Sober-Curious: Experimenting With The Alcohol-Free Life
They seem to go hand-in-hand: lazy summer pool days and cocktails. But sometimes instead of refreshed, we are left feeling groggy, foggy and full of regret. If you've been there, you might have considered nixing the booze for a bit, and you're not alone. This sober-curious movement is on the upswing. CorePerform can get you started with some solid inspiration and a beautiful mocktail recipe.
Whether we recognize it or not, that temporary serotonin boost is what keeps us coming back when it comes to alcohol. But like so many things, the instant gratification comes with long term consequences. When you've experienced those one too many times, you might be curious about what a break from booze would feel like. So what can we look forward to when we cut back?
Benefits of Taking a Break From Booze
We are gut-health and nutrition people here, so let's start there. Reviews are mixed when it comes to gut-health and alcohol, as some beers and wines contain polyphenols that can be beneficial to microbiota in moderation. Beyond one or two drinks, and when we are talking spirits rather than the aforementioned, alcohol can harm good gut bacteria and cause dysbiosis, leading to a cascade of GI symptoms and disorders. Beyond specific gut-health, some additional benefits to reducing the sauce are:
- Weight Loss. Alcohol is loaded with calories, but provides no nutrients. Those drinks and mixers can add up at 7 calories/g of alcohol. To make matters worse, your body prioritizes the metabolism of alcohol and other macronutrients you consume with likely end up stored as fat rather than fueling your body.
- Better sleep. While the depressant effects of alcohol can initially make it easier to fall asleep, these sedative effects also cause an imbalance between the slow-wave and REM sleep stages. As alcohol is metabolized and lowers in the blood, sleep disruptions can also occur. Other links between alcohol and sleep, including insomnia and sleep apnea have been well documented as well.
- Improved general health & well-being. Most of us can probably admit that we feel better when we drink less. We can workout more effectively, are more productive at work, and our mental state is lighter.
Getting Started With the Sober-Curious Lifestyle
- Let your friends & family know. This might seem unnecessary, but it will help you to commit. You're less likely to have a lapse in your commitment to yourself if all eyes are on you. Plus, if they are on board they will hopefully encourage you to stick with it and even provide you with other options when you're in their company.
- Set a timeframe. You can start with just a month and take it from there. Having a clear-cut end date will make the trail seem less overwhelming. And who knows, once you get there, you may decide to keep going.
- Journal or blog your experience. Taking the time to really think about how the break from alcohol is affecting your life might help you decide if it is right for you to continue or maybe just cut back after your trial period is over. It will also be helpful to look back on and reconnect with how you felt later on. It will help you be mindful of why you are doing this, and if you chose to blog, you might inspire someone else to try it out as well.
- Mix some mocktails. Being alcohol free doesn't have to mean settling for boring, flavorless soda water poolside or during happy hour. We'll get you started with this beautiful, tropical refresher mocktail recipe to serve next time you have friends gather on the patio. Beyond this recipe, you can get creative mixing your own seasonal flavors all year long.
Benefits of This Recipe
Pineapples are surprisingly great for gut health! This magical fruit can help reduce bloat and other stomach troubles. The magic is in bromelain, a digestive enzyme that helps break down protein foods. Pineapple is actually the only dietary source of bromelain - so, eat up! Pineapple also contains fiber, which also aids in digestion.
The Pina Colada Mocktail Recipe
1/2 C pineapple pieces
1 oz. fresh pineapple juice
3 oz. coconut milk
1 tsp. lime juice
flavored or unflavored seltzer water
- Muddle pineapple pieces in cocktail shaker.
- Add pineapple juice, coconut milk, and lime juice.
- Shake, strain, and pour over ice.
Add a splash of flavored or unflavored seltzer water if desired.