Health & FitnessDry January Is Over, But Sober Drinks Can Keep You On Track

Dry January Is Over, But Sober Drinks Can Keep You On Track

Drinking Sober Drinks can help reduce side effects of alcoholic drinks, health experts say.

Last year, Corrina Montejano stopped drinking alcohol for a month. She called it Dry January. She had done it before, but she always quit after a few days.

But in 2023, she saw how alcohol was ruining her life. Montejano is a 30-year-old fitness coach and content creator from San Francisco. She used to drink a lot every night. More than what doctors say is good for women. They say women should have no more than eight drinks a week. Men shouldn’t drinks more than 15 drinks in a week.

She said she was almost an alcoholic. Dry January helped her change her life.Now, she does not drink alcohol at all. She does other things to stay sober: she talks to a therapist, she writes in a journal and she drinks nonalcoholic drinks like mocktails. She said the nonalcoholic drinks were very helpful. “They were the main thing that helped me stay sober,” she said.

Ginger Hultin is a dietitian and nutritionist from Seattle. She said nonalcoholic drinks are better than alcoholic drinks because they have no alcohol.That means they do not make you drunk or sad, she said. But nonalcoholic drinks are not good for everyone. Experts say you should be careful before you drink them.

What are nonalcoholic drinks? They are drinks that look like alcohol and taste like alcohol, but they have very little or no alcohol in them. They are mocktails, wines with no alcohol and beers and spirits with no alcohol. Hilary Sheinbaum is a journalist and a writer of a book about stopping alcohol. She said there were not many nonalcoholic drinks when she did her first Dry January in 2017.

She said they were not easy to find at bars or shops. “People did not talk about them like they do now,” she said. Some alcohol companies, like Heineken and Molson Coors, also make nonalcoholic drinks.

In the US, a drink is nonalcoholic if it has 0.0% to 0.5% alcohol by how much it fills a glass or a bottle, according to the US Department of the Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Trade Bureau. A normal beer has about 5% alcohol in a glass that holds 12 ounces, the CDC says. A small amount of liquor, like gin, rum, vodka or whiskey, has 40% alcohol in 1.5 ounces.

Some wines are also nonalcoholic or alcohol-free. They are made by taking out the alcohol from normal wine.

What to look for in nonalcoholic drinks?

Sheinbaum said that most “alcohol-removed” drinks are made like wine, but then the alcohol is taken out. They have the same ingredients and flavor as alcoholic drinks.Craft mocktails have no alcohol at all. They are made with things like fizzy water and fruit juice and look like alcoholic cocktails.

Hultin says that all nonalcoholic drinks have a nutrition label that shows what they have inside. She says you should look at it before you drink them.

“That way, you can know what you are drinking,” she said. “And then you can choose better.”Sober drinks can limit health risks. Dr. Lara Ray is a clinical psychologist who studies how drugs and alcohol affect the brain. She runs the UCLA Addictions Lab. She said nonalcoholic drinks can help people drink less alcohol and avoid its health problems.She said some people may think they are not drinking too much, but they are still putting themselves at risk of getting cancer from alcohol.The World Health Organization said in January 2023 that “alcohol is never safe” because it can cause many kinds of cancer, like cancer in the gut or the breast.

Alcohol “makes cancer by changing how the body works, which means that any drink with alcohol, no matter how cheap or expensive, can make you get cancer,” WHO said.

Drinking too much alcohol can also cause other health problems, like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and liver disease, the CDC says. It can also affect your brain and make you forget things or feel sad or worried. Some mocktails are made to help you relax and feel good, Montejano says. She is a fitness coach and content creator from San Francisco who stopped drinking alcohol. She says some mocktails have “calming relaxation spirits” that make you feel calm. Others have “energizing” and “euphoric” effects, she says, good for having fun.

Some mocktails have plant extracts that may help your body deal with stress, like echinacea and adaptogens. These are herbs and roots that some people use for health. But Dr. Dana Ellis Hunnes, a dietitian at UCLA Medical Center, says these plant extracts may not do much for your body. She says they are not bad for you, but they are not enough to make you healthy or stop inflammation. She adds that rather of consuming only plant extracts, you should consume full foods like fruits and vegetables.

According to Hunnes, you should also hunt for actual foods like ginger or turmeric and examine the contents of mocktails. She states that the US Food and Drug Administration does not monitor plant extracts or adaptogens, so you should see your physician or pharmacist before consuming them. She says some plants and plant extracts can change how your medicines work, for better or worse. She says you should tell your health care provider if you are taking any supplements or foods with more plant extracts.

The challenges of nonalcoholic drinks

Not everyone can use placebos. According to Ray, while nonalcoholic drinks frequently have the same flavor and appearance as alcoholic drinks, they might not be the “healthier” option for those who struggle with alcoholism.

All of those cues work together to make some people feel like, ‘I want the real thing.’ Study shows that even drinks with a 0.5% ABV can be bad for people who have cirrhosis of the liver, a disease that scars and permanently damages the organ.

Hultin also says that some mocktails sold in bars and restaurants may not be healthy for some people because they are made with sodas and fruit drinks that have a lot of refined sugar in them.

Ray says that drinking a glass of water instead of alcohol would be best, but it’s important for people who want to drink less alcohol to have other choices.

It’s easier for some people to just have one drink, and they don’t think they should have to pay extra for mocktails. “I’m okay with the iced tea,” she replied. ‘No, I need to have look at drink.'”

The benefits of staying sober

Hultin says that giving up booze can be good for your health, but it can be hard because drinking is normal and easy to do. She says that in many countries, people have drunk alcohol for a very long time. “That’s important,” she says.

Ray says you should plan your future before you try to stay clean.”Are drinks without alcohol helping you reach your goals?” and “What do you like and dislike about them?” are some questions she suggests asking yourself. According to Montejano, you should first allow yourself to drink for a brief period of time before extending it.

In the past year, she says she didn’t drink for 30 days. She says that a doctor helped her figure out how to do it. That, she says, helped her stay clean for a month and then keep going.

Montejano says her health got better, and she began an online exercise business. It’s also something she learned how to do. She says that instead of thinking about not drinking, she used her time to learn new things and grow as a person. She says that not giving in to the urge to drink every day is the hardest part.

She says every day you should see it as a 30-minute fight. She says you’ll be in charge if you win. She suggests that you take a walk, listen to a podcast, or talk to a friend to take your mind off of it.

She also says that keeping a journal can help. It can be difficult to get out with pals after becoming sober, according to her, so you need to find people who will encourage you. She claims that quitting drinking is difficult since you could lose friends and experience other changes. And she says you should look for people who like to do things like hike or go to parties without drinking. She says she was happy when she did different things. Her words are that she tried to be the best person she could be.

Nathan Enzo
Nathan Enzo
A professional writer since 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication, Nathan Enzo ran the creative writing department for the major News Channels until 2018. He then worked as a Senior content writer with, including national newspapers, magazines, and online work. He specializes in media studies and social communications.


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