«Therefore drinking a sugary alcoholic beverage can make it worse and cause dehydration.» Between your Thursday night wine and your Saturday night cocktail, you have a fairly good sense of what kind of hangover you’re in for on Friday and Sunday mornings. But beyond the type of alcohol you’re imbibing, you might not realize how much dehydration enters into the hangover equation. When you lose too much water without properly replacing it, you become dehydrated. Dehydration can cause mild symptoms like headache, dry mouth, dizziness, and fatigue, or severe issues like damage to the brain, heart, kidneys, and even death (1).

does alcohol dehydrate you

[6] In other words, subjects peed less relative to their fluid intake two hours after consuming these drinks compared to water. And while the non-alcoholic fluids in beer, wine, and liquor are inherently hydrating, they’re not necessarily hydrating enough to offset the effects of alcohol-induced dehydration. «The higher the alcohol content a drink has (or is absorbed in your body), the greater the diuretic and dehydration effect.» Alcohol is a diuretic because it suppresses the release of vasopressin, also known as antidiuretic hormone. When vasopressin is suppressed, you lose fluids by peeing more, which leads to dehydration.

Here’s How to Really Avoid Alcohol Dehydration Symptoms

Overall, the dehydrating effects of alcohol can vary widely depending on a range of factors. It is essential to be aware of these factors and take steps to mitigate the risks. That’s what alcohol does to your body and health in just a night. Alcohol may seem a fun drink to grab on, but it has serious drawbacks if not consumed in moderation. One of the most talked-about of all is dehydration and its after-effects. Dehydration occurs when you cannot consume enough fluids to keep up with your losses.

  • However, continuing to drink alcohol after that initial drink does not cause any more urine output than continuing to drink water.
  • The fastest way to cure mild dehydration is by drinking water, electrolyte drinks, or oral rehydration solutions as soon as you notice signs of dehydration.
  • Imagine your kidneys as two hardworking janitors responsible for keeping the school clean and maintaining a healthy environment.
  • Alcohol can also affect the cellular water balance in our bodies.

Milk is also a good choice to help you rehydrate, assuming your hangover hasn’t put you off dairy. Binge drinking is when a person consumes an excessive amount of alcohol within a short period of time. This equates to drinking five or more drinks within 2 hours for males and four or more drinks within 2 hours for females. According to the CDC, drinking alcohol in moderation is safe for most people.


Sports drinks or other rehydration solutions can help restore electrolyte losses from sweating. These include increased facial lines, oral commissures (lines around the mouth), and increased visibility of blood vessels. If you alternate alcohol and water as you drink, you slow your intake of alcohol. This may give your liver more time to metabolize it, but that can also be accomplished by simply drinking more slowly. “You can’t entirely prevent it, but if you go into drinking well-hydrated, you are less likely to feel the negative effects of dehydration,” she says. A vodka with soda is likely more hydrating than just a shot of vodka because you’re consuming more fluids from the soda.

However, if a person has a beer, wine, or other alcoholic beverage, certain things can be done to avoid dehydration. One of the immediate effects of consuming alcohol is the increased likelihood of vomiting. Alcohol irritates the lining of the stomach, triggering the body’s natural defense mechanism to expel the substance.

Effects of Dehydration

Generally, the higher the alcohol content of a beverage, the more dehydrating it can be. Drinks that may result in dehydration can include alcoholic, caffeinated, and sugary beverages. You can avoid dehydration by staying hydrated throughout the day. While hangover symptoms may remain, be sure to drink water to help speed your recovery. If you or someone else is experiencing these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. Intravenous (IV) fluids may be required to stabilize you if you’re experiencing severe dehydration.

Beer and cider have lower alcohol contents than other alcoholic drinks and are less dehydrating. The alcohol content of beer can vary widely but typically ranges from 2–8% alcohol by volume (ABV). The higher the alcohol content, the more dehydrating the drink will be. A heavy alcoholic drink like whiskey, brandy, or rum can dehydrate you more than lighter drinks. Stick to beer and wine to mitigate any dehydration you may experience. Drinks that contained electrolytes—milk and oral rehydration solutions, for example—were more hydrating after two hours compared to water.

What Type of Alcohol Dehydrates You The Most?

However, you may be able to minimize its severity by following a few simple tips. Five common symptoms of dehydration include tiredness, dry skin and lips, thirst, dark pee, and not peeing as often. Staying hydrated is as important to your health as eating, exercising, and sleeping well. It’s especially important at times when you’re more likely to lose fluids or when you need more fluid than usual, such as during an illness, pregnancy, or exercise. Another way alcohol impacts kidney function is by impairing the kidneys’ ability to concentrate urine. Normally, the kidneys are able to concentrate urine by reabsorbing water and concentrating waste products.

Long-term alcohol use can change your brain’s wiring in much more significant ways. Ways that your standard hangover cures won’t even begin to touch. Your body breaks alcohol down into a chemical called acetaldehyde, which damages your DNA. Damaged DNA https://ecosoberhouse.com/ can cause a cell to grow out of control, which results in cancerous tumors. Pancreatitis can be a short-term (acute) condition that clears up in a few days. But prolonged alcohol abuse can lead to chronic (long-term) pancreatitis, which can be severe.

Disruption of Vasopressin Release

Together, ethanol and acetaldehyde cause a tangle of issues your body has to deal with when you drink. As I said before, the issues I listed are not comprehensive, but they paint a pretty good picture. “If you have heart failure or issues with fluid retention, talk to your doctor about optimal fluid regimens to remain hydrated in hot or warm weather,” advises Dr. Fertel. It’s important to talk to your doctor if dehydration is listed as a side effect.

does alcohol dehydrate you

Serious dehydration can cause changes in your mental function, kidney failure, low blood pressure, and more. You can tell you are dehydrated if you are feeling thirsty, tired, peeing less, or showing signs such as muscle cramps, dizziness, headache, or unsteadiness. It is important to note that the diuretic effect of alcohol can be particularly pronounced when consumed in large quantities or in a short period.

Its diuretic effects lead to wrinkled, gray, lackluster skin that can look swollen and puffy. Alcohol consumption can also impair the body’s ability to regulate its temperature. This is because alcohol can affect the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls body temperature. This effect is also known as “breaking the seal,” which is why you pee a slot88 lot more after a few drinks. This dehydration from alcohol also affects the brain by causing mental confusion and reduction in thinking capabilities. These include times of illness (like when you have a fever), during and after exercise, in hot climates, and or when you are experiencing digestive issues like diarrhea and constipation.

does alcohol dehydrate you