What Happens When You Stop Drinking Alcohol?


Jason Sissel

If you’re a Ben Greenfield podcast listener or blog reader (or a biohacker) you may have heard about the No Alcohol challenge subject, cyclist and Endure to Cure founder, Jason Sissel. Sissel was picked back in November to experiment with, following inspiration spawned from a previous Greenfield podcast episode with James Stanwick, New York-based author and ESPN anchor on SportsCenter.

If not, here are the quick details of the N=1 experiment:

  • Find someone to agree to quit alcohol cold turkey for 30 days straight. (check!)
  • Record their blood biomarkers before Day 1. (check!)
  • Quit alcohol. (check!)
  • Record their blood biomarkers at Day 31. (Coming soon)

After posting this query for a test subject, Greenfield received 108 entries:


courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/BGFitness


Jason, a former Wall St. professional turned  ounder of a pediatric cancer non-profit, agreed to work with Greenfield and our team, to take down his lifestyle and current habits (via nutrition, exercise, and sleep journal), test his biomarkers (via a WellnessFX Baseline test), take body measurements (via a DEXA scan and photos), and share his story along the way (via Jason’s personal blog).

“…for better or worse, I also love red wine and beer and usually find myself enjoying a few bottles of wine per week or a few beers while watching sports,” Jason detailed.

For a full breakdown of Jason’s beginning pre-no alcohol labs, all done by Greenfield (who is also a WellnessFX practitioner), visit this blog post.




Why Alcohol?

Though studies have shown that a glass of wine or another light, alcoholic drink a day can actually be healthy, heavy drinking can have detrimental long-term results on the liver and overall health.

It’s also important to consider short-term effects, especially for athletes like Sissel. Alcohol consumption does not go well with building muscle, losing fat, and overall recovery:

  • A hard workout drains the body’s glycogen stores, which need to be replenished before the muscles can be properly repaired. Drinking can slow this recovery process by displacing carbs in the body and leaving glycogen stores 50% lower than normal, even eight hours later.
  • The body prioritizes the metabolism of alcohol, and when it is present it will burn that over fat and carbs. Your body will have more excess energy to store as fat than usual.
  • Alcohol also breaks down amino acids and stores them as fat.
  • Alcohol increases cortisol levels, leading to further fat storage.
  • Finally, alcohol disrupts the potent recovery power of a good night’s sleep.

How WellnessFX Can Help

The experiment wrapped Day 30 on December 18th, and now we’re looking forward to the results and takeaways that Greenfield will report on after reviewing all of Jason’s labs and measurements post-experiment.

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UPDATE added 1/12/15: Want to read how Jason did after the 30-Day Experiment ended? You can see the final biomarker results and read Ben Greenfield’s notes and takeaways in Greenfield’s part 2 blog post. “The 30 Days No Alcohol Experiment: Part 2 (What Happens When You Quit Alcohol Cold Turkey).

If you’re interested in taking a deeper look like Jason did, you can take advantage of our Loyalty packages which score you up to 20% off when you purchase 2 or more tests at a time. (Perfect for Before and After!)

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The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.