Kelly Ripa's Decision to Quit Drinking Was Unintentional: ‘I Felt Better So I Just Stopped’

Kelly Ripa hasn’t had a drink in almost three years at this point, but her new-found sobriety wasn’t intentional — even if her co-host Ryan Seacrest likes to blame himself for the decision.

It all started, the Live with Kelly and Ryan host says, with a commitment with her friends to stop drinking for just one month, and it happened to coincide with when Seacrest joined the show.

“Ryan likes to blame himself for me stopping drinking, he’s like, ‘I got here and you stopped drinking.’ It really was not that. I did a sober month — all my girlfriends did it, we all did it together — and I just never went back to it,” Ripa, 49, tells PEOPLE. “It wasn’t even really a thought process. It felt great, I felt like I looked great, I felt like I didn’t feel hungover. Not that I was a heavy drinker — I wasn’t someone who got drunk — but even like two glasses of wine at a girl’s night out dinner; I would feel it the next morning.”

“I just didn’t really feel the need or desire to go back to it,” she continues. “It wasn’t really a choice or a thought, it was just, ‘Yeah, I guess I don’t drink anymore.’ ”

The mom of three says it was a much easier process than when she quit smoking about 25 years ago.

“Quitting smoking I really had to think about,” she says. “I was like: ‘Smoking leads to cancer and it will kill you.’ It was a thing I had to tell myself. And I was like, ‘It gives you wrinkles.’ And that was the thing that was really terrifying [laughs]. But you don’t want to die early, needlessly, over cigarettes. Over something you don’t even like that much anyway. But drinking was very easy I didn’t really think about it at all.”

And, Ripa says, far fewer people questioned her decision when she gave up cigarettes.

“Nobody ever asked me why. But I quit drinking and everyone’s like, ‘Why did you quit drinking?’ ” she says with a laugh. “I’m not comparing cigarettes to alcohol, but for me it was just like, I don’t do that anymore. I felt better so I just stopped.”

Along with her newly sober lifestyle, Ripa recently added a vitamin regimen to boost her health. She’s now a spokesperson for Persona Nutrition, a personalized supplement program.

“So much of my life has been devoted to having the perfect diet, having excellent nutrition, having a fitness routine I can get behind and practice every day, and I do, I exercise seven days a week. I rarely have a cheat day, diet-wise. I’m pretty stringent about taking care of myself a certain way. But [vitamins were] the one thing that seemed so overwhelming to me, and so mind-numbing,” she admits.

This program, Ripa says, does the thinking for her.

“They basically fill in all the gaps for you,” she says. “If you’re eating a plant-based diet, you may need supplements to fill in the gaps. If you’re not sleeping well, you may need a melatonin or a CBD supplement to fill in those gaps. I feel the difference.”

 


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