Drinkers trying to cut back on booze are being encouraged to enjoy the benefits of wine and beer during Alcohol-Free Week.
Thousands joined the dry January challenge and many enjoyed going sober so much they are staying off the booze.
Those who couldn’t face a 31-day thirst can take a more moderate approach for Alcohol-Free Week from 5 – 11 March.
Alcohol-Free Week was launched in 2007 to encourage people to make avoiding alcohol – at least some of the time – a lifelong, lifestyle choice.
Experts agree that it takes just two or three alcohol-free days a week to prevent long-term health risks associated with alcohol.
A dedicated website has been set up at www.alcoholfreeweek.co.uk offering tips on how alcohol-free beers and wines can help maintain a healthy balance.
De-alcoholised wines have all the heart-health benefits of ordinary wine and alcohol-free beers have been shown to cut cholesterol and cancer risks.
Some beers also have isotonic properties making them ideal for sports and fitness enthusiasts.
These wines and beers have fewer calories than their alcoholic equivalents and can help those avoiding alcohol to continue to enjoy their favourite drinks and improve their health.
Visitors to www.alcoholfreeweek.co.uk also have the chance to win alcohol-free drinks every day during Alcohol-Free Week.
The week is industry-led and backed by leading alcohol-free wine and beer producers, specialist alcohol-free retailers and supported by health professionals and local authorities.
Rock guitarist Peter Hook, who ditched his drugs and booze fueled hell raising with New Order and Joy Division to adopt an alcohol-free lifestyle, supports Alcohol-Free Week
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 Alcohol-Free Shop, hopes Alcohol-Free Week will help people strike a healthy balance.
He said: “Since we launched Alcohol-Free Week, interest has grown every year and we were pleased to see major charities follow our lead in January.
“Rather than take a zero-tolerance approach for a month, Alcohol-Free Week is about adopting healthy habits for life.
“Alcohol-free alternatives can help people to continue to enjoy the health benefits of wine and beer without the harmful effects.”