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Alcohol and Health

How Does Quitting Alcohol Help Your Hormones?

Published:
January 30, 2023
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10 min read
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Reframe Content Team
A team of researchers and psychologists who specialize in behavioral health and neuroscience. This group collaborates to produce insightful and evidence-based content.
January 30, 2023
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10 min read
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Certified recovery coach specialized in helping everyone redefine their relationship with alcohol. His approach in coaching focuses on habit formation and addressing the stress in our lives.
January 30, 2023
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10 min read
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Recognized by Fortune and Fast Company as a top innovator shaping the future of health and known for his pivotal role in helping individuals change their relationship with alcohol.
January 30, 2023
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10 min read
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Reframe Content Team
January 30, 2023
·
10 min read

Alcohol has become a socially-accepted staple in social gatherings and a common way to unwind after a long day. However, excessive alcohol consumption can have detrimental effects on our health, including our hormonal balance. Hormones play a crucial role in our body's functioning, affecting our mood, energy levels, and overall well-being. In this blog post, we will explore how quitting alcohol can help improve your hormonal balance and lead to better health.

The Impact of Alcohol on Hormones

  • Insulin. Alcohol can interfere with the body's ability to regulate blood sugar levels, leading to insulin resistance and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Cortisol. Alcohol can increase cortisol levels, a stress hormone that can result in weight gain, sleep disturbances, and a weakened immune system.
  • Estrogen. Alcohol can increase estrogen levels in both men and women, leading to an increased risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and other hormone-related health issues.
  • Testosterone. Alcohol can decrease testosterone levels in men, which can mean reduced muscle mass, decreased libido, and erectile dysfunction.
  • Serotonin. Alcohol can disrupt serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter that plays a significant role in mood regulation, leading to increased feelings of depression and anxiety after the initial euphoria of alcohol wears off.

How Quitting Alcohol Helps Your Hormones

When you stop drinking, there are a wealth of benefits, including the following hormonal changes.

Improved Insulin Sensitivity

Quitting alcohol can help improve insulin sensitivity, allowing your body to better regulate blood sugar levels. This can lead to a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes and improved overall health. Additionally, improved insulin sensitivity can also help with weight management, as insulin plays a crucial role in fat storage and metabolism.

Reduced Cortisol Levels

By quitting alcohol, you can help reduce cortisol levels in your body. This can lead to improved sleep, a stronger immune system, and better weight management. Lower cortisol levels can also help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, leading to better mental health.

Balanced Estrogen Levels

Eliminating alcohol from your diet can help balance estrogen levels in the body. This can reduce the risk of hormone-related health issues, such as breast and prostate cancer. Additionally, balanced estrogen levels can help improve mood, reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in women, and support healthy bone density.

Increased Testosterone Levels

Quitting alcohol can help increase testosterone levels in men, leading to improved muscle mass, increased libido, and better erectile function. Higher testosterone levels can also contribute to better mood, increased energy levels, and improved overall well-being.

Improved Serotonin Levels

By not drinking alcohol, you can help improve serotonin levels in the brain. This can lead to better mood regulation, reduced feelings of depression and anxiety, and improved overall mental health. Additionally, balanced serotonin levels can also help regulate appetite and sleep, leading to better overall health.

Additional Benefits of Quitting Alcohol

In addition to the hormonal benefits, quitting alcohol can also lead to several other health improvements, including:

  • Improved liver function. Chronic alcohol consumption can lead to liver damage and conditions like fatty liver, hepatitis, and cirrhosis. Stopping alcohol intake can help improve liver function and reduce the risk of developing liver-related health issues.
  • More restful sleep. Alcohol can disrupt sleep patterns and reduce the quality of sleep. By quitting alcohol, you can improve your sleep quality, leading to increased energy levels, better mood, and improved overall health.
  • Weight loss. Alcohol is full of empty calories and too much of it can contribute to weight gain. No longer drinking means you can lose weight by reducing your calorie intake and improving your body's ability to burn fat.
  • Sharper cognitive performance. Chronic alcohol consumption can have negative effects on cognitive function, including memory, attention, and problem-solving skills. Ending your relationship with alcohol can help improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of damaging neural structures and function.
  • Clearer, healthier skin. Alcohol can dehydrate the skin and cause inflammation, leading to premature aging and skin issues such as acne and rosacea. Quitting alcohol can help improve skin health and appearance, giving you a more youthful and radiant complexion.
  • Stronger immune system. Alcohol can weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to infections and illnesses. Stopping drinking can help strengthen your immune system, keeping you healthier and more resistant to disease.
  • Improved mental health. Alcohol can exacerbate mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress. Quitting alcohol can help improve mental health by leading to better mood regulation and overall well-being.

Tips for Quitting Alcohol and Balancing Hormones

If you're considering quitting alcohol to improve your hormonal balance and overall health, consider these tips when getting started.

First, start by setting small, achievable goals for reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption. This could include cutting back gradually — say, 10% at a time — or participating in a 30-Day Dry Challenge if you’re wanting to quit.

Additionally, seek support. Reach out to friends, family, or support groups for encouragement and accountability. Sharing your goals and progress with others can help keep you motivated and on track. Don’t try to do it alone!

Along with the last point, you should find alternative ways to relax and socialize. Replace alcohol with healthier alternatives such as herbal teas, sparkling water, or mocktails. Explore new hobbies and activities that don't involve alcohol, such as exercise, meditation, or joining a sports team or club.

Additionally, it’s important to focus on nutrition at this time. A balanced diet can help support hormonal balance and overall health. Incorporate hormone-balancing foods such as leafy greens, healthy fats, lean proteins, and whole grains into your diet.

Physical activity can also help improve hormonal balance, reduce stress, and support overall health. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week, along with muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days per week.

Furthermore, it’s essential to prioritize sleep. Establish a regular sleep schedule where you go to sleep and wake up at the same times each night and day. Also, create a relaxing bedtime routine to support healthy sleep habits and set your goal as 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night.

And finally, consider professional help. If you're struggling with alcohol addiction or withdrawal, seek professional help from a healthcare provider, therapist, or addiction specialist. Remember, seeking out help is not a sign of weakness — it’s the exact opposite!

Why Should You Download Reframe?

You’ve just learned how quitting alcohol can have a significant impact on your hormonal balance and overall health. By eliminating alcohol from your diet, you can improve insulin sensitivity, reduce cortisol levels, balance estrogen and testosterone levels, and improve serotonin levels. In addition to these hormonal benefits, quitting alcohol can also lead to improved liver function, better sleep, weight loss, improved cognitive function, better skin, a stronger immune system, and improved mental health.

Now, if you’re asking “How can I cut back or quit?” then we’ve got an answer! Here at Reframe, we have a great solution for problem drinking. Our revolutionary, #1 rated app offers you access to the latest in the neuroscience of alcohol, a vibrant community of fellow Reframers across the world, access to licensed coaches, a library of courses on a wide variety of wellness-related topics, and so much more.

We make sure that you don’t have to go on this difficult journey alone — in the Reframe app, you’ll get access to a 24/7 Forum chat where you can connect with your peers for mutual support and encouragement. We also have daily Zoom check-in calls where you can listen in anonymously or share your own story.

Best of all, the Reframe app is free for seven days, so you can try it out without any pressure to commit. And that’s how we are overall here at Reframe — we do science, not stigma. There’s no judgment from us, no matter what your drinking goals are. We simply want to equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to make your own decisions about how much to drink and why.

Join the millions of others who have downloaded Reframe and changed their relationships with alcohol. Discover life beyond drinking and start to thrive again! Download the Reframe app today and start on the path toward your healthiest, happiest life. Let’s drink less together!

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At Reframe, we do science, not stigma. We base our articles on the latest peer-reviewed research in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral science. We follow the Reframe Content Creation Guidelines, to ensure that we share accurate and actionable information with our readers. This aids them in making informed decisions on their wellness journey.
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