It often feels like drinking and varsity go hand-in-hand – probably because it’s true, for many students anyway. But we have a poser for you: if you were to stop drinking while in university, what could you reasonably expect to happen?
No, we’re not talking about judgemental jibes from borderline alcoholics or the constant drone of “But why?” Neither are we referring to the effects on your studies and relationships.
Instead, we’re looking at what actually happens to your mind and body if you were to stop drinking completely.
Take a look and note how many of these (positive) things you would benefit from.
The Effects When You Stop Drinking at University
Drinking and your immune system
Besides turning the morning after into a complete nightmare, excessive drinking can impact your immune system.
Alcohol has been shown to disrupt your gut’s microbiome which is essential in fighting disease, absorbing nutrients, and is one of the centres for those happy hormones which, when lacking, lead to depression, anxiety and a host of other mental and emotional illnesses.
“[Giving up alcohol]…will strengthen your immune system and make it easier for your body to fight off infection,” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, a registered dietician with the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.” (Source)
So the upside of an alcohol-free life is a healthier gut, less internal inflammation, better nutrition, better serotonin production and a stronger immune system.
Besides money, sleep is one of the major deficits of university students. Even for those who choose not to follow the cliché ‘party all weekend’ mentality, the workload and stress can disrupt sleeping patterns.
However, alcohol does impact your sleep negatively. You may think that passing out after a binge equals a good night’s rest, but nothing can be further from the truth. During this downtime, your body is working hard to metabolise the poisons that you’ve put into it. Also, it’s been shown that alcohol before bedtime reduces REM sleep – the restorative kind that we all need for our systems to perform essential maintenance on the brain and body.
Therefore – yes, you guessed it – no alcohol equals better quality sleep, a healthier mind and body.
Without going into the nuts and bolts (you can do that here) it’s pretty clear that giving up alcohol will – with zero additional effort on your part – make you healthier, stronger, more alert, less prone to emotional or mental illness, and basically a better version of you.
Who doesn’t want that?