How long does it really take to completely cleanse your body of alcohol? And how effective is having a dry month for your overall health? Here’s hour-by-hour what really happens when you quit.
One Hour Later
With all that sugar and alcohol still coursing through your bloodstream, your body flips its detox switch and readies the liver for serious action – it needs to prevent the possibility of alcohol poisoning. And your mind starts to drift to daydreams of pizza and chips, as your pancreas increases its insulin production and gifts you with intense cravings for carbs.
12 – 24 Hours Later
You’re massively dehydrated, because alcohol is a diuretic, which means it makes you pee way more than you really need to. If you didn’t stuff your face with cake and chocolate at 4am, then chances are your blood sugar levels should be creeping back to normal. If you did, bad news. This hangover feeling could last you a couple more days.
48 Hours Later
Your body breathes a metaphorical sigh of relief – the worst of the detoxing process is over. However, you may still feel groggy and headachy depending on just how much alcohol you consumed and how much cake you chased it down with.
72 Hours Later
You’re starting to look less fondly at McDonald’s, ignoring the waft of fries that sweeps from the door as you walk past on your way to work. Finally, you no longer have the urge to cram a fistful of chips and an egg McMuffin into your gob before 10am. Your carb cravings have finally subsided and your brain function increases.
One Week Later
You are sleeping better, your skin improves, and those pesky ‘I hit it too hard’ spots start to dry up and disappear from your previously lack-lustre complexion. Between seven-to-ten days, your body should be completely rid of all traces of alcohol and your mind no longer fixated on that embarrassing thing you accidentally sent your boss at 2am last Saturday.
One Month Later
Congratulations – your liver is a super slimmer! Its managed to lose 15 per cent of its fat in around 30 days. Your skin looks great and you’ve also lost a bit of extra luggage around your belly.
One Year Later
Depending on your lifestyle, diet and how much alcohol you consumed, most people who hang up their boozing boots report significant weight loss after a year – on average around 13lbs. You’ve probably got more money than you had last year too.
Time for a pint? Of wine? Right then…