The International Wines and Spirits Record (IWSR) has reported a growing trend of reducing alcohol consumption or quitting entirely through the use of non-alcoholic beer and wine. These findings come on the heels of the encouraging Dry January movement.
The ISJR, located in the United Kingdom, reports that their research for its 2019 “Low- and No-Alcohol Report” points to the Drug January trend signals a global upward trend in health and wellness.
How the Non-Alcoholic Trend Started
The Dry January Movement began in 2012 as the brainchild of Alcohol Change UK with 4,000 people taking part in the first event. Since its inception, the Dry January movement has spread beyond Great Britain, even earning its own #DryJanuary hashtag on social media.
Research has shown that alcohol consumption and binge-drinking peaks in the two weeks prior to Christmas and doesn’t drop again until New Year’s Day.
Surveys have reported many overall benefits for Dry January participants, which includes saving money.
What About Soft Drinks?
The IWSR surveyed bars and restaurants across the globe for the 2019 “Low- and No-Alcohol Report”, with findings showing that, overall, retailers currently offer “significantly more” of a non-alcoholic wine and beer selection to consumers than do restaurants and bars. Further, the report shows that most bars offering non-alcoholic beer do not currently offer non-alcoholic wine.
The 2019 “Low- and No-Alcohol Report” also notes that for those opting to join the Dry January for self-improvement, soft drinks are not the obvious go-to. The point being, the average consumer wants to have their cake and eat it too by way of still being able to enjoy the taste of spirits, wine, and beer, without the detrimental health effects of regularly consuming alcohol.
But can dropping alcohol for 30 days actually provide a positive health benefit?
Going Dry for Health
There is evidence that abstaining from the consumption of alcohol for a month may actually be beneficial for your health.
According to a study published in 2018 in BMJ Open Journal, benefits of dropping alcohol for 30 days include:
- Improved insulin resistance
- Weight loss
- Reduction in blood levels of a protein linked to cancer
- Reduced blood pressure
Furthermore, the University of Sussex also reports that those who go cold turkey for a month - whether that includes non-alcoholic beverages as a substitute or not - are able to abstain from or significantly reduce their alcohol consumption for longer than originally intended.
Is Dry January Right for You?
The downside to the Dry January movement is that for those with addiction and substance abuse disorders, it may lead to an all or nothing outlook concerning alcohol.
Alcohol abusers are also recommended to make an appointment with their physicians prior to attempting to participate in any cold-turkey periods, such as Dry January. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms, which include seizures, sweating, and shaking, can be dangerous to one’s health.
Anyone with a chemical dependency on alcohol should not quit without a doctor's supervision. That said, giving up alcohol is definitely worth considering, especially if you’ve noticed the habit getting out of hand.