Almost a third of Brits have cut back on alcohol in the past year

June 11, 2024
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Research, polling 2,000 adults, found 28% have lowered their consumption in the last year, while three in 10 want to drink less during the summer. Of those who have reduced how much alcohol they drink, wanting to save money (42%) and being more ‘in the moment’ (14%) are the reasons for this change. While 25% have swapped out booze as they’ve wanted to increase how much water they have.

The research also found 45% plan to ‘double up’ this summer by drinking more water, with 28% engaging with sobriety and mindful drinking content on social media.

Among the ways adults have managed to lessen their intake are opting for a glass of water over booze (30%), swapping for low and no-alcoholic drinks (25%) and having a glass of water with or after every alcoholic drink.

It also found 23% want to make the most of this summer by prioritising their hydration, as 61% agreed you don’t need to get boozy to have fun.

The research was commissioned by Harrogate Spring Water, which is attending Royal Ascot this year, to encourage the nation to embrace mindful drinking.

Richard Hall, managing director for the water brand, said: “Over the past few years, we’ve noticed people taking control of their wellbeing, with upping their hydration being one of the key trends. We know that adults of today are becoming more mindful of their drinking habits, with many committed to drinking more water and embracing mindful drinking.”

The study also found one in 10 who have cut down their alcohol intake have been inspired to do so by social media, while 16% have taken to reducing consumption after being inspired by a friend.

It found three in 10 have noticed a more mindful drinking movement, as 44% said it’s trendier now to reduce what you drink compared to five years ago. A further 44% of these respondents want to prioritise their hydration.

And 36% are doing so to try and take better care of their overall wellbeing and 29% are using water to help ‘pace’ themselves when having a drink during summer social occasions.

Nearly a fifth (18%) wished they drank more water than they currently do, as 22% know they don’t drink enough when socialising during the summer in warmer weather. But 33% of those who plan to drink alcohol this summer will make a more concerted effort to up their water intake too. 

The research, conducted via OnePoll, also found 42% feel pressure to drink alcohol when at a gig or a party (20%) or from their friends (18%). And a further 14% feel modern society and what’s expected of them at social gatherings puts a strain on them to drink.

But 43% aren’t letting the pressure get to them, typically opting for low-alcohol beverages and soft drinks over booze when socialising.

Richard Hall, for Harrogate Spring Water, which will be serving a range of zero and reduced alcohol cocktails at The Mindful Drinking Bar, added: “Societal norms around alcohol consumption can make us feel pressured, but we believe it’s about finding balance. 

“When having an alcoholic drink, you can always alternate with non-alcoholic options or ‘double up’ by drinking some water with every drink you have to help you stay hydrated.

“It feels obvious but it can be so easy to get sucked up into a moment and forget entirely to drink water alongside an alcoholic drink.”

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