I’ve never been a heavy drinker.
Even in what many people consider to be the prime drinking years of 19-25, I rarely got drunk.
From 19 onwards, I probably got drunk an average of five times per year, and more recently, I would maybe have an average of 3-5 drinks per month.
But something still didn’t sit right with me about drinking alcohol. It felt like one of those habits that felt out of integrity for me.
When I really sat with it and asked myself “Am I usually happy with the decisions that I’ve made while drinking, how I’ve acted, and how I’ve felt the next day?” … the answer to all three was always a simple, resounding, “No.”
And while I certainly don’t judge other people for their decision to partake in drinking, I’ve wanted to try out this experience for quite some time.
If you’ve been following my writing really closely for the past few years, you might remember that I did a pretty full-on experiment with my health (where I prioritized my sleep, boosted certain vitamin/mineral intake, increased fat consumption, and much more) to see if I could bio-hack my way to boosted testosterone levels, higher libido, and a better sex life. I wrote a post about it on my friend Ben Greenfield’s website that you can check out here.
Well, ever since that experiment, the final piece of the puzzle was to see if cutting out alcohol altogether would further improve my erectile strength, sex drive, and sexual pleasure.
What started as a simple 30 day experiment felt so amazing that I kept it going for six months.
Here’s what I’ve learned, and how my sex life has improved after six months with zero alcohol consumption.
1. Increased personal integrity, and more wins throughout my entire life
This point might be the most highly personalized because it’s about my values and personal decisions… but in taking on the initial 30 day challenge of no drinking, I felt a boost in my mental strength and personal integrity.
This one decision set off a cascade effect that touched multiple other areas of my life.
Cutting out alcohol from my life meant that it was that much easier to cut out toxic friends that no longer served me… or to commit to taking certain actions in my business that I had been wanting to do for a while.
I don’t think that it was a coincidence that these past six months have been (by far) the biggest growth curve of my business’s existence. I became a #1 best-seller on Amazon for the fifth time in a row, and I had record months of bringing on new coaching clients. All in all, I felt like a bad ass, productive superhero.
Also, as I’ve written about in the past in this article (and I don’t know if this is true for women as well but I believe the study has only been done with men so far), when we have big wins in our career/business life we get a huge surge of testosterone. It’s almost like an unconscious trigger that tells us “You are a successful person with access to resources… you should go make babies now.” AKA the added wins that were happening in my business life (and overall health andwellness, which I’ll get to shortly) gave me a huge surge of libido. And more energy for sex is always a fun thing.
2. Nutrient absorption and greater mental clarity
While a limited amount of red wine has been proven to have some health benefits, booze is essentially empty calories (aka you get no nutrients out of it for the calories consumed).
But, in my research, I found out that alcohol not only doesn’t provide any vitamins or minerals but it actually inhibits the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals. When you give up drinking (especially if you were a moderate to heavy drinker before), your body can finally properly absorb vitamin c, folic acid, vitamin b12, zinc, and thiamin.
I love the mindset of “how you do anything is how you do everything.” It takes the idea of personal responsibility (<— which I adore) to the next level.
A good sex life and healthy libido is intimately connected to your body functioning well (which ultimately stems from you treating your body well). This stuff isn’t news. Eat clean, get all of your vitamins and minerals from a balanced, whole food diet, drink lots of water, prioritize your sleep, and limit or eliminate any numbing habits from your life, such as drinking, smoking, doing drugs, or eating a high volume of overly processed foods that were created in a lab.
You almost can’t believe how much of a fog your body and mind were in before you make the shift. But when you really start to prioritize your health, which for me meant no drinking, you feel that much better across the board.
As a professional sex and relationship coach and writer, I just happen to specialize in caring more about how my mind, my sex life, and my overall libido are affected.
3. Fat loss
Fact: alcohol depresses your metabolism and muscle recovery times. What does that mean in real terms? It means it’s easier for your body to store fat when you drink alcohol.
I am not a health and fat loss expert, nor do I care to be. What I do care about is the fact that if there’s extra fat hanging off of my torso, it affects my erectile strength and sex drive. Those things, I’m not a fan of.
I found that (especially after the first 30 days of no drinking) I had a bit more leniency in what foods I could consume, and the fat just wouldn’t store on my body.
There were meals that I had during the last six months that, when I would have once combined them with a heavy night of drinking, didn’t affect me nearly as much as they once had.
Bottom line: I slept better, fat didn’t store on my body nearly as much, and I found it easier to achieve and maintain erections since my blood wasn’t trying to fight the fat out of my arteries on it’s way to filling up my penis (too graphic for you? Oh well. And hi mom!).
4. Higher s 3x drive
From the wins in my work life, higher quality of sleep (which is the only time that testosterone – your sex drive hormone – is produced), and feeling more physically toned and attractive from my higher efficiency workouts, my sex drive had a huge boost shortly into my first thirty days of the experiment.
5. More emotional depth in my relationship
Finally, and probably my favourite point from this list, I experienced greater depth in my relationships (intimate, familial, personal… all of them).
The stereotype of alcohol being the thing that brings people closer together (insert mental image of a sloppy drunk guy leaning on his friend and yelling “I love you man!” at the bar) is only a half-truth. Sure, it can make you more uninhibited and allow you to say certain things that you might not say otherwise. But alcohol’s temporary, faux-benefits are outweighed a hundred to one by the benefits of giving up alcohol.
Because I was facing myself, my own emotions, and my life goals with a new level of clarity, it was that much easier to see and appreciate the people around me with the same kind of clarity and authenticity.
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. And while it might inhibit your resistance to telling your friends/significant other that you love them, it also inhibits your libido for life. It is a numbing agent, pure and simple.
After giving up alcohol, I felt re-sensitized to my life and I felt everything (sexually and emotionally) that much more deeply.
Giving up alcohol isn’t for everyone. Nor am I saying it should be.
I’ve really enjoyed these last six months, and I can imagine giving up alcohol indefinitely. I have no desire to go back to drinking just like I have no desire to go back to toxic friendships that no longer serve me.
For me, the choice to give up alcohol has been an easy one. I’ve experienced overlapping benefits in my health, happiness, relationships, and sex life.
If you’re looking for a place to start and think that you might want to give this experiment a shot, I had a community of like minded individuals to help me out in my first thirty days. It’s a program called (surprise, surprise) The 30 Day No Alcohol Challenge by my good friend James. You can check it out by clicking here.