If you, like many of us, have over indulged over the festive period and want to cut back on your alcohol consumption then Dry January is the perfect time to do this. Dry January is the UK's one-month alcohol-free challenge and is a great way to take a break from your favourite boozy tipples. In this blog post, we will be looking at the origins of Dry January, the benefits of giving up alcohol for a month as well as some delicious alcohol-free drinks you can try if you're missing the taste of your favourite tipples.
Dry January started back in 2013 by Alcohol Change UK. It means going alcohol-free for the whole month with many people using it as an opportunity to raise money for charity. After teaming up with an alcohol behaviour change expert from the University of Sussex, they discovered that six months after the campaign has finished, seven out of ten people have continued to drink less riskily than before. Almost a quarter of the people who were drinking at “harmful” levels before the campaign are now in the low risk category.
You may be wondering if there are any health benefits to giving up alcohol for one month of the year. Some believe that doing Dry January is simply a great way for us to reset after an indulgent Christmas and New Year period. Others see it as a worthy challenge and a great way to kick start the new year. While this may be true for some, Alcohol Change UK believe Dry January is a great way to rethink your relationship with alcohol. We will now take a brief look at some of the purported health benefits of giving up booze for a month.
70% of Dry January participants have commented that they sleep better. Even if you toss and turn a bit at first, when you do drop off you’ll get better-quality sleep and probably wake feeling more refreshed the next day.
We are all aware of how expensive alcohol can be so giving it up for a month is a great way to save some cash. 86% of people found that they were able to save a great deal of money when taking part in Dry January.
A month alcohol-free has a lot of benefits according to research published in 2018. The British Medical Journal found that a month off can lower blood pressure, reduce diabetes risk, lower cholesterol and even reduce levels of cancer-related proteins in the blood.
Dry January helps people to drink more healthily year-round. Being alcohol-free for 31 days shows us that we don’t need alcohol to have fun, relax or socialise. It also helps us learn the skills we need to manage our drinking which we can use far beyond the month of January.
Alcohol-free drinks and low alcohol alternatives are a great way for people to cut down their drinking. A tipple labelled as low-alcohol means no more than 1.2% ABV while alcohol-free means no more than 0.05% ABV and includes drinks where alcohol has been extracted.
Sea Arch is a refreshing non-alcoholic gin spirit that is bursting with the flavours of coastal botanicals and is as uplifting as a walk on the beach.
It contains Sea Kelp (as well as juniper, cardamon, angelica root, cucumber, grapefruit and blood orange). All the deliciousness of gin, with none of the alcohol or calories.
Great for people who have health reasons for not drinking, eg pregnancy. People who socialise a lot but don’t want to drink alcohol all the time. Or of course, those who have made a lifestyle choice not to drink at all.
Bursting with seaside botanicals, Sea & T has all the deliciousness of a G&T with none of the alcohol. All the ingredients are sourced from natural and local coastal areas, to ensure they stay true to what makes Sea Arch so special. The Rose Sea & T has a twist of raspberry and rose-infused tonic.
Salcombe 'New London Light' (NLL) is a premium non-alcoholic spirit, distilled and crafted by Salcombe Distilling Co. Distilled from rich Macedonian juniper berries, zesty ginger and warm habanero capsicum to create a full-bodied base spirit.
The base is carefully blended with 15 further hand-picked botanicals including orange, sage, cardamom, cascarilla bark and lemongrass to create a complex and layered flavour with thirst-quenching hints of citrus orange and sage.
Low calorie and alcohol-free, NLL is made with all-natural ingredients chosen principally for their flavour characteristics and complementary health benefits. Enjoy NLL with a premium light tonic water, a slice of orange and a sage leaf.
Alcohol-free hoppy ale. Nanny State - no compromise, no surrender, no alcohol. A brigade of speciality malts and North American hops sends bitterness to the brink and back. None of the alcohol, all of the flavour. BrewDog Nanny State Alcohol-Free is suitable for vegans. BrewDog now remove twice as much carbon from the atmosphere than they emit each year, whilst simultaneously doing all they can to drive emissions to zero.
Full flavour, no alcohol, all Punk. The BrewDog Punk AF Alcohol-Free IPA is suitable for vegetarians and has less than 50 calories per can. Juicy tropical fruit mixes it up with grassy and pine notes. All sitting on a solid malt baseline. Say hello to the Punkest non-alcoholic beer in town.
BrewDog's latest foray into alcohol-free beers sees them take their iconic Lost Lager and turn it into a crisp and refreshing 0.5% crusher. The light Pilsner malt base is the perfect foundation, offering up a delicate backbone that gives the hops a stage to shine. The final result is a light lager with zingy citrus and herbal notes, coupled with savoury biscuit malts. All the flavour, none of the alcohol.
If you are interested in giving Dry January a go, there are plenty of resources and top tips on the Alcohol Change UK website here. They have a brilliant free app you can download to keep track of your consumption including units, calories and money saved.