For most of us, it’s something we’ve just accepted as part of our lives. From that after-work glass of whatever to a few more on the weekend because it’s the weekend, when it comes to alcohol, we’re on auto-pilot.
When it comes to drinking, we do it without thinking.
But people are starting to think about it, they’re starting to examine how it affects them and their lives.
And they’re realising a few things.
Alcohol takes more than it gives
Raise your hand if you just looooove hangovers.
Now raise your hand if you love blacking out and wondering the next day what you said, or did, or said AND did.
The point is, as much as we think alcohol makes us happy, it also makes us pay for it. And not just the day after.
There are a ton of studies that link alcohol to panic attacks, depression, anxiety, things that can’t be cured with a greasy breakfast and a nap.
Alcohol takes a toll.
Ever heard of paying the piper? If it wasn’t for booze, he’d be broke.
Life goes on without it.
For a lot of people, life actually gets better.
Ruby Warrington, author of Sober Curious, lays it out like this.
When she stopped drinking, a fog cleared. She got relief from hangovers, sleepless nights, and anxiety, plus a new sense of self-confidence and a stronger ability to cope with daily life.
Here’s how the inside jacket of her book explains it.
Would life be better without alcohol? It’s the nagging question more and more of us are finding harder to ignore, whether we have a “problem” with alcohol or not. After all, we yoga. We green juice. We meditate. We self-care. And yet, come the end of a long work day, the start of a weekend, an awkward social situation, we drink. One glass of wine turns into two turns into a bottle. In the face of how we care for ourselves otherwise, it’s hard to avoid how alcohol really makes us feel… terrible.
Warrington is just one member of the growing alcohol-alternative movement.
The idea behind the movement is simple: everyone could benefit from stepping back to honestly appraise their relationship with booze.
And sometimes it feels like almost “everyone” is.
There’s no way to know how many people are joining the movement, but if media coverage is anything to go by, you can bet membership is growing every day.
The reason? Like Warrington says, reduced alcohol intake “is the next logical step in the wellness revolution.”
There are alcohol substitutes that offer a lot of benefits.
Which brings us to this: if people aren’t drinking alcohol, what are they drinking?
One of the reasons alcohol has such a hold on us is because it’s a social staple. Imagine standing around at a party or a wedding without something in your hand. Weird, right?
The good news is that there are a ton of alcohol substitutes now.
Here are just a few categories of drinks to replace alcohol that'll not only give you something to hold but could change your life for the better.
Whether they’re just used to the ritual or they truly enjoy the taste, some people aren’t ready to give up their beer, wine, or spirits. And we get that.
For them, there are alcohol-free alternatives that are actually tasty. From craft breweries—like BrewDog—to boutique wineries and distilleries—like Le Petit Chavin and Seedlip—some very talented people are doing some very impressive things with alcohol-free drinks.
Cannabis-based beverages are big business right now.
From waters to teas to sports drinks to mocktails to iced teas to kombucha to anything else you can imagine, CBD and THC are very popular as a herbal alcohol alternative.
Another herbal alcohol alternative, this category covers drinks that have natural psychedelics as their active ingredient.
For years, this category was limited to sludgy teas made from the powders of plants like ayahuasca, but that’s changing. Drinks like Psychedelic Water are combining psychedelic extracts from plants like kava and damiana with naturally flavoured sparkling waters.
The result is a delicious and social way to relax, unwind, and explore your mind.
Billed as the new-age energy drink, nootropical beverages boost brain power. By increasing blood flow, oxygen levels, and neural connections in the old head muscle, nootropics improve memory, focus, motivation, and mood.
Kind of the opposite of what alcohol does.
Wellness is a big deal these days— we’re all trying to live better, happier lives. For a lot of us, that means kicking alcohol to the curb.
If you’re considering leaving booze behind, you can feel good knowing that you’re not alone, and that there are literally hundreds of drinks out there just waiting to replace your trusty bottle of beer or glass of wine.
The alcohol-alternative movement is here. The benefits of going alcohol free can be yours.