Sipping on Sobriety: Why the Alcohol-Free Lifestyle is on the Rise

For generations, alcohol has been woven into the fabric of social gatherings, celebrations and even celebrated as a way to unwind at the end of a long day. But a new trend is bubbling up, and it’s all about ditching the drinks as the rise of the alcohol-free lifestyle flourishes.

Personally for me, I felt a major shift in how my body responds to alcohol from my twenties, when I would lose memories of major parts of the night, to my thirties when I experience two day hangovers and now I consciously avoid drinking to excess. But this health transformation isn’t just about cutting back on cocktails to save days suffering in bed, it’s a conscious choice to embrace a life free from alcohol, and it’s gaining traction across all demographics. Let’s look at what is fuelling this shift…

Health And Wellness Focus

People are prioritising wellbeing more than ever in 2024 and I’m all for it. The negative effects of alcohol on the quality of our sleep, energy levels and overall health are mind-blowing, which is prompting a conscious reevaluation of drinking habits and prioritising our health. Gone are the days of stumbling out of nightclubs in the early hours being fashionable or cool.

The Short-Term Effects Of Alcohol

  • Impaired coordination and balance: Alcohol affects the part of the brain that controls coordination and balance.This can make it difficult to walk, talk, and drive.
  • Impaired judgment: Alcohol can cloud your judgment and make it difficult to think clearly. This can lead to risky behaviour, such as driving under the influence or having unprotected sex. 
  • Slowed reaction time: Alcohol slows down your reaction time, which can make it dangerous when operating machinery or driving.
  • Mood swings: Alcohol can cause mood swings, making you feel more relaxed or happy at first, but then irritable or aggressive later on.
  • Dehydration: Alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it causes you to lose fluids. This can lead to dehydration, which can cause headaches, fatigue and dizziness.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Alcohol can irritate the stomach lining, which can lead to nausea and vomiting.
  • Hangovers: Hangovers are a group of symptoms that occur after drinking too much alcohol. They can include headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and dizziness.
  • Alcohol poisoning: Alcohol poisoning is a medical emergency that can be fatal. It occurs when you drink too much alcohol in a short period of time. Symptoms of alcohol poisoning include confusion, seizures, slowed breathing and blue-tinged skin.

Long-Term Effects Of Alcohol

  • Liver damage: Heavy drinking can damage the liver, which can lead to cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, as well as liver failure. 
  • Heart disease: Heavy drinking can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.
  • Cancer: Alcohol can increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, liver, breast and colon.
  • Pancreatitis: Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. Alcohol can irritate the pancreas and lead to pancreatitis.
  • Brain damage: Heavy drinking can damage the brain and lead to problems with memory, learning and concentration.
  • Mental health problems: Alcohol can worsen mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
  • Addiction: Alcohol is addictive. People who drink heavily are at risk of developing alcohol dependence or alcoholism.

Gen Z Are Leading The Charge

Younger generations are entering adulthood with a much healthier perspective on alcohol. Studies show that Gen Z drink significantly less compared to Millennials at the same age, prioritising a health-conscious lifestyle and making more informed choices as the sober curious movement gains traction.

This movement encourages questioning your relationship with alcohol and exploring the benefits of sobriety. It’s not about complete abstinence, but about mindfully drinking or choosing alcohol-free alternatives altogether. The trend isn’t just about saying no to alcohol based drinks, it’s being fuelled by a boom in the alcohol-free beverage market. 

Gone are the days of sugary sodas being the only option if you choose not to drink on a night out. Today, there are a vast selection of delicious and sophisticated alcohol-free beers, wines, spirits and even craft cocktails or mocktails to show that choosing to go alcohol-free doesn’t mean sacrificing fun. People are finding new ways to socialise and celebrate without alcohol; think upscale mocktail bars, dry social events and a focus on activities that enhance well-being over disastrous escapism.

Clean With Class: A Look at Spencer Matthews’ CleanCo

Spencer Matthews, known for partying heavily on Made in Chelsea, has traded in reality TV for a different kind of spirit – the spirit-free kind. His company, CleanCo, is a major player in the rapidly growing market for non-alcoholic spirits and I had the pleasure of attending his event today in Park Lane, London.

It was incredibly heart warming to hear Spencer speak today, opening about his past struggles with alcohol making CleanCo a venture that’s both personal as well as having such a positive influence on the life choices of others to prevent the same ill-fate. He aims to provide people with delicious and satisfying alcohol-free options, whether they’re seeking a healthier lifestyle, cutting back on drinking, or simply enjoy a sophisticated alcohol-free beverage with friends.

CleanCo offers a range of spirit alternatives, including Clean G to replace gin, Clean R to replace rum, Clean W to replace whisky, Clean T to replace tequila, and Clean V to replace vodka. Their flavours are designed to mimic the real deal, so that you can enjoy a classic G&T or a refreshing mojito in your garden, or at a bar without the risks and symptoms of consuming alcohol. They also have delicious flavoured options including Clean G Pink and Clean Rhubarb, perfect for those looking for something unique.

CleanCo, named after choosing a clean drink option, goes beyond just beverages. Their website offers a variety of resources, including recipes for delicious alcohol-free cocktails, or mocktails as they’re often known. They also have a blog, “The Clean Chronicles,” featuring stories from people who have chosen an alcohol-free lifestyle which is incredibly inspiring.

It’s refreshing to see that the market for non-alcoholic spirits is booming, driven by people’s focus on health and wellness, the rise of the “sober curious” movement and a desire for delicious alternatives to traditional alcoholic drinks. Whether you’re a longtime teetotaler, someone seeking a healthier lifestyle, or just looking for a tasty alcohol-free option for a night out, CleanCo offers a tempting selection of sophisticated alcohol-free beverages without compromising on taste.

Making clean lifestyle choices, through keeping more active, cleaning up your diet and switching to clean drinks is all about feeling your best, having fun, and redefining what it means to live a fulfilling life – without the hangover or undesirable side effects.

If you, or someone that you know, is affected by alcohol misuse you can visit Alcohol Change UK and Drink Aware for further information and advice.
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Instagram: @cleanco


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Tracy Kiss

Social influencer, Bodybuilder, Mother, Vegan
London, UK

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