An ordinary person with an average income drinks about 9.5 liters of alcohol a year, according to statistics. And this person is not addicted to alcohol — they just like to spend time with their friends and have a few drinks. Sometimes they take a break during the week and drink just a little bit, maybe having one glass of wine before bed to relieve stress. What would happen to the body of this person if they quit drinking for 28 days?
We were interested in the experiment of several volunteers who wanted to find out if there would be any changes in their health and appearance in as little as just 4 weeks without alcohol. For the most impatient people, the answer is yes there will, and they are pretty dramatic.
- The appetite seems to increase. In reality, people eat way more if they drink alcohol. And when they stop drinking, they instinctively want to keep their hands busy, usually with food. So, it’s best to replace food with juice and fruit after quitting drinking.
- Your craving for sweet foods may increase. Alcohol, especially the sweet kind, can increase the blood sugar levels, which could in turn create sugar cravings. But different people have different reactions and some experience a decrease in sugar levels. This is especially dangerous for people who have diabetes.
- It is hard to get quality sleep after quitting drinking. This can even be true for people who are used to drinking a glass of something before bed in order to fall asleep faster. While alcohol might make you fall asleep faster, it decreases the quality of your sleep. So as you transition away from alcohol the sleep itself will not be deep and some people might also have nightmares.
- In some cases, people might have headaches, which are a signal of major changes in the body as it’s detoxing from alcohol. It may affect the liver or even cause high blood pressure. At this stage of quitting alcohol, your body may even experience the opposite effect and kill the pain (when people drink regularly, their pain tolerance increases) and there is still some semblance of pain tolerance in the body in week one.