Do you ever feel like quitting alcohol and getting sober is going to put a limit on your life? As if somehow booze is the be-all-and-end-all towards moving forward and coping with what life has to throw at us.
Well, I’m here to tell you, we don’t need alcohol in our life, and we decide to quit, we can unleash our true potential.
I find It’s often the mainstream cliché to drink booze, be “successful” and seem like you’ve got it all figured out, but in reality, most people don’t.
The truth is, in the world we live in, getting sober is like having a freakin’ superpower, and we can be sober superheroes.
Quitting alcohol unlocks so many doors, and I’m about to tell you some of the amazing benefits to kick your addiction to the curb for good.
Quitting Alcohol Gives Us More Energy
The first and most important superpower that quitting alcohol gives us is the ability to have more energy.
When we consume ethanol, we experience a substantial level of interference in the biological processes of absorbing and excreting various nutrients.
We can see deficiencies in crucial nutrients that impact how we feel physically and mentally. Nutrients such as B Vitamins, Magnesium, and essential minerals all play a role in governing our energy production.
B vitamins for example are essential for energy production, DNA repair and the synthesis of various neurochemicals, which are often impaired when we drink alcohol. Magnesium, which is extremely important for many biological processes around giving our body energy, is substantially inhibited.
Without nourishing the core nutritional foundations, our various biochemical pathways are impaired, which can leave us fatigued, less alert, and often brain-fogged for most of our day (Kennedy, 2016).
Quitting alcohol unshackles us from the zombie-esque lifestyle we’re practically stuck in, and allows our body to function optimally.
It Unlocks More Mental Bandwidth
Quitting alcohol allows us to free up mental energy that we would have otherwise allocated to finding the next drink. Often at times, the grasp of addiction can leave us always hankering for that next drink, or even questioning where the next one will come from.
Have you ever experienced the painful decision of simply deciding whether to drink or not? Just this simple process is a waste of our mental bandwidth and brain power. When I look back, I often found myself wasting so much time just thinking about booze, and completely disregarding other more important responsibilities.
Neglecting our responsibilities is a core red flag of an addict, which I write about here.
When we ditch the booze and get sober, we no longer need to waste our mental energy on things that quite frankly serve us no purpose.
When we’re free of addiction, we can allocate mental bandwidth to things that make us feel more fulfilled and successful.
Ditching Booze Frees Up More Time
In addition to freeing up more mental energy, quitting alcohol simply frees up more time.
This means at times we use to drink, we can fill it with more meaningful tasks that allow us to live a more purpose-filled life. It also means that we’re not sleeping in late in the morning, not turning up to work, or simply just not wasting precious time that we don’t get back.
Instead of feeling hungover as all hell, we can get up early and tackle the day head-on with our newfound source of both mental and physical energy.
At first, the free time you have can feel strange, so simply just filling it with a morning walk, or something you enjoy, is the best way to move forward.
I talk more about structuring our free time and allocating our mental bandwidth in this article.
It Allows Us To Handle Stress Better
One primary thing alcohol can do to us is disrupt our ability to handle and manage stress. This Alcohol and Stress link is so significant, that I wrote an article about it here. It can become a major block when it comes to early sobriety.
When we drink alcohol, we increase the levels of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) in our body. GABA is a neurotransmitter commonly known as the “calming force” of our body, due to its ability to slow nerve activity and create calm and relaxation.
It would seem that doing this would help us stress less, right? Not in particular. The day after drinking GABA usually plummets, and Glutamate, our more agitating excitatory neurotransmitter, skyrockets.
A rapid peak in glutamate is usually common in the withdrawal states of former drinkers and is usually why most individuals have left an agitated, irritated, and shaky nervous wreck.
Read more about the Seesaw Effect of Glutamate and GABA here.
When we’re constantly in a state of agitation, our ability to deal with stress is inhibited (Popoli et al., 2011), and we fall into the vicious cycle of using booze as our only way to cope.
Quitting Alcohol: The Takeaway
People often think quitting alcohol is a burden, but it’s the exact opposite. When we get sober, we reset our biology and unlock the superpower-like energy that has been there all along.
We also can allocate more of our life to things that matter and have a clearer mind that is more focused on things that better align with our life purpose.
When we have all these things, we’re less stressed, and our life is far from a burden.
We can finally live an addiction-free life, without limits.
Kennedy, D. (2016). B vitamins and the brain: Mechanisms, dose and efficacy—A review. Nutrients, 8(2), 68. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8020068
Popoli, M., Yan, Z., McEwen, B. S., & Sanacora, G. (2011). undefined. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 13(1), 22-37. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn3138
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All the best in health,
Former Drinker & Clinical Nutritionist
Former drinker, Nutritionist, Biohacking enthusiast, self-experimenter, research fanatic, and self-taught writer, Stephen immerses himself deep into the literature of human optimisation and better understand the nature of addiction. His goal is to help people take control of their addiction, reset their cravings, unscramble their broken brain circuitry and use actionable strategies that work ten times better than anything else.