Community Making Sense of the New Canadian Guidelines for Healthy Consumption of Booze

    Making Sense of the New Canadian Guidelines for Healthy Consumption of Booze


    I am tired of Dry January. I’m beginning to wonder what the point even is. Is it effective? Who knows.

    I do know it’s a bad feeling when you feel like you’re working too hard with too little break time and deprivation—much like along the lines of dieting or trying to save money—becomes a way of life. If you cut yourself too close to the bone there’s no way that anything can possibly last.

    And so: do I carry on or throw in the towel? Give myself a break or, is the desire for a break (from a break from alcohol), proof positive that I should wait out the month? Again: no one knows.

    This week, of course, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction updated their guidelines for low-risk drinking for the first time since 2011. More than two drinks at any one time increases health risks, read the report, and more than six drinks-per-week, especially for women, goes beyond “moderate” risk into something more scary: premature death, and cancer, are just some of the side effects for seemingly low intake of booze. More than ever the research around alcohol seems to say that, if you can avoid beer, wine and spirits, then do so. Water, seemingly always, is the more healthy choice.

    However, carrots are also the healthier choice over McDonald’s french fries and it’s probably better for you to read Margaret Atwood than watch the Maple Leafs game. But the question remains about unintended consequences. I remember my first Dry January I posted a photo of my survival tools and there was chocolate milk and a case of Perrier and, given the calories in Hershey’s syrup and all those bottles to recycle, someone commented: is the cure not worse than the disease?

    Plus, when you go through life white-knuckled, are you a grumpier human being? Less tolerant of your children at homework time and more obsessive about every bit of information you can gleam on your run from your watch? In short: are you not squeezing the fun out of life? Or am I asking the wrong questions?

    It’s certainly a conversation worth having and a discussion that only gets better from the more voices that can be heard. And so iRun will host an Instagram Live Monday, January 23, 2023, 10:30AM EST with @marathon2sobriety, pictured above, six years sober and a recent veteran of the Boston Marathon, and our old friend Sarah Kiriliuk, pictured at the top, Canada’s leading non-alcoholic drinks expert, who runs the, and is a long-time runner and vocal member of the running community.

    What do you think of running and alcohol and Dry January and the new liquor recommendations? In your life, should booze stay or should it go? Let us know in the comments and join us at @IRunNation Monday, January 23, at 10:30AM EST. We want to hear from you all.