GP reveals what happens to the body after you quit alcohol for a month

Why you should give up alcohol for one month: From improved sleep to a glowing complexion – this is EXACTLY what happens to your body when you ditch booze for just four weeks

  • A GP has spoken about what happens to your body when you quit drinking  
  • Dr Penny Adams said after just 30 days, your health gets incrementally better 
  • She expect to sleep more soundly and see an overall improvement in gut health
  • Other advantages include reduced blood pressure and a clearer complexion 

A doctor has revealed how quickly your health can improve after you give up drinking for just one month.

Sydney-based GP Dr Penny Adams said while many adhere to guidelines recommending 14 units per week (or two standard drinks per day), it’s worth giving your body a rest from alcohol from time to time. 

‘There are so many immediate benefits just over four weeks in giving up alcohol,’ she told 9Honey.

Dr Adams offers an in-depth breakdown of the health improvements you can expect after putting down the bottle from week one through to week four. 

What happens in week one? 

After a week of quitting alcohol, you’ll not only feel sleep better but you’ll also feel more refreshed as you won’t be suffering from dehydration

How much alcohol is in a standard drink? 

 100ml wine (13.5% alcohol)

 1 standard drink

 30ml nip spirits

 1 standard drink

 Can spirits (approx 5% alcohol)

 1.2 to 1.7 standard drinks

 Can spirits (approx 7% alcohol)

 1.6 to 2.4 standard drinks

 Can/Stubbie full-strength beer

 1.4 standard drinks

 Can/Stubbie mid-strength beer

 1 standard drink

 Can/Stubbie low-strength beer

 0.8 standard drink


After just seven days of quitting drinking, you’ll notice you’ve started sleeping better and you’ll be more energised because you’re properly hydrated.

Dr Adams said sleep quality is immediately improved when you stop drinking because alcohol interferes with your REM (dreaming) sleep.

Additionally, you won’t wake up feeling as drained because your body won’t be desperately trying to combat the dehydrating effects of alcohol.  

‘You know when you wake up in the morning and you’ve had alcohol the night before, and you’re thirsty and you’ve got a headache? That’s because you’re dehydrated,’ she said.

This info-graphic outlines how quickly your health can improve after stopping drinking for just two weeks

What happens in week two?

One of the benefits of quitting alcohol is that if you suffer gut issues, these will improve.

Dr Adams explained alcohol can irritate the stomach lining which can cause gastritis and reflux.

Symptoms of gastritis can include nausea and vomiting, bloating, and upper abdominal pain while acid reflux causes heartburn.

You may find you also lose weight after you stop drinking. 

This is because alcohol is full of empty calories, meaning they contain no nutritional value whatsoever.

After two weeks of quitting drinking, you will have noticed an improvement in your gut health 

Sydney-based GP Dr Penny Adams has explained how your health improves within a month of quitting drinking

What happens in week three?

By week three your heart health will improve and your blood pressure will be down.

Regularly drinking more than the recommended intake can cause alcohol-related hypertension (high blood pressure).

‘Alcohol is actually quite an irritant to the heart – it irritates the electrical system of the heart and can cause palpitations and it’s also quite toxic to cardiac muscle and long term drinking can actually cause cardiomyopathy,’ Dr Adams said. 

What happens in week four?

When week four rolls around, Dr Adams suggests booking in with your GP for a liver function test. 

This is because drinking to excess regularly may result in a fatty liver, a condition which can affect how this organ functions. 

By week four, your complexion will have started to improve thanks to an influx of vital vitamins and nutrients  

Chances are by the end of the month, your liver function will have improved, and not only will you feel better, but you’ll also look better too.

Drinking too much is thought to deprive the skin of vital vitamins and nutrients which means after a month of abstaining, a dry and uneven complexion will have also settled. 

What can happen after a year?

After 12 months of quitting, your body will be in top form and its likely you’ll have shed a total of six kilograms.

Additionally, of chronic conditions including breast, liver and mouth cancers also reduces.

Speaking previously to Daily Mail Australia, dietitian Jenny Champion said those who regularly overshot the mark could damage their body in myriad and lasting ways. 

‘Once you exceed one standard drink per hour, you are placing yourself at an increased risk of cardiac disease, as well as being more prone to extra energy intake through poor food choices which leads to weight gain and long term health implications.’

If alcohol is a problem for you or someone you know, it may be time to seek advice from a professional. Visit Drinkwise for support or speak to your GP, local health service or call a helpline. 

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