I didn’t set myself a rule “I’m not getting a hangover this month”, it just kind of happened. I still saw friends and family and had a drink or two, I just drove to most of these places or it wasn’t an alcohol fueled day. When’s the last time you had a month without a hangover… Or even a weekend? When’s the last time you had a productive Sunday?… When’s the last time you felt refreshed for work on Monday?…
Up until a few years ago I probably spent every weekend getting shitfaced. Maybe it’s me, but it was pretty much a competition who can drink the most and last the longest on a night out. Needless to say, I always considered myself a favorite and was keen to down the next pint, shot, wine, whatever was thrown at me. What always followed was a deadly hangover and a sofa day, where you would binge eat and watch the latest crap on TV. But that’s what happens to everyone… right?
When I started competing in strongman, I needed to cut weight to get down to a lighter weight class, just like boxers would do. For 2-3 months before an event I would go tee-total and not have one drop of alcohol in order to lose weight for this competition, and funnily enough it worked every time. This was my first taste of no hangover weekends… and it felt great.
People experience it in fads like Dry January and Stoptober, and I’m sure any of them will tell you how good they felt during it. But just like any crash diet, and like myself once my competition was over, you binge HARD and probably have the heaviest weekend of the year alcohol wise.
Here’s an outline of a couple of the benefits of having a dry weekend/month:
Calories – Everyone knows alcoholic drinks are very calorie dense. Cutting out just 10 pints a weekend will cut out 2000 calories of your weekly intake. Skipping on 2 bottles of wine will save you 1300 calories. So if you wanna loose weight, loose the booze.
Organ Health – It’s hard to find an organ that gets positively affected by excessive alcohol consumption, especially the most important one chaps… If I list them you’d be reading for days, just have a Google and you’ll see what you’ve always feared.
Sleep – How good is that no hangover lie-in feeling?? Staying in bed past noon, not because you feel rough, but because you can and you’re enjoying it. No unbroken sleep, no room spinning, no ears ringing, no dry mouth. Just a pleasant lie in. And if you hit it super hard on Saturday we all know the dreaded two-day hangover is a possibility and your Monday 6:00am alarm is the end of the world.
Motivation – This is both for training and general life. If you play sports on a Saturday you don’t drink the night before, well not before a big game anyway. And if you don’t go out on Saturday you’re more likely to exercise on Sunday too. You’re also more likely to try more things, go to new places, try fun stuff rather than being sofa-bound and “So hungover I can’t move”.
Mental Health – I never understood what Sunday Anxiety was until I spend the weekend getting messed up then knowing I had 5 days of working a job I hate. Having a clear head is important to solving a lot of personal issues, and when your head is clouded from sinking pints and Jaeger bombs till 3am, you’re not getting over anything fast.
Finance – Now this is the kicker for me. Anyone that knows me knows I’m the tightest guy alive. Let’s say an average night out costs £100 (pints, pub grub, taxi, club entry, spirits, shots, kebab etc) and I know the costs can rack up a lot higher than that on some nights. If you’re out twice a week, at four weekends a month (occasionally more) that’s £800 a month you’re wasting on booze, nearly 10 grand a year! If you need to cut down on some costs, cut down on some drinking.
The only real negative of not drinking for a weekend/month is missing out on a few nights out. Your mates might rip you but hey that’s what friends are for. There’s plenty more nights out to be had in your lifetime.
So if you’ve not had a dry weekend in a while, or a dry month ever, I would strongly recommend it. You can still see friends and family, still head to a restaurant or the pub but just drive or have the spine to say no after a few drinks.
Try just one weekend of not drinking… I dare you… you never know what you might achieve.