From dinner and drinks to celebrating special occasions with champagne, there’s no denying that alcohol has deep ties to our social lives. Since the onset of the pandemic, alcohol’s role as a go-to stress reliever has also become more prominent, with several studies showing that Canadians report drinking more heavily in recent months.
In spite of the powerful role alcohol plays in our culture, counter movements like “sober curious” and “mindful drinking” are continuing to gain momentum. These are just a few of the reasons why Canadians are opting to drink less and how reconsidering your relationship with alcohol could have a positive impact on your life, too.
For a healthier mind
Although the emotional stress of the pandemic has driven more Canadians to drink this year, reducing alcohol consumption is a much more effective solution for improving mental health. Drinking might help us to relieve anxiety in the short-term, but it’s detrimental to our emotional wellbeing in the long-term.
Alcohol is linked to a variety of mental health disorders, including depression. Additionally, a 2019 study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that people who quit drinking, particularly women, experienced an improvement in their feelings of wellbeing up to two years later.
Rather than using alcohol as a short-term way to avoid challenging feelings or situations, more of us are seeking alternative coping strategies that have lasting positive effects on our wellness.
For a healthier body
Starting immediately with the hangover the next morning, we know that alcohol takes a toll on our physical health as well. Although some studies tout the benefits of moderate drinking, others show that no amount of alcohol is truly good for our bodies. Numerous research studies tie alcohol to a range of long-term health issues, including an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart problems, strokes, and certain cancers.
Some people opt to cut back on alcohol to attain personal weight and fitness goals. For example, traditional gin averages around 100 calories per 45 mL, which adds up quickly if you’re having a few cocktails over the course of an evening. Eliminating alcohol or swapping in an alcohol-free alternative like Sobrii 0-Gin, which has no sugars, sweeteners, or calories, is an easy way to reduce your daily caloric intake.
To be more present
Many of us know the feeling of waking up after a night of too much drinking and feeling regret about something we said or did while under the influence. The rise of social media is motivating millennials and Gen Zers, in particular, to cut down on drinking.
In the past, the embarrassment of having one too many drinks was short-lived, but now those moments might be captured forever on various social media platforms.
Beyond avoiding possible embarrassment, many Canadians simply want to be more present in their day-to-day lives and consistently accountable for their actions.
Because there are more alcohol-free drink options than ever before
Over the last few years, sugary mocktails have been gradually replaced on bar and restaurant menus by sophisticated low ABV, zero-proof, and alcohol-free cocktails.
Mixologists and bartenders are increasingly incorporating non-alcoholic spirits like Sobrii 0-Gin, as well as a variety of other innovative flavourings and techniques, to create alcohol-free cocktails that look and taste just as good as their boozy counterparts. The alcohol-free cocktail movement is also inspiring home bartenders, who are discovering that enjoying a delicious cocktail doesn’t have to mean imbibing.
As alcohol-free alternatives make it easier to experience the same intriguing flavours and sense of celebration associated with traditional cocktails, many Canadians are recognizing that reducing alcohol doesn’t have to feel like a loss — instead, it’s a chance to gain a world of new physical and mental health benefits.