Drink to your heart’s content

New Order's Peter Hook is supporting Alcohol Free Week
New Order's Peter Hook is supporting Alcohol Free Week

Drinkers trying to cut back on booze are being encouraged to enjoy the benefits of wine and beer during Alcohol-Free Week.

Millions are said to have joined this year’s Dry January challenge and given up alcohol for a month.

Instead of a punishing 31-day thirst, Alcohol-Free Week which runs from February 10-16, aims to help people make healthier choices for life.

Launched in 2007, the week aims to encourage people to reduce their drinking and avoid alcohol at least two days a week.

It is industry-led and backed by alcohol-free drinks producers and specialist retailers.

Health advice on alcohol has recently been revised in light of links to cancer. Experts say there is no safe limit. They warn that those who continue to drink, should drink no more than two to three units a day and no more than 14 units a week.

De-alcoholised drinks offer the benefits of wine and beer with up to 70 per cent less calories and none of the harmful effects associated with alcohol.

Alcohol-free wines promote good heart health and alcohol-free beers have been shown to cut cholesterol. Some beers also have isotonic properties making them ideal for sports and fitness enthusiasts.

They allow people to continue to enjoy their favourite tipple without harming their health and their social life.

Rock guitarist Peter Hook, who abandoned his boozy hell raising with New Order and Joy Division to adopt an alcohol-free lifestyle, supports the campaign.

He said: “Alcohol-free drinks have helped me stay sane and sober. I now can still enjoy wine and beer with my family and friends and I don’t feel like the odd one out. In fact most of the time they end up drinking mine!”

John Risby, who runs the UK’s leading alcohol-free retail specialist, hopes Alcohol-Free Week will help people strike a healthy balance.

He said: “Since it was launched, interest has grown every year and we’ve been pleased to see major charities follow our lead with Dry January initiatives in recent years.

“Rather than take a zero-tolerance approach for a month, Alcohol-Free Week is about adopting healthy habits for life.”

For tips on how alcohol-free wine and beer can help people cut back on booze, visit www.alcoholfreeweek.co.uk.