How Alcohol Affects Your Body
That cotton-mouthed, bleary-eyed morning-after is no accident. Alcohol makes you dehydrated and makes blood vessels in your body and brain expand. Your stomach wants to get rid of the toxins and acid that alcohol churns up, which gives you nausea and vomiting. And because your liver was so busy processing your drinks, it didn’t release enough sugar into your blood, bringing on weakness and the shakes. Not only does alcohol cause these negative side effects, many other scenarios can cause your body to be dehydrated. Not only is effective hydration necessary after consuming alcohol, electrolytes can help you recover after a tough workout, an illness, or overindulgence on food.
Why am I so hungover after 3 drinks?
But your liver can only metabolize about one drink per hour – so if you're drinking more quickly than that, not all of the acetaldehyde gets broken down. In that case, the acetaldehyde is released into the blood stream to wreak havoc around your body, resulting in the awful feelings associated with a hangover.
Alcohol is a diuretic which means it makes you produce more urine. It does so by blocking the release of a hormone in your brain called vasopressin. Before we do so, we’re going to take a closer look at why alcohol causes dehydration and more importantly, when to rehydrate after drinking. But if you’re drinking what’s considered an “alcoholic drink equivalent,” there’s not much of a difference because your alcohol intake is the same. Don’t make the mistake of thinking alcoholic beverages equal hydration because they’re a fluid, says Zumpano. You might not link a cold to a night of drinking, but there might be a connection.
Benefits of Drinking Water While Drinking Alcohol
Grab a buddy to hydrate between drinks with you or do your best to stay accountable while you’re out. Chase them with water to give yourself an extra dose of hydration! Finally, keep a tall glass or bottle of water on your nightstand to make sure you get some water before you go to bed. Ending the night dehydrated from alcohol and proceeding to sleep for hours without water is a recipe for disaster.
Like alcohol, certain over-the-counter pain relievers, including aspirin and ibuprofen, can increase acid release and irritate the lining of the stomach. Proceed with caution when using these medications before or after consuming alcohol. A hangover refers to a set of symptoms that occur as a consequence of drinking too much. Typical symptoms include fatigue, weakness, thirst, headache, muscle aches, nausea, stomach pain, vertigo, sensitivity to light and sound, anxiety, irritability, sweating, and increased blood pressure. With interrupted production of vasopressin due to the consumption of alcohol, you start to lose more water through urination, which can cause those symptoms of dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic because it suppresses the release of vasopressin, also known as antidiuretic hormone.
What to do if you’re dehydrated
The key to making sure a night out doesn’t turn into a head-pounding hangover is to drink plenty of water throughout, Mieses Malchuk says. That will increase your ability to reabsorb water, and leave you more likely to wake up feeling sparkling and ready to face the day — or at least less inclined to put a pillow over your head. Drinking a lot of low-alcohol drinks can also add up to a very thirsty evening, though.
But many and more recent studies have invalidated this conclusion. You’ve heard the suggestion before, “drink water in between each drink.” But who does this? Why would you want to get filled up on water when the point is to go https://stylevanity.com/2023/07/top-5-questions-to-ask-yourself-when-choosing-sober-house.html out and drink? Nevertheless, it is a suggestion that is worth taking because If you don’t drink enough water with alcohol, you can become dehydrated quickly. A diuretic is a substance that causes the body to produce more urine.
Almonds, Walnuts, or Pistachios: Which Is the Healthiest Nut?
Having the right balance of fluid in your system is essential for your body to carry out basic functions. A special fluid in the ear’s vestibular system called endolymph also reacts adversely to alcohol, thinning when it’s introduced to the substance. This can stop the body from recognizing its orientation in physical space, since endolymph can’t properly navigate the vestibular system’s semicircular framework. Electrolytes are found in common foods, including salt, bananas, and watermelon, and can also be consumed from electrolyte-specific drinks or mixes. Excessive drinking can also lead to a buildup of a toxic substance called acetaldehyde. When your body can’t get rid of acetaldehyde quickly enough, you may experience your body getting rid of this substance the next morning (usually by vomiting) .
How much does one shot of alcohol dehydrate you?
The process is called diuresis, which on its own causes dehydration . In fact, 10 grams of alcohol makes you produce 100 mL (3.38 fl. oz.) of urine .
Not all alcoholic drinks will affect your hydration status to the same extent. Certain beverages contain more water, while others have a greater amount of alcohol by volume. Sometimes we can enjoy these adult beverages a little too much. Over consumption of alcohol can create dehydration, causing havoc on your body the next morning. Sugary drinks don’t have the same problems, unless you have difficulty regulating your blood sugar. “For some folks with medical conditions such as diabetes, they urinate a lot already based on blood sugar level,” Mieses Malchuk says.
So, what can you do to avoid dehydration troubles when you’re sipping your favorite boozy beverage by the pool? One thing to keep an eye on, though, is the alcoholic content of your beer. Major beer brands generally run between 4% and 5% alcohol per 12-ounce can or bottle. However, certain styles of craft beer are as much as 9% alcohol per the same volume. “If you’re consuming liquor at a volume equivalent to the volume of beer, like 12 ounces of margaritas compared to 12 ounces of an average beer, you will get drunk a lot quicker,” she says.
- For example, if you identify as a “lightweight”, it means your body has a harder time processing alcohol and is more prone to dehydration when drinking.
- When muscles and organs are deprived of water, they can shrink—including the brain.
- Different types of alcohol have varying effects on the body’s hydration levels.
Alcohol-induced dehydration is more likely to occur if an individual drinks alcohol on an empty stomach or does not drink enough non-alcoholic fluids while consuming alcohol. People who are already at risk of dehydration should avoid or limit their alcohol consumption. Everyone’s body works a little differently, meaning alcohol dehydrates some people quicker than others. This depends on several factors, including age, weight, and your genes. For example, if you identify as a “lightweight”, it means your body has a harder time processing alcohol and is more prone to dehydration when drinking.
To stay hydrated, a person needs to take steps before, during, and after alcohol consumption. Your body’s metabolism can turn some components of alcohol into nutrients and energy. This happens at a rate of about one beer, a small glass of wine, or one shot of liquor per hour. After you take a drink, both the liquid and alcohol contents of the beverage pass through your stomach lining and small intestine into the bloodstream. So what can you do to make sure you don’t get that infamous hangover headache caused by dehydration?