Zac Efron has evolved from awkward teen to somewhat of a picture of health. Although the road to semi-athlete has been a varied journey, Efron emerged the other side as solid and consistent source of fitness, nutrition and general healthy living inspiration for men everywhere.
Whether he's climbing a mountain in the Rockies, or sharing a post-workout smoothie to Instagram, Zac knows how to take care of himself. And the dimension to his #cleanliving lifestyle that proved the catalyst for his mental and physical transformation? Ditching alcohol back in 2013 following a stint in rehab.
"What I found is structure," Efron told Elle on the topic of his own sobriety back in 2016. "That led me to a balance of opposites: You get out of life what you put in."
Kicking booze to the curb will help you sleep more soundly, shed the kilos, and lower your risk of some cancers. Not to mention, it will protect your hard earned gains, a fact that Efron can no doubt attest to.
And avoiding alcohol isn't only a celebrity-backed health initiative; it's certified fresh by real life doctors and scientists. “Taking a break from drinking alcohol - even if it’s just for a couple of weeks - is a good idea, especially if you’re regularly consuming more than the recommended daily limit,” says Dr Damon Raskin, a Los Angeles-based physician who is board certified in addiction medicine when talking to MH.
A few weeks huh? Sounds like the perfect excuse to partake in Ocsober, a month long campaign encouraging Aussies to 'lose the booze' to benefit Life Education and aid Australia's children.
Friend of MH, Luke Hines, is a 2018 Ocsober ambassador, health expert and equally fit Efron-esque unit, and took time out of his busy to share his own journey with sobriety, including the many benefits he's experienced as a result.
So have a read of Hines' account, and give Ocsober a red hot crack. After all, in the words of the mighty Efron; "Crossing the line of fear is what leads to greatness."
MH: Why did you stop drinking?
LH: My reason of not drinking is a mix of both personal and health related reasons. Growing up alongside a substance abusing brother, where alcohol was very much a drug of concern for his physical and mental wellbeing, I decided from a very young age alcohol wasn’t going to play a major role in my life so as not to potentially put myself in a position where I follow in his footsteps. More so than that, I also have such a love of health and fitness, and alcohol for me doesn’t align well with my goals which revolve around avoiding depressive substances, staying positive, and waking up fresh at 4:30am! So for me it is a no brainer.
What motivated you to work with Ocsober?
As a non-drinker, I feel very qualified to speak of the benefits of ditching the booze, whether it be just for a few weeks or a longer term commitment, but either way, I feel that I have the years of non drinking behind me to say you can still have an incredible time socially, have just as much fun if not more, but save the cash and boost your health by staying sober. If I can do this all whilst promoting such an incredible cause, then its two birds with one stone, as raising both awareness and money for the Ocsober campaign whilst inspiring people on an individual level is a win win.
Why is Ocsober a great time to 'lose the booze'?
The timing of the Ocsober campaign works well, because October is so close to summer, and we all want to look and feel our best when its swimming season again. So starting a health kick and ditching the booze in October will be a sure fire guarantee you will be budgie smuggling or flossing in no time at all feeling and looking your absolute best.
What personal improvements you’ve experienced from giving up alcohol?
Alcohol is a depressant, therefore by avoiding it we are eliminating lots of triggers for many people. I personally have improved sleep quality, improved cognitive function, more energy, and generally feel happier and healthier within myself. In addition my training yields better results and I absorb more of the nutrients from my food so happy days!
What is your go-to alcohol substitute?
Is it too laggy to simply say sparkling water with fresh lime juice? Seriously though, I am a sparkling water addict, and I swear by it for its deliciousness but also how hydrating it is for you too.
What are you top tips for surviving the month without alcohol?
That once you’re over the initial period of going dry, it gets easier and easier everyday! Plus the health benefits begin to kick in which help you stick to it, because you become addicted to how bloody good you feel! And for anyone who gets given a hard time by those close to them, just ignore that. That is their issue, and perhaps there is a deeper concern at hand for them which makes them project it onto you. You go strong, lead by example and live your best life.