As the weather warms and our days become filled with boozy day parties, music festivals and all-night bonfires, it seems like consuming alcohol is an everyday event.
But is your seemingly harmless margarita among friends doing you more harm than good?
Most experts believe it does. Dr. Jake Deutsch, founder and clinical director of CURE Urgent Care, told Women’s Health even those who are moderate drinkers should consider laying off the booze now and again.
“Damage to the liver is cumulative.So having a few drinks every day may be just as harmful as excessive binge drinking. The constant insult to the liver and digestive track can lead to ulcers, pancreatitis, and cirrhosis,” Dr. Deutsch said.
Though it may seem tough, passing up on the routine happy hour and ditching the sauce for up to two weeks can have significant positive effects on your health and overall happiness.
Here are some pretty awesome things that can happen when you stay sober for two weeks:
Those last winter pounds may finally melt off.
While cutting back on booze-filled nights would help you get back on track in the gym, it can also save you from a ton of wasted calories, since sugary drinks like sangria and cosmos can average anywhere from 200-700 calories.
In fact, there are more calories in a single measure of spirits than in the same volume of single cream, according to Change 4 Life, a nonprofit aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles.
It has also been proven excessive alcohol consumption can reduce muscle development and actually reverse the hard work put in at the gym.
Your skin will feel like it can breathe again.
A hangover can be murder on the skin. After a particularly drunk night, your face feels tight, irritated and dehydrated.
This probably has a lot to do with the damage alcohol puts on the liver, as dermatologist Dr. David Colbert summed it up in an interview with the Huffington Post.
“One way to look at it is to ask what does someone look like who is dying of liver failure? They're sallow, they're pasty, they're cold, their pores are huge," he said.
Laying off the booze could finally give you that spa-like glow you’ve been looking for.
Finding your Zen will be a whole lot easier.
While hangovers never put you in a good mood, drinking can also be linked to depression.
One study from Binghamton University showed female undergraduate heavy drinkers were significantly more depressed than their fellow light-drinking classmates.
Similarly, Millennials tend to be the age group most affected by stress, which could be worsened by the amount of alcohol we drink.
Because alcohol can change the way our bodies manage stress, trying to ease anxiety or pressure with drinking may actually prolong it.
You’ll sleep better and feel more energized throughout the day.
There are times when drunken stumbles into bed can make passing out easy — apart from the unwelcome vomit — but a habit of drinking regularly can eventually have lasting effects on our sleep patterns.
As we snooze, alcohol disrupts the deeper stages of sleep, causing us to wake up more tired and less energized, according to researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.
It would explain why waking up after drinking makes us feel so defeated and often leads to an unproductive day.
Your body won’t just thank you, your wallet will too.
While not technically related to health, saving on money usually spent on drinks can greatly improve your finances, leading to a more positive outlook on your life and well-being.
According to NPR’s Planet Money, out of every $100 American consumers spend, about $1 goes to alcohol.
Additionally, a 2009 US Labor Department profile found Americans spend $457 annually on alcohol, around 0.9 percent of their paycheck.
Seeing how most Millennials scrape by on an entry-to-mid level salary, rethinking those pricey drinks could mean money well-spent on something more necessary.
Cutting out booze doesn’t have to sacrifice fun.
Knowing what we know now, cutting out alcohol for two weeks or longer does seem worthwhile and effective. But just because you’re skipping the drinks doesn’t mean you have to stay in bed.
You can still join your friends at the club, sip seltzer all night — and when you’re shaking it off on the dance floor, you’ll know you’re actually burning the calories.