“DRY January”, for many a welcome period of abstinence after the excesses of the holiday season, could be more than a rest for body and soul. New Scientist staff have generated the first evidence that giving up alcohol for a month might actually be good for you, at least in the short term.
Many people who drink alcohol choose to give up for short periods, but there is no scientific evidence that this has any health benefits. So we teamed up with Rajiv Jalan at the Institute for Liver and Digestive Health at University College London Medical School (UCLMS) to investigate.
The study is small and informal, but it fits with what we know about how alcohol works on our bodies. Rather than quitting for a month and then going back on your usual schedule, it’s probably better to use this as a lesson in how easy it is to reverse some of the effects of alcohol.
As Derek Zoolander wisely put it, wetness is the essence of life. Whether you like drinking water or not, it accounts for about 60% of your body weight, and plays a pretty darn important role in making sure your body functions normally. But statistics aside, there are a couple of myths about hydration that refuse to die.
The blurb about myth #3 does not mention skim milk or chocolate milk as a recovery drink. Providing you’re not lactose intolerant or have ideological issues with drinking cows milk, it’s hydrating, provides carbs and protein, and a good source of calcium and vitamin D (necessary for processing calcium).
There is also an argument that diuretics (coffee, pop/soda) can be beneficial because they will encourage you to drink more when most aren’t motivated to drink more water. They can be more enjoyable than water – certainly understandable in places where filtration can’t do enough for water. Hard water tastes horrible…