Dry January: Is It Okay To Drink Non-Alcoholic Beer?

Written By Ian

In This Article...

I'll look at whether or not drinking NA beers during dry January is cheating or perfectly fine. Personally I feel drinking non-alcoholic beers during dry January is perfectly fine, and here is a few reason why.

Dry January is a popular challenge in which people commit to not drinking alcohol for the entire month of January. 

And many people consider non-alcoholic beer to be an acceptable alternative to regular beer throughout dry January because it allows them to continue enjoying the taste of beer without consuming alcohol. 

Others might argue that non-alcoholic beer should probably not be consumed during dry January because it can still contain trace amounts of alcohol and may not provide the same benefits as complete abstinence.

So let’s look further into it and weigh in on this debate!

Quick Answer

Drinking non-alcoholic beers during dry January is perfectly fine. And there are plenty of reasons to enjoy your favorite NA beer without guilt.

Can You Drink Non-Alcoholic Beer in Dry January?

I feel drinking non-alcoholic beers during dry January is perfectly fine, and here’s why:

  • Non-alcoholic beers can’t get you drunk: As we researched in our post about non-alcoholic beer & driving, non-alcoholic beer can’t get you drunk. It’s just physicall impossible to feel the effects of alcohol from a 0.5% abv drink.
  • There is alcohol in common food & drinks: Surprising as it might be, there is alcohol in common everyday food and drinks. On a daily basis we are all pretty exposed to alcohol just from common food and drink items we consume for breakfast, lunch and snacks. Some orange and apple juices could contain an even higher abv that a typical non-alcoholic beer!
  • Helps avoid social isolation: Dry January can be an especially difficult choice as some may fear abstaining from alcohol altogether might lead to a sense of FOMO or missing out on socialization. Some people just feel more comfortable socializing with friends and family if they have a non-alcoholic beverage in hand.

Completely abstaining from all fermented drinks is one option, but if you’re looking for something with a milder alcohol percentage, then non-alcoholic beer can offer a great way to sit back and unwind while not feeling guilty about breaking your challenge.

All things considered, if clinking glasses with friends and family on special occasions is your goal for dry January; then opt for non-alcoholic brews as an alternative to satisfying that craving – guilt free!

What Is Dry January?

For anyone unsure – Dry January is an increasingly popular trend of abstaining from the consumption of alcoholic beverages for the duration of January. 

According to CGA, more than 35% of adults took part in dry January in 2022.

Many people use dry January as an opportunity to moderate their beverages and reset healthy habits in order to maintain a healthy work-life balance throughout the year.

January is typically the most popular month for this as it comes right after the holiday indulgence. But sober October is fast becoming another popular month to abstain.

It’s understandable that many non-alcoholic beer drinkers may decide not to partake in ‘dry January’, as they typically don’t need to avoid the same effects as regular beer drinkers.

At the end of the day, dry January promises self improvement and positive reflection – regardless whether this is done through abstaining or simply by sticking with no and low alcoholic versions of existing favorites.

How to Do Dry January?

It kind of speaks for itself, but you can participate in dry January by setting the goal to give up alcohol for the entirety of the month

There are some tips to help you with this if you choose to get involved. 

  • Find a substitute for beer: If you want to last the entire month it is so much easier if you find something to substitute regular beer with. Obviously non-alcoholic beer is the best choice as it tastes pretty much the same. But some people like to use Kombucha, or even flavored or sparkling water to get you over that craving when you want a drink.
  • Use an app: I recommend the I am sober app as it gives you regular notifications throughout the month when you hit milestones. The notifications alone can be incredibly encouraging.
  • Track how much money you save: Especially after the holidays, saving money can be a huge factor in giving up alcohol. The Nomo app is great for tracking how much money you save. Granted non-alcoholic beer is also quite expensive, you will find yourself drinking way less if you do substitute regular beer for N/A beer.

Is Dry January Good for You?

Dry January is proven to be extremely beneficial. 

The discipline provides confidence and boast mental clarity, plus, reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption may have a tremendous positive impact on your health.

Abstaining from libations or opting for non-alcoholic beers throughout this period can also result in an increase in energy levels and improved quality of sleep. 

As well as better focus during the day – which could ultimately lead to improved productivity for any construction team looking to break old habits and create new ones.

Is Dry January Worth It?

If you are a regular beer drinker, it’s well worth taking part in dry January. There are health benefits, money saved, and the confidence that you can abstain from drinking whenever you put in the effort.

You’ll lose that holiday beer belly, and maybe even drop a few pounds purely from cutting out alcohol alone.

Not only does taking part provide physical benefits by avoiding any hangover or sugar-filled drinks, but it can also help you mentally as well by reducing stress levels while improving your quality of sleep among other emotional benefits.

Plus, with non-alcoholic beer options, you don’t have to miss out on socializing.

What Is the Success Rate for Dry January?

It sounds tough, but with the right strategies and habits, it’s a pretty achievable task. 

If you’re worried you won’t make it, the research is promising. According to CGA, 74% of people who tried dry January in 2022 made it the entire month without alcohol.

Even better news, research from the Guardian has shown that 30% of people who participate in the month-long challenge are successful in reducing their drinking habits or even completely abstaining to some extent in the later months of the year. 

Whether you decide to join this initiative or not, Dry January is certainly a great opportunity to reflect on your drinking habits and ultimately make better lifestyle choices that can benefit your health inside & out!

The Verdict: Is 0.5 Alcohol Ok for Dry January?

It’s a pretty ‘guilt-free’ way to enjoy a delicious non-alcoholic beer without actually feeling the effects of alcohol.

Personally, I feel non-alcoholic drinkers can skip Dry January with dignity intact!

Non-alcoholic beers come in quite a lot of varieties, so you still get the same experience of taste and flavors as regular beers. 

And, anyone experimenting with dry January for transitioning out of full-on boozing, can use these brews as a soft rotation into sobriety. 

Since you can’t get drunk from them, they are the perfect palette cleansers between dishes or snacks when spending quality time near friends or family in social situations.

Whether you decide to join this initiative or not, Dry January is certainly a great opportunity to reflect on your drinking habits and ultimately make better lifestyle choices that can benefit your health inside & out!

Everyone is encouraged to choose what works best for them, and remember that, ultimately, indulgence in anything should be purposeful and mindful – even with non-alcoholic beers!

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