Are you taking part in a Dry January challenge Here

Are you taking part in a Dry January challenge? Here are the rules.

Are you taking part in a Dry January challenge Hereplay

This is how “Dry January” affects your intestinal health

If you've chosen Dry January, you're likely to notice positive changes in your health, such as better sleep, a clearer complexion and improved mood.


The first day of Dry January is approaching for many Americans, who will choose to cut alcohol from their diet in the first full month of 2024. The popular health trend encourages participants to abstain from alcohol for 31 days in a row.

Americans across the country have been adding the challenge of abstinence from alcohol to their New Year's resolutions for years, sharing their experiences with the challenge on social media. And doctors have tips on how to overcome the challenge without faltering.

Here you can find out what's new for Dry January 2024 and what has proven itself from previous years:

What is Dry January? What are the health benefits?

Dry January began as a campaign created and led by Alcohol Change UK more than a decade ago. According to its website, the British charity and advocacy group aims to reduce the harm caused by alcohol.

Every year, thousands of sober-curious drinkers in the United States take on the challenge. Overall, between 15 and 35 percent of U.S. drinkers participate in Dry January, according to previous Morning Consult Pro surveys.

With more non-alcoholic options: It's easy to observe. Here's how.

A 2022 study by French researchers published in the Harm Reduction Journal found that the short month-long break from alcohol during challenges such as Dry January and Sober October can improve aspects of a drinker's health.

“Both successful and unsuccessful participants frequently reported health benefits, including sleep improvement and weight loss. “Successful participants were more likely to permanently change their drinking habits,” they wrote in the article “National one-month alcohol abstinence campaigns: a scoping review of harm reduction benefits.”

Health benefits can include weight loss, reduction in liver fat and blood sugar, and improvement in mood and energy levels, according to the University of California Davis Health.

What options are there for Americans to complete Dry January?

Doctors recommend that sober and curious people prepare in good time in order to be as successful as possible. Dr. Dawn Sugarman, a research psychologist at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, recommends that Dry January participants make a plan for social situations in which they would typically order an alcoholic drink.

“You don’t want to be surprised. Think about what you are going to do. Are you going to get a soft drink and hold it so that you have a drink and it makes you feel better?” Sugarman previously told USA TODAY.

Other tips from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism include:

◾ Assess your relationship with alcohol, including “identifying why you choose to drink alcohol.”

◾ Tell friends and family that you are participating in Dry January and encourage them to participate with you.

◾ Choose your own non-alcoholic drinks or bring them to social events.

Dr. Rocco Iannucci, director of the Fernside Residential Treatment Program at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital, said Harvard Health Publishing He recommends participants who complete the challenge stop and think before grabbing a cocktail or beer in February.

These considerations may include asking yourself whether you feel the desire to quit alcohol for good, how it felt physically and mentally to be alcohol-free, and whether you have traded drinking for another habit such as overeating .

“You may decide to continue Dry January for another month and then reassess,” Iannucci said.

Try Dry January? Here's how to maintain healthy habits all year round

Non-alcoholic drinks for dry January

Restaurant and bar owners from San Diego on the West Coast to Mississippi on the East Coast are adjusting their offerings as demand for mocktails, non-alcoholic versions of popular alcoholic beverages, and non-alcoholic beers and wines increases.

These drinks are not new, but they are becoming increasingly popular.

For example, sales of non-alcoholic beer increased 35% in October 2023, according to Connecticut-based Bump Williams Consulting. The company serves the alcoholic beverage industry and uses Nielsen data. And sales of nonalcoholic beer, wine and spirits overall rose 32% in the 52-week period ended Oct. 7, according to data firm NIQ, which tracks sales at U.S. supermarkets, drugstores and mass merchandise stores.

Featuring: Mike Snider, Marina Pitofsky; USA TODAY; Diana Leyva, Nashville Tennessee

Contact Kayla Jimenez at [email protected]. Follow her on X, formerly Twitter, at @kaylajjimenez.