January is the time for renewal, resolutions and a healthy start - and for many people that means giving up alcohol for the month.

Millions of people will be taking part in Dry January this month in a bid to avoid drinking alcohol for 31 days.

Started by Alcohol Concern, the Dry January campaign aims to open up a conversation about the effects of drinking alcohol and to highlight the health benefits of staying sober.

It has been hugely successfully with the charity reporting that participation in Dry January has leapt from 4,350 people in 2013 to as many as 5 million people in 2017.

People who sign up can raise money for charity, with a number of charities promoting Dry January, including Cancer Research's Dryathlon.

The aim, of course, is to promote a change in social behaviour, encouraging drinkers to make moderation a habit.

With such large numbers of people giving Dry January a go, it certainly appears as though a shift in attitudes towards personal wellbeing underway.

The effects of excessive alcohol consumption

This is much needed, with alcohol-related admissions and illness costing the NHS £3.5bn each year.

Excessive alcohol use can contribute to a number of illnesses including: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease and some cancers.

Drinking alcohol can also cause dehydration, which can result in tiredness and lethargy that inhibits efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Indeed Alcohol Concern highlight the major immediate benefits of giving up alcohol as getting a better night's sleep leading to higher energy levels, losing weight and saving money.

Filtered water - the obvious choice

The question is what to drink instead. Water is the obvious choice - it hydrates the body, helps to flush out toxins and contains no calories or sugar.

In taking the first steps towards a healthier lifestyle drinking more water is an easy option. When your body is properly hydrated you will feel full of energy and more able to make the best choices for your wellbeing.

Rather than opting for a sugary alternative to alcohol, a glass of filtered water will tackle your thirst and boost your wellbeing without adding to your calorie intake.

For January say goodbye to the booze and embrace the natural benefits of filtered water.

Daniel Berko