Dry January, aka ditching alcohol in the first month of the new year, is an annual tradition for many people. For some, its part of a New Years resolution to drink less, while others say its a good way to “detox” from excessive drinking over the holidaysbut all swear that its going to do beneficial things for their health. Instagram is now flooded with #DryJanuary posts featuring mocktail recipes, pledges of healthy habits, and people joking about how much theyre already struggling with going alcohol-free for the month.
But does avoiding alcohol for a month do much for your health? Experts say it canif you approach it the right way.
For some people, it can be a great way to hit the reset button and get their systems back on track, New York-based R.D. Jessica Cording tells SELF. Womens health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D., agrees, telling SELF that it’s not a bad idea, especially if you are trying to cut down on your drinking.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines excessive alcohol use as having five or more drinks on one occasion for men and four or more drinks on one occasion for women. And, the CDC reports, most people who drink excessively are not alcoholics or alcohol dependent.