As the month comes to an end, so will the drought on alcoholic beverages for participants of Dry February. For those unfamiliar, Dry February is a month-long event hosted by the Canadian Cancer Society, where participants pledge to go alcohol-free for the entire month while raising funds for cancer research. While the thought of skipping out on drinks for 28-days may sound like a damper, there are some convincing reasons why people choose to go sober.
According to the National Cancer Institute, alcohol drinking is associated several types of cancer such as head, neck, esophageal, breast and liver cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies alcoholic beverages within Group 1 of carcinogenic substances, the class of substances with the highest cancer-causing potential. Cancer risk is increased even with moderate drinking, moderate drinking defined as 1 drink/day for women, and 2 drinks/day for men (one drink is equivalent to 12 ounces of beer or 5 ounces of wine). Alcohol increases risk of cancer as ethanol is metabolized, releasing damaging toxins into the body.
While this news may be sobering, as long as alcohol is enjoyed responsibly, the associated risks can be kept at bay. If you choose to go sober, know that you may be enjoying some of these benefits:
- Mental clarity
- More energy
- Better sleep
- Weight loss
- Saved money
Good work to all those participating in Dry February! If you would like to know more about the relationship between alcohol consumption and cancer, here are some links below.