Tens of thousands of Belgians are going alcohol free this month. It’s all part of Tournée Minérale, a month-long campaign by the Foundation against Cancer. Yes, there are fewer champagne glasses clinking, and those great Belgian beers are on the back burner this month. It’s all part of Tournée Minérale, a month without alcohol!

My Belgian friends joke they prefer Tournée Minérale to Dry January because February is a shorter month than January. So, you have fewer days of abstinence. That being said, there is some merit to refraining from the booze and finding healthy alternatives.

Forget the champagne and mixed drinks. Discover great, alcohol-free“mocktails” that will inspire you. We’ll share some of the secret recipes with you tomorrow!

But, for now, let’s talk about the health benefits of a month without alcohol.  Ask yourself: How much do you drink during an average week? You may be surprised by the results.

Check out the handy Tournée Minérale Alcohol Calculator.  While it’s just in French and Dutch, it’s easy to use and understand, regardless of your native language. 

See the effects of even a few drinks per week. Use the alcohol calculator to enter your average consumption and learn how much sugar you ingest.

Why Going Alcohol Free is Healthy

The folks at Tournée Minérale are happy to share the benefits of a month without alcohol. Here’s a little health advice from the experts:

More Energy

“Alcohol is narcotic and makes you drowsy. Breaking down alcohol also requires a lot from your body. By not drinking alcohol, you give your liver a rest. You soon feel better in your skin. Tournée Minérale helps you concentrate, hold attention, perform better and sustain your efforts. Impressive, isn’t it?

Sleep Better

A glass of alcohol as a nightcap? It seems to work, but there is a snag. You fall asleep faster, but alcohol also causes a worse, superficial night’s sleep. With regular drinking, the sleep effect even diminishes or disappears. Instead, you get restless and shorter sleep. It is therefore quite possible that you sleep deeper and firmer during an alcohol-free period.

Save Money

Wine, cava, gin … Alcohol is expensive! In 2014, the average Belgian family spent 462 euros (about $500) on alcoholic beverages. With what you spend less on alcohol, you can discover unknown non-alcoholic drinks, treat yourself to a healthy treat, enjoy a trip or even more fun.

Healthy Weight

Who says ‘weight,’ thinks of ‘food.’ But not everyone realizes that alcohol can also be felt on the scales. Alcoholic drinks have no nutritional value. However, the substance alcohol has an influence on your weight. On top of that, almost all drinks also contain a lot of sugar. So consciously dealing with alcohol helps you work on a healthy weight.

Let Your Skin Shine

Strange but true: alcohol dries you out. Your skin, the largest organ of your body, is not so happy with that. If you are dehydrated, you will look dull and wrinkles will appear. But if you drink enough water, your skin will shine!

No Hangover, More Time

It happens to many and some more than they like. The miserable feeling of a hangover is one thing. But how often do you lose a bite from your weekend waiting for that nasty bug to finally leave you alone? Imagine what kind of fun you can do at that time!”

Alcohol Is Bad for Health

Let’s face it. Alcohol is bad for your health. The long-term effects include addiction, liver disorders and even cancer. Just ask the experts:

“If you take a break and think about your own alcohol consumption, you contribute to better health. And that’s exactly what Tournée Minérale stands for! A survey after the last Tournée Minérale has shown that participants continue to moderate their alcohol consumption after the end of the promotion.”