Dry January started in the U.K. in 2012 to help get people to give up drinking alcohol for the new year. 

In 2018, more than 4 million people took part in the challenge. Those participants seemed to still be benefiting months after starting to drink again.

Researchers asked 2018 Dry January participants how they were doing approximately eight months after the conclusion of the challenge. 

They reported drinking fewer drinks on average, not binge drinking as much, 9 out of 10 people said they saved money, 3 out of 5 lost weight, and 7 out of 10 said they were sleeping better. 

Even the people who did not fully complete the challenge were still able to see some of the benefits eight months later.

If you decide to take the challenge and join the global community, free tips, a newsletter and a mobile phone app are all available online.

Centers for Disease Control guidelines for drinking in adults 21 years and older:

Moderate drinking is defined as one drink per day for women, and two drinks per day for men.

Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks in about two hours for women, or five or more drinks in about two hours for men.

What is a standard drink in the United States?

A standard drink is equal to 14.0 grams (0.6 ounces) of pure alcohol, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Generally, this amount of pure alcohol is found in:

  • 12 ounces of beer (5% alcohol content).
  • 8 ounces of malt liquor (7% alcohol content).
  • 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol content).
  • 1.5 ounces or a “shot” of 80-proof (40% alcohol content) distilled spirits or liquor (e.g., gin, rum, vodka, whiskey).

There are many potential health benefits to giving up alcohol for the month. Here are some medical problems you can decrease your risk for:

  • Different types of cancers (e.g. breast, mouth, throat)
  • Depression and other mental health issues
  • Liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • Infertility
  • Diabetes
  • Stomach problems

If you do drink daily or have a history of alcohol withdrawal or abuse, please consult your healthcare provider first before attempting any type of Dry January challenge.

Follow 9NEWS Medical Expert Dr. Comilla Sasson on Facebook and Twitter. Have a medical question or health topic idea? Email Dr. Comilla at c.sasson@9news.com