What Happens After Not Drinking For 30 Days?

It seems like alcohol-free and alcohol-reduction challenges keep gaining popularity. There’s Dry January, Feb Fast, Moderation March, Dry July, and Sober October. And for those that don’t want to be tied to a particular month – we have The Alcohol Experiment, while others might take part in the Whole 30. Regardless of when or why you decide to cut alcohol out for 30 days (or more!), you’re doing it because you expect to get something out of it. You probably want to know what happens after not drinking for 30 days. We all know that change doesn’t happen overnight so we’re going to take you through your month without alcohol and all of the amazing changes taking place in your body and mind!

What happens after not drinking for 30 days

What happens after not drinking for 30 days

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

What happens after not drinking for 30 days – Week 1

What happens after not drinking for 30 days

We’re going to level with you here. This week can be rough. Your body and mind are going through a big, sudden shift and it’s going to be rocky for a bit. Stick with it, my friend! It’s worth it. Your first few days will probably feel a lot like a hangover. Fatigue, headaches, and some anxiety or irritability are all normal. You also might have a bit of an upset stomach or a dry mouth.

Day 3 tends to be the hardest for most people. It’s when most of the alcohol has made it out of your body and symptoms like insomnia, anxiety, and increased irritability kick in. Make sure you’re staying hydrated. Take it easy, take some ibuprofen if you need it, and remember – a drink won’t fix this. You’ll just end up back at day 1 and have to repeat this cycle all over again.

The good news is

Are you ready for some good news about week 1? Within 12 hours of your last drink your blood sugar levels will stabilize. On day 2, your liver, brain, heart, and skin are all already beginning the work of repairing themselves. By day 4 most of the greatest physical symptoms have also resolved themselves. By day 5 most people start feeling really good. And by day 7 – the magic has really kicked in.

By the end of your first week alcohol-free, your sleep has already started to regulate. To the tune of now averaging 5-6 additional REM sleep cycles per night versus the 1-2, you might get while drinking. If you’ve followed our earlier advice, you’re also much better hydrated. Physically that translates to fewer headaches, and less fatigue and your skin takes on a glow you might not have seen since you were an infant.

This last change might not be physical but it does go a long way towards better mental health – especially given just how expensive things keep getting You’re saving money. Take a minute to add up just how much money you’ve saved by not drinking for the past 7 days. And remember, you still have at least 23 more days of savings ahead that can beef up your bank account!

WEEK 1 WARNING

Stopping drinking suddenly can be very dangerous, and even fatal, for the 10% of physically dependent drinkers.

If you experience any of the following symptoms when taking your break from alcohol or you’ve experienced these symptoms on previous attempts to take a break, you may be physically dependent on alcohol and should NOT suddenly stop drinking completely without first consulting with a medical professional:

  • seizures 
  • shaking
  • excessive sweating
  • visual hallucinations
  • severe depression
  • confusion
  • racing heart/high blood pressure
  • vomiting

You can still experience the benefits of what happens after not drinking for 30 days of your drinking and change your relationship with alcohol. You just need to work with a professional to do so in a way that is safe for you!

What does week 2 of being alcohol-free bring you?

At this point you’ve made it through quite a few firsts – day 1 not drinking, an alcohol-free weekend, and your first week alcohol-free. Take a minute to recognize your victories. If you had any doubts, you’re slaying them. You ARE doing this. You ARE capable.

Physically things start to get much easier. By day 10 all the effects of alcohol should have made their way out of your system. That means your body has reached homeostasis again – it is in balance both physically and chemically. Just having one drink does upset that balance. That is why feeling good is not any reason to have a drink. Shockingly, for many of us that can be the biggest trigger – feeling good and happy, and wanting to amplify that feeling or hold on to it for longer. Reality check: The high from alcohol only lasts 20 minutes!

What happens after not drinking for 30 days

This week will certainly still bring changes and challenges to you though. Don’t be surprised if cravings, irritability, and maybe very weird, and very vivid dreams surface this week. This is all normal and luckily does not last long.

Find support

Learning how to navigate all these new experiences, sensations, and emotions can be hard on your own. If you want some support and guidance while working through what happens after 30 days of not drinking – check out The Alcohol Experiment. This is your practical guide to giving up alcohol for 30 days – or perhaps a lifetime. you get 30 days and 30 lessons packed with science-based tips and personal anecdotes, offering you a new perspective on alcohol including insight into why we drink it, what it really does to us, and how we can give it up. The tips and techniques taught will help you get through both the cravings and the irritability. And the community can help you not only realize that you’re not alone but offer connections and a chance to discover with others new ways to approach life without alcohol in it.

Physically your body is doing so much work behind the scenes. Even if it feels like you can’t see or feel anything happening – it is! Your stomach lining and acid levels have stabilized. That gnarly acid reflux that was always rearing its head up should be a distant memory now. Your liver is shedding excess fat. In fact, at two weeks alcohol-free some people will have reduced their liver fat by 50%! You might also start to see the numbers on the scale tipping down. It’s amazing the healing and the changes that take place when we start hydrating properly and eliminate the bloating and toxins that were our constant companions in the past. Remember – you’re only at the halfway point right now – even better times and healing await you!

What happens after not drinking for 30 days – Week 3

This is the week you start to feel a sparkle or a glow around you. And for so many excellent reasons too! You’re hitting a point where not drinking is becoming effortless. Yes, it might still cross your mind but you now have experiences and knowledge that you lacked during your first two weeks. Your awareness has been raised and you’re noticing just how good you feel!

You’re thinking clearer, and sleeping better, and cravings don’t come nearly as often and are becoming easier to work through!

One of the things that tend to really stand out about this week is your energy level! Have you noticed you can push yourself harder at the gym? Are you killing it at work? Are you waking up before your alarm goes off for the first time ever? Your body and brain are thriving now that they are no longer constantly fighting to bounce back from the disrupted sleep, brain fog, fatigue, and lethargy that regular drinking causes.

What else is happening behind the scenes? Well, part of that increased energy might be because your blood is literally flowing better! A recent study found that people who drank slightly more than one drink per day were more likely to have a stroke in their 20s and 30s. Three weeks alcohol-free means that you’re well on your way to lowering those cardiovascular risks! Your blood pressure has dropped along with your risk of developing heart disease and your risk of stroke!

More week 3 benefits

Have you also been wondering if you’ve suddenly become a foodie or something? It’s not your imagination that everything just seems to taste better! A 2016 study published in Oxford University Press’ Alcohol and Alcoholism journal found that when we drink alcohol in high amounts, we negatively impact how we can taste food. Interestingly, when our taste is off we take less pleasure in eating, making us more likely to develop nutritional or immune deficiencies. Taste buds regenerate every few weeks so three weeks in these new taste buds are picking up on the pleasure food can bring you!

What happens after not drinking for 30 days

Does it seem like one of the things you’re craving more and more of lately is sweets? You’re not alone! Sugar gives the brain a dopamine rush and our body is searching for a way to replace the dopamine that alcohol was previously bringing us. While your dentist might benefit from your new love of sugar, you might want to find that dopamine rush in a different way! Dopamine is also released through meditation, exercise, listening to music, laughing, dancing, and sex. You can also get dopamine from a nap in the sun, a walk in the woods, or even from a well-rounded meal. It’s amazing how many everyday activities can trigger our pleasure centers!

What does week 4 of being alcohol-free bring you?

One of the hardest questions you might find yourself needing to answer this week is – what happens after 30 days of not drinking? Do you have a plan for where your relationship with alcohol will go from here? Should you drink again? Is moderation a viable option for you? What about if you’ve decided you don’t want to drink anymore? News Flash: there are no rules here. You can decide day by day what you want to do. Even better – you can always change your mind if your previous choices no longer align with your needs and beliefs. There are no rules when it comes to your relationship with alcohol. You just need to make sure you feel good about the choices you make!

Don’t be surprised if triggers, fatigue, anxiety, and other unexpected feelings or sensations continue to pop up from time to time. It’s all normal. Cravings tend to come due to an association – physical or mental – that we’ve created based on our past experiences. If you’ve joined The Alcohol Experiment, you have created a toolbox that leaves you equipped to deal with these cravings and beliefs when they surface. You know that a drink is no longer the answer. You can sit with that craving, get curious about it, and explore it instead.

And those other feelings like fatigue, anxiety, or irritability – everyone experiences them from time to time. Drinker or not. They are opportunities to practice some awareness and try to identify where the sensation originated. Did you stay up to late last night? Are you dehydrated? Is there a life situation causing you to worry? When we stop seeing a drink as the answer to everything, we build up resiliency and the ability to become more in tune with ourselves and our emotions.

The breakdown of what happens after not drinking for 30 days

Would you love a quick breakdown of exactly what happens after not drinking for 30 days? Do you need to see it in black and white to see the benefits of not drinking? Let’s take a look at just what 30 days of not drinking will bring you!

what happens after not drinking for 30 days

After not drinking for 30 days, physically you can expect the following –

✅Lower blood pressure

✅Lower heart rate

✅Reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes

✅Lower Cholesterol

✅Liver Function Restored

✅Better Sleep

✅Increased Energy

✅Immune System Strengthened

As you’ve learned by now, after not drinking for 30 days you’re also going to experience benefits mentally as well.

✅Decreased Anxiety

✅Improved Mood

✅Better Focus

✅More Confidence

✅More Self-Compassion

Not drinking for 30 days brings improvements to virtually every area of your life, personally and professionally you can experience

✅ Improved Finances

✅Higher Productivity

✅Mended Relationships

✅Better Decision-Making

✅Higher Trust

Listing all the benefits of not drinking for 30 days would be impossible. And you’ll probably notice benefits that we haven’t listed here. The journey is different for everyone but we have yet to hear anyone say they regret taking a break from alcohol.

One thing we do know for sure is that one of the best ways to stay alcohol-free is by having support. That can be difficult if you find that most of your friendships were alcohol-centric. You can try planning activities that don’t revolve around booze or use this as an opportunity to forge new relationships based on this new happier, healthier you! If you’re having trouble starting those relationships, join us in The Alcohol Experiment for support from over 400,000 people who have experienced what happens after not drinking for 30 days.