"Dry January" is a growing trend that allows a pause to restore the body, mind, and daily habits. When we begin the new year, many of us like to reset our relationship with boozy beverages. Taking even a month-long pause from imbibing, and replacing that daily drink with tea, can have a noticeable effect on your well-being. Bringing tea into your Dry January can not only help you avoid alcohol, but it can also increase the health benefits of your month-long hiatus. You may notice improvements in digestion, sleep patterns, the immune system, and your palate. Below is a list of some of the benefits you could see by taking a break from alcohol and replacing it with tea.
Better Sleep: It may seem that the final nightcap of the evening can help you into a state of slumber pretty quickly. However, this type of sleep is often short-lived. Alcohol disrupts our natural sleep cycles, making for a less restorative night’s sleep. You may find yourself waking up just a few hours later and not feeling great. Your morning energy levels may be low. You may even be hungover, which could set you up for a foggier mood for the rest of the day.
Tea suggestions for better sleep: Instead of alcohol, have a warm sleepy tea, like Lights Out or Immunity, if you’re looking to replace an alcoholic night-cap. Ashwaghanda Chai is another crowd favorite for prepping for sleep. I enjoy a cup of pure chamomile tea at night, which is soft and delicious to the palate and gives me a very mild sedative-like effect. Chamomile has a specific flavonoid that can help activate sleep-inducing receptors in the brain.
Weight Management: Alcohol is full of empty liquid calories, and you could lose weight when abstaining. When you choose tea over alcohol for a month, you're eliminating 100-300 calories per serving, which can add up very quickly. The math is simple: that one drink a day swap would add up to one 3000-9000 calories for the month, or 1-3 pounds. Added bonus: green and oolong teas may even offer an extra metabolism-boosting (aka calorie-burning) boost.
Tea suggestions for weight management: 8 Immortals Oolong, Boulder Blues green tea, and Japanese green teas, like our Orchid Sencha and Organic Sencha make delicious and satisfying cold-brews. Matcha green tea powder makes a fabulous whipped elixir.
Reduced Inflammation and Bloating: Aside from adding empty liquid calories, alcohol can also contribute to gastrointestinal irritation. This can contribute to swelling and inflammation, especially if sugar and/or bubbles are in your bevies. In addition, alcohol is dehydrating, whereas tea is actually hydrating. When dehydrated, your body holds onto as much water as possible within the skin and vital organs. Tea, on the other hand, hydrates and plumps our cells up from the inside, thus reducing bloating.
Total Experience: By the time you’re mid-way through your Dry January, you may likely experience increased energy levels, better sleep, and an overall feeling of improved wellness. When you replace your boozy beverages with tea, you’re not only hydrating the body, but you are adding healthy compounds that help nourish on a cellular level.
Participating in a month-long break does not have to mean a lack of exciting beverages. If you’re looking to partake, choose the right teas to help you make the transition. Explore our carefully curated selection of premium teas and herbals to make your dry January enjoyable, grounding, and cleansing. We have several mocktail recipes on our Craft Cold Brew Filter recipes page.
I’m including a new mocktail recipe here, as the final drink I had before embarking on Dry January was an Americano cocktail (not the coffee!), which was the precursor to the stronger Negroni cocktail:
Smoky Negroni Mocktail
1 part Blood Orange Smoothie (brewed 2X strength), chilled
1 part Lapsang Souchong (brewed 1.5X strength), chilled
2 parts Tonic water, chilled
Add bitters (to taste) and serve in a glass rimmed with smoked salt, or alternatively, sprinkle a pinch of the smoked salt on the top of the drink.
When February comes, you may feel so good that you realize you’re not drinking as much alcohol as you did before. And you may even feel so good that you decide to give it up several times throughout the year or altogether.