What to know when doing dry July

What to know when doing dry July

Benefits of a Dry July

Drinking alcohol has long been an ingrained part of the Aussie culture, but last year polls
showed that more Aussies were purchasing alcohol during the height of COVID lockdowns
than previously, and more people reported alcohol intake to cope with their anxiety and
stress. While we’re still navigating our new normal through the pandemic, now is as good a
time as any to think about our alcohol intake and the health impacts this might be having.

Dry July is a well-known initiative by the Dry July Foundation that fundraises money to
support people affected by cancer, by encouraging people to cut out alcohol for the whole
month of July. Apart from the obvious benefits of helping a good cause, the benefits of
taking part in Dry July go beyond that and can have some really positive outcomes on your
health! Our Dietitian Kelsey outlines the top 3 reasons a Dry July can be a great idea:

1. Better weight management

Alcohol intake can be a key contributor to excess calorie (energy) intake for many people.
Alcohol itself is higher in calories per gram than carbohydrates and protein, meaning it is
very easy to consume a large number of calories in a small volume of liquids. On top of this,
the mixers often used with alcohol are usually high in calories, and alcohol intake has also
been shown to drive increased food intake! Even if you aren’t committed to completely
cutting out alcohol, reducing intake each week can do wonders for weight management.

2. Improved hydration

Alcohol is a known diuretic which means that it increases how much you urinate. It is
estimated that for every 200ml of beer consumed, the body produces 320ml of urine! This
means the kidneys have to work harder to do their job, and your risk of dehydration (mild or
severe) is increased.
When you reduce your alcohol intake, you’ll likely notice that your skin looks fresher and
plumper (hello natural glow!), concentration improves and you may feel fitter during
exercise too.

3. Improved mental health

One of the most important side effects of reducing alcohol intake is how positively it can
impact your mood and mental health. Although alcohol often surrounds happy, social
occasions and you may feel like it contributes to having fun, alcohol itself is a depressant.
Drinking can make situations feel worse than they are, and can exacerbate low moods.
Many people turn to alcohol to help ease stress or wind down after a long day, but doing
this regularly can actually do the opposite. Not to forget, the next day anxiety that many
people experience – that feeling of anxiousness, embarrassment or low moods after a few
too many drinks!
Some time off alcohol can often be a real eye-opener for people and highlights how much it
is likely having on your mental clarity and wellbeing.

Not sure what to do with yourself if you’re not drinking alcohol? There is an increasing range
of non-alcoholic beers, wines and spirits that are available in bottle shops so you don’t have
to feel like you’re missing out.

These are three great reasons to try reducing your alcohol intake, but there’s also plenty
more! If you’re looking for a health kickstart, why not try Dry July where you can also make
a difference for those affected by cancer.

If you would like to book in with our Dietitian Kelsey Hutton click HERE