3 months ago
I stopped drinking alcohol for 3 months. 3 important observations:
First, let me start with the “why” on this. I wouldn’t say I had a problem per se, but had noticed that I had started to casually consume at an unhealthy level. A whiskey to unwind and spark creativity had turned into two, and I realized I was having 10+ drinks per week. t.co/AEMe6V4dpG
Clear science shows this level of consumption is bad for health/performance (thx @hubermanlab!). As a performance nerd, it didn’t fit. So with my son due in May, I decided to go dry for a while. My wife wouldn’t be drinking and we’d be stuck at home, making it easier socially.
I completed the 90-day alcohol “fast” in July. I had three major observations:
Observation 1: Sleep Improvement My sleep metrics all improved materially: • Deep sleep up • REM up • Sleep efficiency up Note that this was DESPITE having a newborn in the household during that period. (No nanny or night nurse—so the results were even more shocking!)
Observation 2: Performance Improvement My performance metrics all improved dramatically: • Focus improved • RHR down • Respiratory rate down • HRV up I didn’t do anything different from a work, workout, or nutrition standpoint, so it was close to the clean study.
Observation 3: Shifted Beliefs I had previously held a belief that I needed alcohol in order to feel creative and loosen up. The dry bout forced a shift in that belief. I found new creative unlocks—walks, cold plunges, music—and was more present socially.
Ok, fast forward to today. I am back to drinking—though at a level that is probably ~90% lower than before. I feel great. I also find that I enjoy my drinks more—and am focusing them around special moments with family and friends.
There have been a lot of hot takes on the future of alcohol consumption recently. I don’t have anything to add to that conversation, but I do believe that people will become more aware of the health impacts of elevated consumption—and thus more deliberate about it in future.
Anyway, just wanted to share my experience with removing alcohol, in case of interest to others. Follow me @SahilBloom for more writing on wealth, health, and everything in between. Here’s a great podcast episode on the science from @hubermanlab. t.co/YI29lyyUMl
And no, I have zero intention of ever doing a caffeine fast. I enjoy my large Dunkin Donuts cold brew way too much. The best coffee in the world (don’t @ me).
Here was one of the more interesting “hot takes” I mentioned on alcohol. I have no strong perspective here (I’d lean “no”) but thought the replies and quote tweets were fascinating. t.co/xN3Reextfk
Pro Tip: If you’re not drinking at a dinner or event but don’t want to stand out for that fact, order a Bitters & Soda in a short glass. Looks like a drink, tastes good, and great for your digestion.
Important Note: I’m not saying there is any *right* answer here. Simply sharing my observations on the tradeoffs from personal experience. I will continue to drink when it enhances my connection with loved ones in social settings. Everyone has to decide for themselves.
I’ll probably share more data in a future Friday newsletter. Will have blood test results from @InsideTracker that show impact on testosterone from the change as well. You can join 120K others below. t.co/32basvHgSr