The new year is here and you’re probably already wondering about turning over a new leaf. Millions start with resolutions such as Dry January—a challenge to resist alcohol for the whole first month of the year. But if you’re dependent on the pleasure of alcohol, you might find such a resolution challenging.
Dry January can offer a transformative journey that brings about a plethora of benefits for both the body and mind. While the romance and convenience of wine and wine clubs was a soothing source of pleasure during the pandemic, the long-term effects of regular drinking are not great: from disrupted sleep to weight gain to hair loss to mental impairment to sexual dysfunction—alcohol can make you feel better about yourself and the world in the short term, but in the long-term it gives you more problems. Not to mention the amount of time and money it costs.
Drinking at home on a regular basis may feel like treating yourself; like unwinding; and it might keep you company if you feel lonely. But it’s a risky habit. According to the NIH, alcohol consumption increased more during the COVID-19 pandemic than in the last 50 years, and alcohol-related illness and deaths also rose during the pandemic.
“During the first 2 years of the pandemic, the number of death certificates listing alcohol as a factor soared from 78,927 to 108,791 — an increase of nearly 38%. We saw the largest increases in deaths related to drinking among people between the ages of 25 and 44,” Dr. George Koob told the NIH.
Now, after the past 3 very alienating years, our society is recognizing the importance of mindful drinking, or detoxing for a period of time, or finding healthier alternatives to alcohol. Abstinence from alcohol has gained immense popularity for its positive impact on overall well-being, including preventing damage to the heart, the liver, and your skin. The New York Times recently noted that as many as 19% of American adults participate in Dry January. Dr. Sara Jo Nixon told the NYT that initially you might feel worse after quitting drinking, and even have withdrawal symptoms including irritability and depression because the calming and numbing effects of alcohol are now absent from your system.
But there are ways to approach this period of abstinence and help is at hand. Here are some tips and tricks:
- Surround yourself with a supportive community.
- Establish new, healthy routines to replace drinking-related activities.
- Explore healthy non-alcoholic beverages to satisfy your cravings.
An unusually refreshing and effective alternative to alcohol
While traditional non-alcoholic drinks have their place, consider exploring unique alternatives such as Kava and Kratom-infused beverages, like Mitra9™. Fruit-flavored seltzers, Mitra9™ breathes vitality into ancient herbal traditions, meticulously crafting plant-based elixirs that transform nature into a delectably invigorating beverage. These ancient herbal options offer a distinctive experience without the drawbacks of alcohol. Kava, known for its calming properties, and Kratom, celebrated for its stimulating effects, provide a refreshing alternative for those seeking a different kind of buzz.
Why Kava and Kratom, and how are they different?
- Cultural Significance: Kava has been used ceremonially in the South Pacific for centuries, fostering a sense of community and relaxation. Our take: This is a good substitute for alcohol as it has the slightly numbing or calming effect of a cocktail or two.
- Natural Stimulant: Kratom, derived from the Mitragyna speciosa plant, has gained popularity for its natural, mild stimulant effects, offering an alternative to traditional energy-boosting drinks. Our take: This feels like drinking a vodka and Red Bull only without the jitters. Kratom makes you feel calm and energized at the same time.
- Social Tonic: We assume alcohol is your best bet for getting ready to mix and mingle, but ancient cultures would suggest otherwise. Booze isn’t the only plant-powered social lubricant in town! We recommend: With both of these products one drink per day is the recommended dose. As with alcohol tolerance you will need to judge the effects of one drink before consuming more.
- Health Benefits: Avoid the downs and ups of alcohol and caffeine with Kava and Kratom. And because they are sourced from plant roots and tree leaves from the Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia, you are avoiding things like pesticides and sulphates found in other stimulants.
There is a delicious choice of Mitra9™ products available: a line of canned seltzers in a rainbow of flavors (we loved the Orange Dreamsicle Kava and the Dragonfruit Kratom! You can also try all the flavors of Kava here in this colorful 12-pack, and it makes a thoughtful and effective gift for someone trying to quit the booze). There is also portable powder ‘Relax Paks’ to take to work, your favorite outing or party, or for convenience while you travel—and to help keep those Happy Hour cravings at bay.