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It's Never Too Late to Practice Mindful Drinking: A Guide to Responsible Alcohol Consumption

We live in a world where stress is everywhere, and social events often revolve around craft beers and fancy cocktails. It’s also not uncommon for many adults to unwind at the end of the day with a glass of wine.

Dry January comes around once each year, but any month can be a great time to practice mindful drinking. And mindful drinking has definitely been picking up speed over the last several years, turning into a movement and a community that is growing each day.

Mindful drinking means being present and intentional with every sip. It’s a way to understand the impacts of alcohol and make choices that are best for your mental health and overall well-being. In this blog, we'll explore the concepts of mindful drinking, along with the positive and negative effects of alcohol consumption. Plus, you’ll get some actionable tips for creating responsible behaviors so you can engage and enjoy those fancy beverages in a responsible way. We also have a few ways for you to enhance your experiences, whether it's with a refreshing mocktail or by staying deliciously hydrated to help soothe that social angst.

The Impacts of Alcohol

Before we get into mindful drinking practices, it's important to understand the impacts of alcohol. Moderate alcohol consumption can have some positive effects, like social bonding. There is also the potential for health benefits like those found in red wine.

But excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a variety of negative consequences, too. Some of these include health risks, like liver damage and addiction from long-term overconsumption. And then there are the social and personal consequences, like impaired judgment and strained relationships.

However, not everyone wants to give up alcohol completely. And you don’t have to! There’s more than an “all-or-nothing” approach. Many adults now want to retain the enjoyment of their favorite beverages instead of quitting them altogether. It’s completely possible, and just takes a little bit of awareness and understanding.

Understanding The Benefits of Mindful Drinking:

Mindful drinking means being fully present and aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions while consuming alcohol. This can help create a positive and healthy relationship with alcohol. It's about enjoying the experience without losing control and being in control means being mindful. By practicing mindful drinking, you can increase self-awareness, make better decisions, and enhance your overall enjoyment of drinking experiences.

Mindful drinking can offer several positive benefits:

  • Moderation: Mindful drinking encourages moderation and control over alcohol intake, reducing the risk of excessive consumption and its associated negative effects. This can translate into other areas of your life as well.
  • Healthier Choices: Being mindful of what and how much you're drinking often leads to making healthier choices in other areas, such as opting for lower alcohol content beverages or choosing non-alcoholic options.
  • Improved Mental Health: Mindful drinking promotes greater awareness of thoughts and feelings around alcohol, creating a healthier relationship with drinking and potentially reducing stress and anxiety related to alcohol consumption.
  • Better Social Interactions: When you're mindful of your drinking habits, you're more likely to be present and engaged in social interactions, leading to more meaningful connections and enjoyable experiences.
  • Financial Savings: Cutting back on alcohol consumption through mindful drinking can mean you spend less money on alcohol overall.
  • Physical Health Benefits: Reduced alcohol intake can improve physical health, including better sleep, increased energy levels, and potentially decreased risk of certain health conditions associated with excessive drinking, like liver disease and cardiovascular problems.
  • Personal Growth: Mindful drinking encourages self-reflection and personal growth. As individuals become more aware of their habits, triggers, and motivations related to alcohol consumption, it can lead to positive changes and development.

7 Tips to Practice Mindful Drinking:

To incorporate mindful drinking into your lifestyle, consider the following tips:

  1. Set clear intentions before drinking. Ask yourself why you're drinking and what you hope to achieve from the experience.
  2. Know your limits. Understand how much alcohol your body can handle and stick to a limit to help remain in control of your behaviors.
  3. Pace yourself. Whether you drink often or on special occasions, you may find yourself downing the drinks quickly. Slow down, sip and savor each drink, allowing yourself to fully appreciate the flavors and sensations.
  4. Stay hydrated. Alcohol is dehydrating. Add a glass of water between alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated. Add a True Citrus wedge to your glass to give it a little more excitement. True Citrus drink mixes are convenient to take on the go and easy to stir into your glass of water.
  5. Don’t forget to eat. Be sure to eat before and during drinking sessions to slow alcohol absorption. Drinking on an empty stomach will make the alcohol metabolize more quickly and cause more problems later on.
  6. Listen to your body. Pay attention to how you're feeling while you’re drinking. Do you recognize the signs of intoxication? It takes about one hour to fully metabolize one drink – one glass of wine, one beer, one shot of liquor. Know when it's time to slow down or stop. Also pay attention to how your body responds to different alcohol beverages. Some drinks may be easier for your body to handle.
  7. Stay safe and plan your transportation. Never drink and drive. Always have a designated driver or alternative transportation arranged beforehand to ensure your safety and the safety of others.

Implementing Responsible Drinking Behaviors

In addition to practicing mindful drinking, it’s also important to practice responsible behaviors around alcohol consumption. This includes recognizing triggers and risky situations. It also may mean developing coping strategies for managing stress or social anxiety without relying solely on alcohol. And seeking support when needed from friends, family, or professional resources is always an option.

True Citrus Mocktail

As you start your journey of mindful drinking, consider enhancing your drinking experience with True Citrus flavor enhancers. True Citrus helps you drink more water deliciously by adding a vibrant citrus taste to jazz up your water. True Citrus also works wonders as a refreshing mocktail – perfect for hosting friends or enjoying a solo night at home without trading the taste or fun of socializing or relaxing.

If you're in the mood for a mocktail, try out this True Mock-Sangria – great for warmer months! Packed with fresh juicy berries, it’s the perfect non-alcoholic alternative to traditional sangria.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup grape juice
  • 2 packets True Lemon
  • 2 packets True Orange
  • Fresh or frozen berries
  • Fresh mint as garnish, optional

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients in a drink shaker with ice.
  2. Shake for several seconds, then pour into a glass.
  3. Garnish with fresh mint, if desired.
  4. Enjoy!

Remember, practicing mindful drinking can help you maintain a healthy relationship with alcohol without sacrificing the drinks you truly enjoy. By understanding the impacts of alcohol on your body, embracing mindful drinking, and implementing responsible behaviors, you can enjoy alcohol while minimizing the risk for overconsumption and negative impacts.

And with True Citrus drink mixes, you can enhance your drinking experience by staying hydrated with delicious, flavored water or enjoying refreshing mocktails without alcohol. It's never too late to start practicing mindful drinking and making positive changes in your life!

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Amy Cimo Avatar

Written by

Amy Cimo is a Nutrition Coach, Personal Trainer and Wellness Enthusiast based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After going through her own health journey, she found her passion in helping others find balance between nutrition, physical activity and mindset to live healthy and be truly happy. Amy attended Louisiana State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She became a Certified Personal Trainer in 2021 through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and a Certified Nutrition Coach in 2022 through Precision Nutrition.

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