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My XP +Wearable Tech & Media’s Downstream Impact on Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol is woven into our society’s fabric and I hate this default setting we’ve agreed upon.
As a 25 year old, events revolve around alcohol consumption and I’m constantly asked “Do you want a drink?”
Five simple words, one complex answer.
So… Do you want a drink, Adam?
There’s a 95% chance it’s a “no thank you.” Things changed after seeing a modern day
palm wrist reader named WHOOP in April 2020. “Pre-Whoop” me would have mindlessly obliged, answering with a Gin & Tonic order.
I originally got a wearable to understand my sleep to train for my first marathon. This would help me push my physical and mental barriers and overcome my fear of 26.2 miles. I didn’t know it would also push my alcoholic intake way down.
Through accessing my health data for the first time, WHOOP revealed the truth to me - alcohol really sucks for your sleep and recovery. I watched my sleep architecture get disrupted when alcohol was present in my brain and bloodstream. Seeing this data repeatedly confirmed and feeling off my best deterred me from trodding along this same path.
To drink or not to drink, that is the question.
My work hard, play hard(ish) college self would be shocked to read this post. I’m the same guy as the hyper-involved student athlete that pregamed our parties with a Four Loko and a few games of beer pong.
These days, I work hard, recover. I prefer to wake up firing on all cylinders, having my body and mind at their sharpest.
Prioritizing Performance over Alcohol
After months of different experiments with alcohol, I’m now armed with data points revealing less deep sleep, more sleep “disturbances” and bright red biofeedback discouraging me from drinking.
Seeing personal biometric data dozens of times confirmed how bad alcohol is for my body. Sequentially feeling off my best has made me rethink how I use this substance. I didn’t take this as an absolute truth, nor should you.
Wearable Tech & Media’s Downstream Impact on Alcohol Consumption
Two macro factors will continue shifting people into mindful drinkers and sober curious folks like me.
First, wearable technology will continue unlocking previously hidden biometric insights about our bodies. For example, WHOOP is accruing the largest data set on alcohol consumption. CEO Will Ahmed reported its users cite a -30% y/y alcohol consumption during the WHOOP 4.0 product drop.
Why? Alcohol is the single greatest negative influencer on next-day recovery.
As venture-funding floods continue, wearables’ data science layers will strengthen. Actionable snapshots and insights into our behaviors will fly our way. As wearables progress into sophisticated recommendation engines and anticipate our body’s needs before we know them, one of the largest behavior change recommendations will be cutting back on the booze.
Second, through new media, science will continue being democratized. Alcohol’s physiological effects happen to be one example of this. Alcohol is an outdated tool to shift states and older generations are noticing too. To be clear, I believe consumption will decline, not become obsolete.
With scientists and PHD’s openly discussing the science and undeniable drawbacks, how could you not wake up from our alcohol-induced slumber?
Wearables and corresponding media will enable us to become the scientists of our own bodies and learn these truths for ourselves.
There’s a balance to be struck
Let me be clear before anyone gets their feathers ruffled: we all have the liberty to choose what we consume and how we live our lives. I’m far from a puritan. Like anything else, moderation is a great end-state to strive for.
I still drink, but a considerable amount (>70%) less. Others my age have said drinking less is honorable or bold. From my lens, the only honorable aspect about it is honoring what my body actually wants, not what society does.
By setting boundaries, I’ve felt more alive than I ever have. My mind is quieter, my body abler. I’m more in tune with higher rhythms than with the frenetic frequencies of alcohol-infused modern life.
I’m writing this because I initially struggled declining drinks when offered. I still do at times. It’s my own problem to figure out, and as I’ve owned my individuality, found my fellow performance-centric health nerds online (thanks, you), I’ve more freely made these decisions.
Until it becomes a part of our social fabric to simply set boundaries and connect with people in non-alcoholic ways, boozin’ will still be for the cool kids. Or will it?
Looking forward, I expect younger generations to turn away from alcohol earlier than past generations. We’ll look to more active experiences to have our social needs met. Mindful drinking and abstaining from drinking will catch up.
Lucky for us, there’s plenty of ventures building the rails for this “sober curious” train, and I look forward to writing about them over time as they emerge. If this is of interest, leave a comment below or reply to this email.
Knowing when and how to “blow off steam” is a meta skill that I’m still learning in this life. And surely, I’ll have a drink (or multiple) sometime soon that will be celebratory by nature.
🥂 Cheers / L’Chaim / Saluti / Santé / Prost / ¡Salud!
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