Lose the booze: Why giving up alcohol improves your immune system

by Nitesh Kumar

Every day, our immune system protects us from over 100,000,000 viruses and bacteria, and occasionally even kills spontaneous cancer cells before they get a chance to mutate. As such a formidable fighter, it really deserves to be treated with care and respect. Forming simple sleeping and eating habits and getting regular exercise helps keep the champ fighting fit, but habits like excessive alcohol consumption can throw the immune system off its winning streak. See below how you can do wonders for your wellness simply by reducing your alcohol intake. 

The sour mix of alcohol and the immune system

Like a homemade cocktail gone wrong, alcohol and the immune system make a sour mix. Studies show that consuming four or five drinks a day for one week makes white blood cells produce a whopping 75% less virus-fighting signal molecules than normal. When these signals don't work effectively, cells have little chance of eliminating a virus, and nothing makes us more unpopular than turning up to a party with the flu.   
And the bad influence of alcohol doesn't end there; it also gives our gut a hard time by altering its microbiome. This collection of bacteria, viruses and other genetic material in the GI tract give the immune system essential support, making it crucial for good health. On top of that, alcohol washes away immune cells in the digestive system, making us miss out on social fun thanks to the sniffles.

With this in mind, it's not surprising that experts recommend shunning alcohol when we're already feeling unwell. Just like our innate immune system, our adaptive immune system — which gets to work when we're sick — is slowed down by alcohol.

Healthy habits hate alcohol

Giving up alcohol also improves sleep, which plays a vital part in our overall health and makes our social life more fun. When we sleep, our immune system is hard at work releasing proteins our bodies need to fight infections and inflammation. So when our sleep is disrupted, we're more likely to get sick or feel too tired to hit the town for an enjoyable weekend. 
When it comes to diet, alcohol and the immune system are at odds again. Alcohol causes blood sugar to rise and fall suddenly, causing us to seek out unhealthy fatty food that's rich in carbohydrates. Our immune system sees junk food as a harmful invader and goes into overdrive to fight against it. Having a hard-working immune system may sound like a good thing, but it can lead to preventable ailments like diabetes.

The benefits of binning alcohol

Happily, giving up alcohol seems to be enough to keep our immune system in peak shape and well looked after with high-quality sleep and nutritious food. Add to that the rapidly increasing variety of tasty non-alcoholic drinks available, from sparkling wines to spirits, and there’s little reason to cry over going dry.

So if you're looking for an easy and enjoyable way to give your health a boost, why not check out the 0% alcohol range and raise a glass to good health today. 

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