming figures are the real driving force behind Dry July.
Dry July is about community, health, connection and an attempt to ease the burden of cancer for every Australian.

3 things that happen when you give up alcohol

Besides helping the world at large, you'll be helping yourself feel better - and we're not just talking no more hangovers (though, that is a plus).
You'll sleep better
And who doesn't want more Zs?
Studies show that drinking before bed increase alpha wave patterns in the brain, which disrupts your sleep. A lot of people believe that alcohol actually helps them get to sleep and while this may be true initially, it will quickly turn into disrupted sleep and long term it will negatively affect your sleep quality.
Ditching the booze means a better night's sleep and all the fantastic by-products that go along with being well rested.
Weight loss
Alcohol is loaded with calories and sugar, plus it's not filling - you could easily knock a glass or two back with dinner and not even think about it. But just adding a glass or two can mean you can extra 300-400 calories into your daily diet.
Cutting these out means cutting the kilos, with minimal effort.
You'll save money
Have you ever stopped to think how expensive it is to drink? One glass when you're out can add an extra $10 to your final bill.
Your wallet will get heavier and your waist will get smaller, that sounds like a win-win to us.

If alcohol is so bad, what difference will just one month off make?

Australians generally consume a lot of alcohol, so it's always a good idea to take a close look at your intake and maybe cut down a little bit. You don't need to stop drinking forever though. As long as you look after your liver and give it a little detox every six months it should okay.

How can I make the most of giving up booze?

You can really use this month to have a full detox. Start the day with a bit of lemon in warm water because that will help stimulate bile secretion of the liver. On top of that, think about getting more veggies in. Switch any white carbs to brown carbs — switch white bread for wholemeal pasta. Go for less-processed options and more whole foods. Your body will definitely thank you for it.

Australian's are drinking more than ever before

Australians are drinking more alcohol now than ever before, a new study has found.
In sharp contrast to the 2010 study that found that Australian drinking habits were on the decline, new research published in the Medical Journal of Australia has discovered that we’re actually drinking more than ever.
The study into the rate and level of alcohol consumption in Australia has dug up some astounding results suggesting that our daily alcohol intake has increased, women are lessening the drinking gender gap and underage drinkers are putting themselves at risk more often, with more troubling consequences.
The study, led by the University of Sydney’s Farhat Yusuf and Stephen Leeder, has shown that Australians are drinking 13 per cent more than they did 15 years ago, with our daily alcohol intake jumping from 3.9 standard drinks a day to 4.3.
And although men are still leading the way in alcohol consumption, women are not far behind.
The study reported that men are drinking up to five standards drinks per day, whilst women are drinking 3.4.

Is it too late to start Dry July?

The best part is, it's not too late to start Dry July!
"Dry July actually has a cheat mechanism so you can buy a golden ticket for a minimum of $25. So for State of Origin on July 8 you might want to do that. You could actually spend $775 on golden tickets and drink throughout the whole month," a spokesperson for the campaign said.
So don't worry, just head to dryjuly.com.au for more information.