A Bodybuilder Shares What He Learned After Giving Up Alcohol for 6 Months

Philip Ellis
Photo credit: Corey Jenkins - Getty Images
Photo credit: Corey Jenkins - Getty Images

From Men's Health

For the last six months, fitness influencer Mike Thurston has been abstaining from alcohol in order to see what effect it had on his performance in the gym, his health, and overall wellbeing. In a new video on his YouTube channel, Mike speaks about how hard some of the challenges of giving up drinking have been, most notably the social aspects.

One thing which was positive from the very beginning, however, was the lack of hangovers. "I just love waking up in the morning feeling fresh," he says. "It only takes two or three drinks for me to feel the effects the next day... If I'm hungover, that usually means I've got cravings for bad food, I've had a bad night's sleep, I'm tired, grouchy, depressed, I'm going to be less productive and social."

The after-effects of heavy drinking had also had a negative impact on his training, and he was glad to be hitting the gym with a clearer mindset and more energy. "All it takes is one massive night out for you to lose so much strength," he says. "My ability to push myself was lower, my ability to deal with being uncomfortable was almost nonexistent, and I just couldn't lift the weights I was lifting the session before that big night out... My performance in the gym and my ability to build muscle and gain strength has improved massively."

Having completed the six-month challenge, Mike says he's learned a lot about his "triggers" regarding alcohol.

"The things that would usually trigger me to want to have a drink, they're not really there any more," he says. "They would be a certain environment or situation, or being with a certain group of people, like going out to a nightclub or being with certain friends... Automatically that would be a trigger, like yeah, I need to have a drink because that's just happens. But now, for the very first time, because I was doing this, I was forced to be in those situations and forced to be with these people, and not drink. It was obviously difficult, very rarely had I ever gone to a bar or nightclub and not had a couple of drinks... It becomes more normal, you just get used to it, it is what it is."

"I've found that the more I've done that, that trigger to make me want to drink has kind of just disappeared," he continues. "It now feels normal for me to be in a bar, with my friends, and just not drink... I just don't give into peer pressure any more."

"My approach to life has always been about moderation and balance, and I very rarely believe you should completely eliminate something from your life, unless it really is not great for you or doing you more harm than good... I'm not going to completely cut alcohol out of my life, I'm going to have drinks from time to time, but only one or two, and most likely on special occasions. I won't be doing those heavy sessions or binge-drinking any more."

You Might Also Like

More From