Dry January leads to weight loss, better skin, and more energy, study shows

A new study found that those who took part in Dry January enjoyed better health and saved money. People also reported that months later they consumed less alcohol. Dry January is a health campaign that urges people to abstain from alcohol for a whole month. In the UK, it is run by Alcohol Change UK.

Researchers from the University of Sussex carried out a study involving 800 participants. They all took part in Dry January in 2018. The researchers say that many participants were still consuming less alcohol in August.

The research team found that:



  • People’s average drinking days per week fell from 4.3 to 3.3.
  • Their consumption of units of alcohol per day declined from 8.6 to 7.1.
  • Participant’s frequently of getting drunk fell to 2.1 from 3.4 times per month.

Dry January – lots of benefits

Regarding Dry January, study leader, Dr, Richard de Visser, Reader in Psychology at the University of Sussex, said:

“The simple act of taking a month off alcohol helps people drink less in the long term: by August people are reporting one extra dry day per week. There are also considerable immediate benefits: nine in ten people save money, seven in ten sleep better and three in five lose weight.”

“Interestingly, these changes in alcohol consumption have also been seen in the participants who didn’t manage to stay alcohol-free for the whole month – although they are a bit smaller. This shows that there are real benefits to just trying to complete Dry January.”

Dry January Image 1
According to AlcoholChange.org.uk: “Dry January is the UK’s one-month booze-free challenge.”

Dry January study – additional data

  • 88% of participants saved money.
  • 93% said they felt a sense of achievement.
  • 82% of respondents said they now think more deeply about their relationship with alcohol.
  • 70% reported experiencing generally improved health.
  • 71% discovered that to enjoy themselves, they do not need to drink (alcohol).
  • 76% learned about when they drink, and also why.
  • 80% say that they are now more in control of their alcohol consumption.
  • 71% of participants slept better.
  • 58% lost body-weight.
  • 54% reported that they had better skin.
  • 57% said that their (mental) concentration improved.

Dry January can change lives

CEO of Alcohol Change UK, Dr. Richard Piper, said:

“Put simply; Dry January can change lives. We hear every day from people who took charge of their drinking using Dry January, and who feel healthier and happier as a result.”



“The brilliant thing about Dry January is that it’s not really about January. Being alcohol-free for 31 days shows us that we don’t need alcohol to have fun, to relax, to socialise. That means that for the rest of the year we are better able to make decisions about our drinking, and to avoid slipping into drinking more than we really want to.”

“Many of us know about the health risks of alcohol – seven forms of cancer, liver disease, mental health problems – but we are often unaware that drinking less has more immediate benefits too. Sleeping better, feeling more energetic, saving money, better skin, losing weight… The list goes on. Dry January helps millions to experience those benefits and to make a longer-lasting change to drink more healthily.”

Dry January App

With the Try Dry: The Dry January App, you can track calories and money saved, units you consumed, plus several other features.



Alternatively, you can sign up at DryJanuary.org.uk. The organization will support you with regular emails, tips, and tricks from others like you as well as experts.

In a different study, researchers from the University of Washington reported in August 2018 that 2.8 million deaths globally are associated with alcohol consumption each year.