“Why do I think that alcohol is a toxin? It harms the liver and kidneys, damages the brain, alters the microbiome, weakens the immune system and disrupts sleep - it’s really the whole toxic package!” - Frank Lipman, MD
“If people are ingesting alcohol chronically, even if it’s not every night, there are well recognized changes in neural circuits…and in the brain to body stress system…” - Andrew Huberman, Ph.D, The Huberman Lab Podcast
You’ve probably been seeing a lot of quotes like these on the news and on social media. It seems like the word is finally spreading that the bottom line is alcohol is toxic. Something we’ve been saying for years…there’s no amount of drinking that’s healthy for you. In fact, new health guidelines from Canada recommend only 1-2 drinks per week. As people begin to educate themselves on the downsides of regular alcohol use, we’re seeing trends like “sober curious”, “99% sober”, and “mindful moderation” explode. Here’s why you may want to cut down on your drinking well past Dry January, as well as some tips for drinking smarter in 2023:
Alcohol and mental health. Many of us look to alcohol as a way to alleviate stress or relax after a long day without even thinking about it. Ironically enough, using alcohol has hugely detrimental effects on our brain health, and in particular our sleep quality. While in the moment you may feel less on edge, after a poor night’s sleep you can wake up feeling drained, stressed and the cycle repeats. Our tip: If you missed Dry January, choose another 30 days to reset without alcohol and self-assess. How do you feel without it? How has your mental state shifted?
Alcohol and diet. Studies show regular alcohol use can contribute to weight gain and obesity. Not only is alcohol empty calories (no nutritional value), but when our inhibitions are lowered, we tend to make less smart choices in regards to our eating habits. Regular alcohol use can also have a negative impact on our gut health and nutrient absorption. Our tip: If you choose to drink, skip the sugary mixers like sodas and juices so you aren’t adding fuel to the fire. Look for cleaner alcohol alternatives, like a tequila soda.
Alcohol and cellular health. When your body processes alcohol, it breaks it down into a toxin called acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde damages your DNA and prevents your body from repairing the damage, which makes it a carcinogen. In fact, six different types of cancer are linked to alcohol use. Even with low to moderate alcohol use, there are still risks associated with it. Unfortunately, there’s no amount of alcohol that’s considered “safe”. Our tip: Recovery+, specifically glucarate which we use in our formula, increases the body’s efficiency to eliminate acetaldehyde. While we recommend using Recovery+ daily to detox from all the stressors of modern life, we definitely would suggest ADDING a second serving on evenings you choose to drink.
Can I ever drink again?? Alcohol is embedded in our culture and is a big part of many of our social lives. We don’t think that’s going away completely any time soon! You shouldn’t feel stressed or guilty about occasional alcohol use in moderation. The original inspiration behind Recovery+ was for healthier drinking!
Our tip: Maintain as healthy a lifestyle as possible outside of alcohol consumption. With a good diet, regular exercise, good mental health, stress management, and a daily serving of Recovery+, many of the risks of drinking alcohol can be mitigated (although never completely eliminated).