Why I Have To Quit The Booze

White wine

Today I’m feeling sad because I have come to realise an important truth – I need to quit the booze.

I don’t want to quit drinking because I love it so much. Not in a stumble around and slur my words kinda way but a ‘OMG my kids have driven me to insanity today, pass me the wine!’  kinda way.

Unfortunately the realisation has struck that alcohol and I are not friends. Particularly white wine.

Last year I quit drinking from March and didn’t take it up again until November. Let’s face it though, quitting in winter isn’t that hard! In summer when the sun is shining and all you want is a cold beverage, the kids are refusing to go to sleep because it’s too light and you’re hot and at the end of your tether … well, that is a whole other story!

Before I had my boys I never noticed any adverse effects to drinking alcohol but in the last couple of years I have noticed that the after effects of drinking for me (especially white wine as I said above!) are not pleasant. Not in a headachy, hung over kinda way but in a mood altering kinda way.

In a nutshell, drinking white wine in the moment is great but over the next few days I will be exhausted, have a really short temper, be irritable as hell and feel a bit down and out. Kinda like having a daily dose of bad PMS without the period! I did some research and found that white wine is actually notably known for altering a women’s mood. Why?


Science suggests that the presence of sulphites in white wine can be what’s causing the mood swings. Sulphites, popularly known as ‘drinking blues’, include sulphur dioxide and salts from sulphuric acid. While sulphites are naturally found in grapes, small amounts of sulphur are added prior to fermentation, as a preservative, to keep the freshness and remove unwanted yeasts and bacteria. And clear wines like white wine require more preservatives than dark wines.

(Quote taken from From Tears to Tantrums: Why Does White Wine Leave Women Feeling Depressed?)

Sulphites have been tied to depression, the post drinking ‘blues’ and even anxiety. So basically, your daily tipple could be the contributing factor to the reason you sometimes feel like you’re an emotional mess even though you have no reason to be. Depressing in itself right?

It’s also easy to forget that alcohol is actually a depressant.

If this sounds like you and you’re having a sudden lightbulb moment of ‘OMG, so THAT is why I’m sometimes a moody mess!’ then you can read more about here.

And it friggin sucks! There is nothing better than coming home from a crazy day at work and popping a cold Corona or pouring an ice cold glass of Riesling! But alas, I know this is not good for me for all of the reasons noted above. Beer isn’t as bad as wine but it still makes me feel exhausted.


Obviously we don’t always quit the things we know aren’t good for us (hello chocolate!) but in this case, sadly I must tip the wine and give it up (except for special occassions obviously or dinners out – I’m not a martyr!). I’m pretty sure it might help curb my weight gain too which is getting a bit out of hand because wine = lazy grumpy Haidee = no exercise. It’s a vicious cycle!

Can you drink alcohol with no adverse effects? Have you noticed it effects you differently as you get older? Do you drink much?

Linking up with #IBOT @ Essentially Jess

74 thoughts on “Why I Have To Quit The Booze

  1. mood wise yes, but I can’t drink much without getting a hangover, so I tend to be moderate, not necessarily though ‘choice’. I also get migraines once a month and after a migraine I go off alcohol for a few days out of fear it will prompt another one (despite the fact it didn’t cause the first one!) It does suck getting older….
    Lydia C. Lee recently posted…First of the Month Fiction – FebMy Profile

    1. That sucks, migraines sound really unpleasant and though I get the typical hangover headache I have never had a migraine (fingers crossed!). Hangovers. Ugh!

  2. Wow! I did not know that.
    That’s really good that you recognised it.
    I had to stop drinking beer, wine, etc years ago due to food sensitivities (amines and salicylates). I have found one sparkling wine I can drink without any adverse effects. Well, unless I drink too much of course. Which means I still have something to sip on on the weekends. Plus the occasional cocktail.
    I love that I don’t drink as much as I used to (definitely healthier for it all round) but I’m also happy I found something I can drink without any issues.
    Hope you find yours!
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit recently posted…Day 2293 – 4 Foods to help your skinMy Profile

  3. That’s really interesting, Haidee. I do enjoy a few glasses of an NZ sav blanc on the weekends, but I definitely do notice the difference in my mood. I think I might have to give up with you. My moods are already getting affected by the different hormonal treatments I’m using at the moment, I don’t need to add to it. I’ll miss my wine 🙁

    1. I don’t think it’s so much the alcohol as something else in the wine, preservatives have been suggested to me as a culprit. Who bloody knows! I’m gutted!

  4. I have always been a very off and on drinker. Not in a binge way; it’s actually the same way I am with fruit. I will love it for a few months, then ignore it for a few months. My tastes just seem to cycle like that. Makes it hard when doctors ask how much you drink because right now I could’t even tell you when I last had a drink…

    1. I used to be like that before I had kids Vanessa, now it’s my saving grace. Or it WAS my saving grace! Perhaps I won’t need it anymore because I’ll be much happier to start with!

  5. My sister has the same problem with sulphites – you can get some organic wines that are sulphite-free if you still wanted to be able to enjoy a glass every now and again!!

    1. Thanks Rachel, I might look into it though I’m guessing they would cost a pretty penny! It’s way more common than people think and definitely gets worse as you get older (getting older sucks!).

  6. Good on you for realising the effect alcohol has on you personally Haidee. I gave it up for quite a while when my kids were younger, and when I was pregnant, but now I enjoy the occasional drink. I do prefer Italian wines (I found some in a piccolo bottle which is 1.5 standard drinks – ideal), as they don’t have the same amount of preservatives as many Australian wines do.
    Lyndall @ SeizeTheDayProject recently posted…What do you want to be when you grow up?My Profile

    1. I gave it up for a really long time (about 4 years!) and then when my kids started to get more … challenging shall we say! … I took it up again 😉 I certainly don’t drink in excess (without good reason!) but unfortunately even one glass a night has a detrimental effect. It sucks! I’m going to have to trial out some substitutes.

  7. It’s such a shame when a loved indulgence turns out to be more trouble than it’s worth. I was the same with chocolate (though I still sneakily indulge occasionally) – turns out I’m allergic to it and it definitely affects my mood. Good on you for working it out and making the decision!

  8. Good luck! Thanks for sharing. I don’t drink often, and when I do, my drink of choice is Bundy and Coke. BOGAN ALERT! People are often surprised by that, but I’m a country gal at heart and always will be! That said, weddings get champagne because toasting the bride and groom with a Bundy is way too bogan, even for me. x

  9. I have a reaction to the sulphites too Haidee – they give me bad hay fever! Only certain wines though – I still haven’t worked out which ones – and cider, is the worst! I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but you can buy some drops from the Bottle-O which apparently negate the effect of the sulphites. Dunno if they work or not because I never remember to use them 😉 .

    1. Oh really?! That’s interesting because I have had the worst hayfever this summer. Maybe they’re connected? We’ll soon see. I’ve heard about the drops, might look into them for special occasions though I think the sulphites are only partly to blame and the alcohol is the rest to blame.

  10. Good on you for noticing the changes and doing something about it. Last year I noticed how my anxiety was so much worse in the days after I drank. In the lead up I was drinking 6+ standard drinks most nights. Then when I would binge drink the effects were so much worse. Like you I haven’t completely given up, but I have cut back dramatically. I also have been able to have a drink and stop at one, something that I was finding increasingly difficult.
    Tegan recently posted…6 tips to reduce school anxietyMy Profile

  11. This is me right now too! I hate being all grumpy with people and unmotivated to exercise because I’ve had a few wines. Interesting about the sulphites!

    Have you thought about doing a Hello Sunday Morning? I’ve committed to a year and the support of a big community of people is reeeally helping me make sure I don’t slip off the wagon.


    All the best <3

    1. Just did the quiz on the hellosundaymorning and it says I’m high risk! Oops! Good thing I’m quitting anyway huh! I’ll sign up and check it out, thanks Elese! When did you start your year?

    2. I was going to suggest this. I have had two three month breaks from alcohol with Hello Sunday Morning. It is awesome. I’m on the verge of another one. Same as other comments, I am irritable and for me it really affects my sleep. Good luck.

    1. I did too Lu, then I stopped the baby making and the baby feeding and landed rambunctious toddlers – TWO OF THEM AT ONCE. And the drinking started again. Haha. But I’m ready to turn over a new leaf! Or rather I am recognising that I need to.

  12. Oh it’s so hard isn’t it! It’s a habit that is so hard to break. I’m giving it up for 6 weeks (except for a wedding and 1 reunion coming up) and second day in I feel cranky!! But after last few times I was just so sick and annoyed with myself for getting that way. Takes a week to get over in your forties!!!
    Good luck! I hope to make 6 weeks and make the change to less afterwards x

  13. I’m very relieved to see that it’s white wine and not gin… because I’m about to go and have myself a Bombay Sapphire and tonic 😉 But yes, I totally take your point. I rarely drink these days because it makes me so sleepy in the evening and I want to do fun stuff in the 13 minutes I have between when the kids go to sleep and when I fall in a heap….

  14. Yeah, I must admit I feel the same after drinking. I get very moody and tired for days after. I’m actually not drinking anything at the moment, and won’t until mid March. But that’s purely for a health/weight reason. I feel better already and it’s only been a week! Alcohol definitely has affected me and my moods since I have gotten older, and also as a parent. Wine in particular. I hope you stick with it 🙂
    Kelly recently posted…THE ‘STRAYAN PARENTMy Profile

    1. It so sucks getting older. I’ll be honest, part of my incentive is also health and weight. This Christmas has been a big one and I gained about 4kg! Yikes!

  15. I’ve decided to cut out alcohol too, unless it’s a special occasion. I don’t suffer the same effects as you but I know that I feel better when I don’t drink. The weight control is also a great motivator. Good luck with it – I hope you feel much better even though it might be hard going for a while!

    1. I never knew either Jess until I started to see the connection between my ongoing PMS grouchy mood and the times I drank white wine. With beer I just get tired and skip the mega moody ‘which way is up’ ‘don’t look at me!’ type irrationality but either way, it makes me have no motivation! And given my crazy schedule I need motivation in bucket loads or I get nowhere.

  16. Brilliant post Haidee. I suspect that I have this problem too but have been in denial lol! You’ve inspired me. Think I’ll give up the booze too for a while and see if it makes a difference. So glad I read this tonight x

    1. Thanks Shauna! Sometimes it just takes pin pointing the culprit and then we can make a decision to cut back or quit or put up with the craziness! I was in denial for months too. Good luck!

    1. It’s so common Shannon, people just don’t make the connection (head in sand! Haha). Cutting back on weekdays sounds like a good plan! I’m all for drinking unless you end up like me and turn into a grumpy unmotivated monster! LOL.

  17. Good Morning Haidee…I’m spot on with you on this one. And as someone going through ‘the change’, I find a direct link to increased hot flashes when I just have one glass of wine, which to me shows a direct effect to hormone levels. So…I get my wine glass out and add some seltzer water and I do get a bit of a placebo effect without the alcohol.
    Thanks for the post.

    Hugs, Lynn

    1. Oh god, so it effects hormones too?! I like the idea of still drinking out of a wine glass! I might get some lemon, lime and bitters or ginger beer and drink them out of my wine glass, though drinking out of glass bottles can be equally as nice but apparently causes wrinkles around the mouth (have I mentioned I hate getting older?! Haha).

  18. Really interesting. I don’t drink at all, and I never have apart from briefly in late teens. I never liked it. I don’t like the taste of most alcohol, and I hate feeling out of control. I like never having a hangover from heavy drinking, and light (glass of wine with meal, etc) drinking I simply don’t do because I like the taste of non-alcoholic drinks much more. From seeing the effects on others, however, including problem drinkers I have known, I agree that it often does have a very negative impact on mood. I have known people get into a real trap from that, as they would then drink because briefly it would make them feel better, so they thought it helped with mood and confidence, not acknowledging that actually it was causing or worsening the mood and depression problems in the first place. #WAYWOW
    Silly Mummy recently posted…Slogans for World War Terrible TwosMy Profile

    1. Absolutely agree with you, I would be tired and stressed and have a drink to relax and it was the drink the night before making me tired and stressed in the first place. Like everything, alcohol should be drunk in moderation. Go for gold if it has no negative impact but I recognise it was so I’ve quit (except special or social occassions!).

  19. I’m not a big drinker usually but do notice how it affects me when I do indulge in the odd one. White wine & ciders are the worst for me so I usually try to stick with spirits when I do feel like a little something. Interesting read, thanks.
    Lozzie @MessyRainbows recently posted…Fan Girl Friday #8My Profile

        1. I’ve never heard of vanilla vodka, that sounds … interesting. I can’t quite wrap my head around the vanilla, vodka and ginger combo! I’ve had too many silly nights on Kahlua (usually ending in vomit! LOL) so any dark spirits are a no go for me!

  20. What an interesting post with loads of comments of people who are supportive and helpful to you. The one thing I have never been taken with is drinking alcohol and probably for no reason other than it makes me feel ‘hot’ and I once had 3 drinks and that night I was unwell. I am a “gotta be in control” sort of person too so that makes me not want to be affected I guess. I have no problem sipping something else while others have a drink, but I also know that not everyone can do that. I am glad you’ve taken steps to address how it makes you feel and can work on how to help your health too Haidee. Not from IBOT today…I came over from The Ultimate Rabbit Hole. Cheers, Denyse

    1. Fair enough too Denyse! If I reacted that way I wouldn’t be drinking it either, physical reactions are less easy to ignore than mood related reactions to something. I know what you mean though, I’ve never been one to get smashed for all the reasons you said above, even as a teenager (though to be fair I had my moments!)

  21. Wow – I am going to take a good hard look at my weekly consumption of white wine now. I cut back to just weekends because I felt like it was making me all cloudy the following day – and not a fun mum. I think I need to switch my weekend drinking to vodka soda – or take advantage of Feb Fast – and none at all!

  22. I love white wine, but I have to watch it, it gives me horrible acid and then in the morning a headache/migraine. I do better with rum or vodka as long as I know my limit, which isn’t very many anymore! Now that I’m gluten-free I can’t just grab a beer! LOL So, yes I have slowed down my drinking as I got older, but mostly because of my body, not because I don’t like it! Bummer, huh?

    1. Yeah, I have a friend who is GF and beer is the things she misses the most! I reckon our bodies are intolerant to so many things as we age. Ah, sucks doesn’t it.

  23. I can’t drink nearly as much as I used to, but I still like a glass or two and although I am trying to cut back, I could never give up my glass of wine completely! Funnily enough, I find red wine makes me feel shabbiest AND it keeps me awake at night. Maybe rose wine might be the perfect compromise!

    1. I’m not a red wine drinker sadly, apparently it is actually good for you in small quantities but it also makes you drunk faster in my experience! Probably why I am not a fan!

  24. I’m glad to read that this is a common thing and actually based in science. I’ve thought for a long time that alcohol (any sort really, but I do tend to go for white wine) leaves me feeling a bit under the weather for a day or two after. I just didn’t know for sure whether it was due to the alcohol or other factors (like the late night, the financial guilt, the foot in mouth I seem to suffer from…!). Will definitely be remembering this next time I’m tempted to overindulge!

    1. Yep, I kinda knew it from talking to people but until I did the research for this post I didn’t realise that white wine and mood swings were actually a ‘thing’. Coming off it is hard though!

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