Why Dieticians Recommend ‘Damp’ Instead of Dry January

One of the biggest health trends of the 2020s is Dry January, which encourages people to abstain from drinking alcohol for the entire month. While this can be a great way to reset unhealthy habits and improve your overall well-being, it may not be necessary for some people.

For this reason, dieticians have recommended “Damp” January — a slightly healthier alternative that allows you to still enjoy the occasional alcoholic beverage.

What’s “Damp” January all about?

The idea behind Damp January is simple: instead of completely abstaining from alcohol like in Dry January, you simply reduce your consumption by two-thirds. This means that instead of having three drinks per week, you would only have one. This is still considered a significant reduction but doesn’t require total abstinence. It’s also easier to stick with than Dry January since it doesn’t feel as restrictive or extreme.

What’s the Evidence?

It turns out there’s some empirical evidence against Dry January. In a study conducted in the U.K., those who committed to Dry January had a higher likelihood of drinking excessively during the rest of the year.

Does that mean Dry January isn’t worth a shot? Far from it! Drinking too much alcohol can negatively affect your physical and mental health. In addition to increasing your risk of certain diseases such as cancer and heart disease, drinking heavily can cause weight gain and depression to worsen over time.

However, the benefits of drinking moderately tend to outweigh those of total abstinence — especially when it comes to your heart health and stress levels. Moderate alcohol consumption has been linked to lower risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even stroke.

In addition, moderate amounts can help reduce stress levels by increasing endorphins in the brain and helping relax the body after a long day or stressful event.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for an alternative to Dry January that won’t force you into complete sobriety for an entire month, Damp January may be worth considering. You’ll still get all the benefits of reduced drinking without going overboard with total abstinence.

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