By Laura Willougby MBE.
We all know that drinking too much is not a brilliant health choice, and for those reaching menopausal age there is an added incentive. Many of the health impacts of menopause are made worse by drinking.
If it was not apparent to you by now, then at this point you do have to hold your head in your hands, and recognise that being a woman truly sucks sometimes.
There are many other good reasons why knocking a heavy drinking habit on the head might be worth doing. Not just because of the menopause, but also to keep you healthier for longer, and to improve your mental health. After all, not drinking won’t kill you. It may just feel uncomfortable and strange at first, but the health benefits are bountiful.
Put it this way: if someone offered you an all-in-one pill that would help you lose weight, improve your productivity, support better sleep, make you look younger, reduce your risk from cancer, benefit your mental health, and improve your life expectancy, you would part with quite a bit of cash right?
Yet by reducing your drinking, or going alcohol-free can achieve all of that – and save yourself money too.
Consider swapping your go-to drink for something new and alcohol-free
Alcohol-free is now an acceptable lifestyle choice, and it is getting more and more popular to be mindful about your drinking. More and more of us are at least sober curious, and looking to swap some of the bottles of wine for something equally special but less boozy.
If you are not sure whether you are sober curious, you can take our quiz here.
Whatever personal decision you choose to make, you are now helped by the emergence of a new wave of adult drinks that are alcohol-free, lower in calories and often sugar-free. Like alcohol-free beer that, next to water, is the healthiest thing you can drink in the pub.
The new Heineken 0.0 tastes like – well – Heineken. Eisberg fizzy wine pops like prosecco, and people are actually drinking kombucha on a night out.
Much of this new wave of drinks is driven by women who, like some of us, have decided that they don’t want to compromise, and are looking for healthy and tasty. Becky launched Fitbeer last year and is now a co-founder of the UK’s first-ever alcohol-free brewery Nirvana, based in Leyton, east London. Robyn started Hackney’s favourite lemonade makers Square Root Soda with her partner. Modern alchemist Hilary produces Botonique, the alcohol-free drink for wine lovers, and in Yorkshire Gill has launched the first-ever great tasting alcohol-free gin and tonic, Teetotal GnT.
And of course I set up Club Soda supporting you to change your drinking habits – it is not always as easy as it looks. But we have got each others’ backs.
So much so, that I am putting on the UK’s first ever alcohol-free drinks festival. Come and find yourself a new favourite tipple, and meet the women (above) who are making this happen.
Get free tickets for the Mindful Drinking Festival which is Bermondsey Square, London, on August 13th, midday to 6pm. There is also street food, live music, yoga, talks, facepainting and games.
You may also like How To Cut Down On Alcohol, Lessons From A Month Off Alcohol and Alcohol And The Menopause
Laura Willoughby MBE, is a former politician, business woman and inveterate campaigner. She was a councillor on Islington Council in London for 12 years and the Chief Executive of The Food Chain and Move Your Money UK. She set up Club Soda in 2014 to help people quit or cut down on their drinking.