Non-alcoholic drinks ‘can increase cravings’, says expert
Drinking low or no alcohol alternatives this Dry January can induce cravings for the real thing, an addiction specialist has claimed.
An estimated one in seven adults (8.8 million) planned to take part in Dry January this year, according to Alcohol Change UK. As a result, demand for non-alcoholic beer has shot up by 219% in the lead up to this month.
But Martin Preston, founder and chief executive at private rehab clinic Delamere, has shared why partaking in non-alcoholic or low ABV drinks can be risky for those taking on the challenge.
Choosing mocktails and alcohol free drinks can reportedly make you crave the effects of alcohol. As these drinks taste the same, without providing the buzz of intoxication, they can cause you to become frustrated and give up early on your Dry January plans.
Preston also said that some ‘alcohol free’ drinks contain traces of alcohol, which can be misleading for those attempting to completely abstain. He advised against consuming these in large quantities, as getting accustomed to drinking high volumes can encourage excessive drinking when the month is up.
While reducing your alcohol intake can be a healthy way to start the year, an all or nothing approach to drinking can make it difficult to stick to your goal. There is also evidence to suggest that Dry January is ineffective and can make you feel worse.
Moderate drinking could be the answer to building a healthy and more sustainable relationship to alcohol. The concept has gained popularity online, with many calling it the “damp” lifestyle movement.
Regulating your alcohol intake is also a good way to manage cravings, and to enjoy low and no alcohol alternatives without falling off the wagon. As a result, you are still able to enjoy alcohol for the taste, while reducing potential adverse health effects and hangovers.
Consult medical advice if you are considering a change to your lifestyle, and please drink responsibly.