More Mainers try ‘Dry January’

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 3:26 PM EST
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ELLSWORTH, Maine (WABI) - As people work toward a fresh start in the new year, there is a growing trend to do so without alcohol.

Here’s more on Dry January.

“With Dry January, the 0% drinks, you know, we all we used to sell a lot of them anyway from our regular menu, but now we’ve definitely seen an influx every year with it,” said Daron Goldstein, owner, Ellsworth’s Provender Kitchen and Bar. They are among many locations that are seeing a growing demand for their mocktail menu.

“We’ve had a ton of people already doing it, started a few years back with Dry January mocktails have become popular,” he said. “Sometimes, it’s turned into a lifestyle change for some people as well.”

Dry January started as a public health campaign about a decade ago and has continued to grow.

“Helpful reset after a month of like loss of social obligations, maybe drinking more throughout the holidays,” said Brooke Reed, an outpatient dietician at PenBay Medical Center.

“There are some numbers out that drinking has increased during the pandemic, so it’s kind of a nice reset and you can kind of assess your relationship with alcohol essentially and see if you know it’s something that you want in your diet or not.”

She sees it as a potentially nice kick start for health goals.

“From a nutrition standpoint, alcohol can seriously impact the absorption of lots of nutrients,” Reed said. “It also contains calories, so seven calories per gram, that means it’s more calorie dense than carbs. So, you know, you can be getting a lot of extra calories as well. So, weight loss, it could help with weight loss. There’s other benefits, better sleep, increased energy, better mental focus.”

As long as all the good doesn’t get overshadowed by bad down the line.

“Think my one reservation with something like Dry January is restriction or over restriction in general can kind of backfire, right? So, like we go all Dry January and having alcohol be forbidden, and then in February, we might be apt to have twice as much, so that’s something to kind of be aware of.”

So, if it’s a Dry January, or any month, it needs to be handled the right way.

“Work on your health that way,” she said. “Get the alcohol out, eat a healthy, balanced diet, and you’ll be well on your way to good things.”

“You can still socialize and come out without the alcohol, and you still enjoy a nice drink as well,” said Goldstein.

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