Go sober for October benefits - how many calories in alcohol and health benefits of ditching booze

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It's time to ditch the booze for good.

Next month, thousands of people will be putting away the booze and giving up alcohol for a month - in the name of charity.

Sober October encourages people to go alcohol-free for a month to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. People can sign up to the challenge online and receive donations to the charity for their sobriety.

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There are numerous health benefits to ditching alcohol, and while some will only do the month-long challenge, others may find themselves getting rid of the booze for good.

Dropping the alcohol could have a lot of upsides. (Picture: Adobe Stock)Dropping the alcohol could have a lot of upsides. (Picture: Adobe Stock)
Dropping the alcohol could have a lot of upsides. (Picture: Adobe Stock) | Adobe Stock

But perhaps one of the most surprising is the number of calories in our favourite beverages.

Just a couple of drinks at a bar could set you back between 500-1,000 calories, and a full night out could be the same as a few days' worth of food.

Here are some of the calorie intakes for alcoholic drinks, based on one serving.

Absinthe - 133 cal

Baileys - 94 cal

Beer - 153 cal

Cosmopolitan - 146 cal

Daiquiri - 137 cal

Gin and tonic - 165 cal

Pina colada - 526 cal

Red wine - 165 cal

Rum and coke - 185 cal

Tequila sunrise - 198 cal

Vodka - 70 cal

Whiskey sour - 125 cal

White Russian - 568 cal

White wine - 128 cal

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According to the Orlando Recovery Centre, here are just some of the health benefits linked with sobriety:

Fewer toxins

When you stop polluting your body with toxins from drugs and alcohol, it detoxifies and cleanses itself. No longer using those chemicals resets your internal systems, allowing your body to work more efficiently and with less strain. This creates an environment in our body much closer to what it was intended to be, and you will notice you begin to function at a more optimal level.

Mental clarity

Alcohol affects your brain, suppressing its normal function and artificially stimulating certain receptors. Your brain physically changes, adjusting the sensitivity of its receptors in response to the continued presence of alcohol. These factors combine to create mental cloudiness, with your brain not functioning as effectively as it should.

Becoming sober will help your brain become free from the effects alcohol causes, allowing you greater clarity. With the suppressing effects of alcohol gone, you will find it easier to think clearly and more enjoyable to engage in tasks that require reasoning skills.

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Better sleep

Alcohol can make it easier to fall asleep but actually prevents you from reaching the deepest stage of sleep. Those who frequently drink alcohol may get a good amount of sleep but never feel fully rested, as restorative sleep is impossible. When you achieve sobriety, fully restorative sleep is suddenly possible, allowing you to feel rested in a way you cannot while drinking. Most people who become sober notice they feel more rested after sleeping than when they use alcohol.

More energy

As improved sleep quality compounds over time, your energy will improve with sobriety. Additionally, alcohol suppresses your brain, leading to decreased energy levels. Heavy alcohol use can also deplete your body of important nutrients, further suppressing energy. When the effects of alcohol are removed, improved sleep, absence of alcohol’s neurological effects and improved nutrition will combine to provide you with increased energy.

Better skin

Alcohol is dehydrating, slowly causing your skin to become less full. Alcohol also affects your skin’s health, increasing blemishes and making your skin more susceptible to injury. When you stop drinking, your skin health rapidly improves. Within weeks, your skin will likely appear noticeably smoother and healthier, with fewer blemishes.

Better eating habits

Alcohol is full of empty calories, leading to an excessive calorie intake when used heavily. Alcohol also affects inhibition, leading to a decreased ability to resist unhealthy foods. Additionally, alcohol depletes your body of essential nutrients. When you stop drinking, it can help to improve your eating habits and the effectiveness of dietary changes that you attempt. Overcoming addiction can also help you regain control of other areas, like your eating habits, and help you achieve a healthier lifestyle.

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Happier

Overall well-being is a huge health benefit of sobriety. When you are doing good for yourself, feeling better, looking better and functioning on a higher level, you feel less shame; this, in turn, can lead to more happiness. Sobriety brings so much peace into your life, allowing you to become more present and aware. The sober lifestyle helps you understand who you are and what makes you tick. You feel more connected to yourself, and your spirituality and life, in general, become something you look forward to each day.

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