WSVN — It’s becoming a popular health trend. People are putting their beer mugs down, cutting out alcohol for 30 days. But are there any real benefits to this break from booze? 7’s Diana Diaz has the story in tonight’s Medical Report.
For many people, having a couple cocktails after work is just part of their day.
That was certainly the case for Nicolai Svendsen.
Nicolai Svendsen: “Getting home from work, getting one, two, three beers or a glass of red wine.”
But then, the 24-year-old started to notice a pattern.
Nicolai Svendsen: “It was tough to get up in the morning. I felt lazy.”
When he got home from work, he would have a few drinks to wind down.
Nicolai Svendsen: “Lay there on the couch and repeat it all over again.”
So, Nicolai decided to stop drinking alcohol for 30 days.
It’s a move people around the world are making to give their bodies a break from booze.
Dr. Bo Rosenblat: “It’s an emerging trend, which means I wish I could see more of it. People saying, ‘Hey, I want to re-start my life,’ and we see it a lot around New Year’s.”
Dr. Bo Rosenblat, who works in the emergency room, says most people don’t even realize how much they’re actually drinking.
Dr. Bo Rosenblat: “There are people who drink daily and there are people who binge drink, and both of those have issues related to the effects on the body.”
He says one drink a day does have some health benefits for the heart, but overdoing it can have serious consequences.
Dr. Bo Rosenblat: “Ulcers and fatty liver, which is the first process of the liver, getting damaged from alcohol.”
So will taking a month-long break really turn things around?
Dr. Rosenblat says there are some big benefits.
Dr. Bo Rosenblat: “Within 30 days, you’ll see changes in the liver enzymes, you’ll see changes in your blood sugar levels, you’ll lose weight.”
And that’s not all…
Dr. Bo Rosenblat: “There’s also benefits to people feeling like ‘Wow, I’m full of energy. I’m eating better. My body feels better.'”
Now, instead of coming home and having a few beers, Nicolai replaced drinking with exercise.
He also changed his diet, and he’s seeing a difference.
Nicolai Svendsen: “It has resulted in a weight loss of 26 pounds.”
He says since he cut out alcohol, he’s feeling better too.
Nicolai Svendsen: “When you have a lot of energy, you feel more clear.”
But beware! If you go back to your old drinking habits, you’ll lose all the benefits you gained during the break.
Dr. Rosenblat says the goal is changing your habits.
Dr. Bo Rosenblat: “It’s about behavior modification. It’s understanding how your body can feel without that and that you’re not dependent on it.”
Nicolai says he’s not going to cut out alcohol forever, but knows now he can drink in moderation.
Nicolai Svendsen: “If I go out on a Saturday, then I at least get back to normal habits on Monday.”
Dr. Rosenblat says if you are a heavy drinker, it’s too dangerous to go cold turkey. You should seek help at a detox center where they can monitor the side effects.