15 Reasons Not to Drink Alcohol—Even If You’re Not an Alcoholic

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If you’re like most people, you enjoy a glass of wine or beer with dinner from time to time. And on special occasions, you might even treat yourself to more than a few drinks. But as you may have experienced, too much drinking can have its downsides.

So, what are the best reasons not to drink alcohol? Can quitting change your life (and your health) for the better?

There’s a good reason so many people are giving up the booze—even if they don’t have a drinking problem. Below, discover 15 remarkable benefits of never drinking alcohol.

1. Deeper Sleep and More Energy

woman stretching in the morning light
Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels

Although alcohol might help you doze off more easily, the truth is that it can harm your overall sleep quality.

If you want to get more restorative sleep and have better overall energy, cutting down on alcohol is the way to go.

Read more: Alcohol and Sleep

2. Improved Mental Clarity and Focus

We tend to think that alcohol only affects our mental state while we’re drunk. But although its effects are more pronounced when intoxicated, your mind can also take a hit the morning after.

Luckily, when you cut drinking out of your routine you can keep your focus sharp—and avoid ever having to worry about hangover brain fog again.

3. Reduced Risk of Certain Cancers

Too much drinking can increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer. The good news is that the longer you avoid drinking, the more you can improve your health and mitigate these risks.

Read more: Alcohol and Cancer Risk

4. Better Brain Health

In general, you probably know that alcohol isn’t exactly good for the body. But beyond being unhealthy, science also recognizes alcohol as a neurotoxin. Not drinking means a healthier, better-functioning brain over the long term.

5. Never Have Another Hangover Again

Ever woken up the morning after drinking with a raging headache and nausea, and wished you could go back to sleep for another eight hours? Cutting out booze means you’ll never have to deal with an awful hangover like that again.

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6. Less Stress

Sure, a shot or two can bring quick relief when you’re feeling stressed out. But these stress-relieving benefits are short-lived—you’ll likely feel worse when the liquor wears off. Overall, you’ll likely find that not drinking helps you manage stress more effectively.

Read more: Alcohol and Stress

7. Your Skin Will Stay Clear and Hydrated

Alcohol can cause redness, breakouts, and aggravated blood vessels in the skin. When you minimize your intake, your skin has a chance to clear up and regain its healthy glow.

Read more: Alcohol and Your Skin

8. You Won’t Risk Dependency

Alcohol dependency isn’t something that anyone ever develops on purpose. For most people, it’s something that gradually appears over time.

While many moderate drinkers won’t ever become dependent on alcohol, avoiding drinking altogether eliminates the chance of it ever happening.

9. Dodge Alcohol’s Extra Calories

Alcohol packs some surprising calories, and they can seriously add up over time. Fortunately, quitting can make it easier to meet your daily calorie goals and stick to a healthy weight.

Read more: How Much Weight Can I Lose If I Quit Drinking?

10. Improve Your Relationships

man walking with child in the woods
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Drinking too much can take a toll on your role as a partner, loved one, parent, or sibling. Without the influence of alcohol, you might find that you become more present, and your relationships improve.

11. Boost Your Body’s Vitamin Absorption

Alcohol can hurt your body’s ability to absorb specific vitamins and minerals, even if you eat nutritious meals regularly. When you quit, you’ll be able to absorb more nutrients from everything you consume.

Read more: Alcohol and Nutrition

12. Protect Your Kidney and Liver Health

Your liver and kidneys often take a hit when you drink excessively. One of the best benefits of never drinking is avoiding the damage alcohol can cause these essential organs.

Read more: Early Signs of Liver Damage From Drinking

13. Your Immune System Will Thank You

Alcohol can suppress the immune response; too much drinking can increase your odds of becoming sick with viral or bacterial infections. Cutting drinking from your life lets your immune system bounce back, and protect your body from illness and disease.

14. You’ll Save Money

Drinking can burn a hole in your pockets over time. As a thought experiment, consider how much extra money you would have if you always skipped the $10 drink with dinner, or the Saturday-night bar tab.

Weeks, months, and years without alcohol can lead to some incredible savings, and you can put that money towards the more meaningful things in life.

Read more: How Much Money Can I Save if I Stop Drinking?

15. Live a Longer, Healthier Life

The compounded effects of alcohol on your organs and mental health can add up over a lifetime. When you decide not to drink, you’re supporting your health and well-being for the long haul.

Consider Your Personal Reasons Not to Drink

Everyone has different reasons for giving up alcohol. Whether you’re focused on saving money, avoiding adverse health effects, or just generally feeling your best, quitting drinking can make a huge difference.

It’s important to note that drinking in moderation isn’t always harmful. If you have a healthy relationship with alcohol, you might never feel like you need to quit—and that’s totally okay too.

But from better skin, to never dealing with a hangover again, many people are seeing the upside of cutting alcohol from their diet.

More Resources

If you or someone you love could use some extra support to cut back on alcohol use, Ria Health can help. Our online program provides all the resources you need to make the change you want. You don’t even need to identify as an alcoholic to join!

Learn more about how it works, or get started today.

Written By:
Alicia Schultz
Minnesota-based freelancer and health advocate who aims to empower others through her work.
Reviewed By:
Evan O'Donnell
NYC-based content strategist with over 3 years editing and writing in the recovery space. Strong believer in accessible, empathic, and fact-based communication.
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