Does Alcohol Dehydrate You? Facts, Research, and Tips

Even when you are not feeling hangover symptoms, B vitamins can help you increase energy levels and fight fatigue. In addition to B vitamins, natural sugars offer an energy boost without spiking blood sugar levels. You can stay hydrated and prevent dehydration by finding enjoyable ways to consume adequate fluids and increasing your intake of foods with a high water content.

Thankfully, there are oral rehydration solutions that are packed full of electrolytes to help you rehydrate fast. BIOLYTE is a recovery drink that offers 6.5x more electrolytes than leading sports drinks with only ⅓ of the sugar. Keeping track of alcohol intake and avoiding excessive drinking can help prevent dehydration and reduce the negative health effects of alcohol consumption.This is an important long-term strategy. Drinking alcohol at a slower pace can reduce its dehydrating effects. Alternating alcoholic drinks with water or other non-alcoholic beverages can also help maintain hydration levels.

Other lifestyle factors:

It’s the reason why you can usually sleep through the night without having to urinate. And when ADH release is suppressed, your body’s natural mechanism for holding onto fluid ceases to function. This is important because increased urination flushes electrolytes and nutrients out of your system, as well as fluid. “It’s important to replenish fluids after drinking, or better yet, while drinking,” Sternlicht says. Consuming foods with high water content, such as fruits and vegetables, can help counteract the dehydrating effects of alcohol.

does alcohol dehydrate you

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand. Living in climates with high temperatures or engaging in prolonged physical activity raises body temperature and causes sweating. When you sweat, you need to replace the fluids that are being lost. Symptoms of dehydration in infants and toddlers may include no wet diapers, lack of tears when crying, and listlessness.

Sugary drinks

Alcohol does not create the effects of dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and vitamin deficiency that we grew up believing it did. Here we see a single drink administered, followed by a single spike in blood alcohol (the solid line), and a single spike in urine flow (the black bars). This outcome makes sense and aligns with our common beliefs about alcohol’s effect on the body. A small amount of caffeine may not be an issue for most people, though increasing caffeinated beverages may contribute to overall caffeine intake. The body may tolerate a moderate intake of beer without experiencing dehydration.

  • But, as Lindsey Pfau, M.S., R.D., points out, just one beer, for example, also has a lot of non-alcoholic fluids, which will help lessen the dehydrating effects of one beer.
  • If a person does not get enough hydration alongside their alcohol intake, the alcohol may cause dehydration.
  • When you don’t adequately replace this excess loss of fluids, you become dehydrated.
  • Fever can increase the risk of dehydration by increasing fluid loss.
  • You’ll also want to include a quick dose of electrolytes, which work on a cellular level to carry much-needed fluids in and out of the cell.

Alcohol can even get into the lungs and be released when you exhale. This is why breathalyzers are often used to check if someone’s driving while intoxicated. This test measures blood alcohol concentration (BAC), MASH Certified Sober Homes or the amount of alcohol in your blood. Carry mineral tablets or liquid mineral drops with you for emergencies. These can be added to water or juice for quick and lasting hydration (your cells will thank you!).

How Much Water Do You Need?

A moderate amount equates to one glass of alcohol or less per day for females and two glasses of alcohol or less per day for males. When you have food in your stomach, alcohol is absorbed more slowly into your system. It’s best to drink while eating or just after, and to snack as you continue to drink. Alcohol’s diuretic effects mean it’s difficult to avoid experiencing some level of dehydration from drinking.

does alcohol dehydrate you

Heavy drinking can weaken your immune system, which impairs your body’s ability to fight infections. You may experience more frequent colds, flu, and pneumonia compared to people who don’t drink heavily. Over time, heavy drinkers increase their risk of alcohol-induced hepatitis and cirrhosis. Cirrhosis of the liver is a severe condition that can lead to liver failure. Alcohol affects several parts of the body, including the brain, leading to impaired coordination, judgment, and memory loss. This is why some people experience blackouts when they drink heavily.

This reduces the incidences of headaches and prevents hangovers. According to research, 10 grams of alcohol makes you produce 100 mL (3.38 fl. oz.) of urine. It impairs your kidneys’ ability to filter blood and makes them work harder. Alcohol also causes hormonal imbalances that negatively affect kidney function.

There’s been a lot of good characterization of general bodily responses, but we have yet to truly understand the whole picture – especially as it relates to the day after drinking. Perhaps you dehydrated yourself while exercising or spending all day in the hot sun. You can also pair the listed drinks with plenty of water throughout the day to help you stay hydrated.

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