Dean Burnett: What does swearing off alcohol for a month do to a person? What scientific consequences can it have?
Alcohol. Its a popular social lubricant, provides pleasure, and often tastes nice. It also has long term health repercussions, and imposes a heavy burden on our society. Overall, its a mixed blessing.
At present its becoming ever-more fashionable, even charitable, to abstain from alcohol for the month of January. After the indulgence of the Christmas period, its hardly surprising people will want to do something healthy, and what could be healthier than giving up alcohol?
But is that actually a rhetorical question? There are debates as to whether or not alcohol is good for you, or whether giving it up has any benefits. Nobody seems to have a straight answer, so I supposed Id offer my own experiences. I abstained from alcohol last January, but as a trained neuroscientist I opted to keep detailed notes as to my physical and mental state as the month progressed, to find what the absence of alcohol did to me. I wasnt a problem drinker( and still am not as far as I know ), but I did like a glass of wine of an evening, and met with friends in the pub once a week or thereabouts. So how would a sudden absence of this chemical depressant effect me?
No change that I can detect at present. But then I did go out last night, must have had about 10 divisions, so odds are its still in my bloodstream, given how long it takes the liver to clear it out. Also my head feels like Ive had my brain replaced with concrete and transgresses glass and my stomach seems to be trying to declare independence from my body, but then thats to be expected .~ ATAGEND
Pretty sure its all out of my system now. Starting to feel somewhat sharper and focused admittedly, but thats probably just my brain returning to normal levels of functioning.
Find myself feeling more energetic, possibly because my liver doesnt “re going to have to” spend so much time clearing the alcohol out of my system. As a outcome, it can provide more energy and important metabolites. I chose I should put this enhanced function to good use, perhaps use this opportunity to build up my livers important mineral stores, like iron. This strategy was aborted when my spouse caught me trying to eat a box of fingernails. I had assumed it was alcohol causing me to have impaired judgement, but its possible this is my default state of being.
My memory is improving. Several times today my spouse has built statements that she has made at other times over the past two years and I was able and willing to point out exactly when she said them and how she objective up being incorrect each time. I am also able to sleep better now, which is handy as Im doing a lot of it on the sofa.
Met up with some friends in the pub last night. As Im not drinking I just had apple juice and put the time to good use by explaining to each of them the damage they were doing to themselves with their alcohol intake and pointing out how much better I am now due to me not drinking. I had to leave early in the end as they have begun get hostile, which is another effect of alcohol I hadnt considered. I pity them and their stunted experience of the world.
Energy levels and focus continues to rise, attaining me feel stronger and more agile all the time. It results to me that I may have been bitten by a radioactive spider while I slept. Ergo, I may be Spider-Man? I have not noticed any extra glands for secreting web fluid, but with my enhanced cognition it shouldnt be a problem to assemble an efficient wrist-mounted apparatus for simulating this.
Just got home from hospital after being treated for traumata caused by my falling off the building I was attempting to scale. I got a stern telling off from the doctor, both for my ridiculous behaviour and for interrupting him constantly to tell him Im not drinking.
My improved focus and cognition entail I am far more productive. Today I calculated my taxes for the next 5 years employing an exquisitely complex algorithm that I came up with that deduces my incomes and outgoings with less than a 0.05% margin of fault, reorganised the house so that the air flow ensures maximum effectiveness of the heating system, and solved Fermats last theorem while attaining some toast. I was going to write it down, but with my vastly improved memory there is no need.