We've all been there partying too hard with our friends and having a bit too much alcohol. Recently, I experienced my biggest hangover ever. I will never forget that. Seriously, I never felt broken that much before.
I remember I was late for my friend's birthday party, so I had to hurry and get ready. Since I am a girl, it was naturally more important for me to have a great hairdo and makeup than to find some time and eat a proper meal. Yes, I was stupid enough to go out without eating.
Anyhow, I had a blast, drank, laughed, partied hard, and everything was great until the morning after. I woke up with a severe headache, fatigue, and dry mouth. I could not drink enough water!
The reason for all of this was dehydration. So, if you ever asked yourself can alcohol dehydrate you — you bet it can.
Four reasons why alcohol dehydrates you
Alcohol consumption affects your body in different ways, but I will talk about the most common ones here.
1. Alcohol is diuretic!
I hope you all are well aware that alcohol is a strong diuretic. It will cause a process called diuresis. That means the body will remove fluids from the blood through the renal system at a much quicker pace than any other liquid. Meaning it causes frequent urination.
Also, alcohol causes a build-up of a toxic substance called acetaldehyde in the bloodstream, which causes vomiting and leads to severe dehydration. So if you don't drink enough water with alcohol, you can be sure that the next morning will start with a dreaded hangover and serious dehydration.
2. Alcohol causes frequent urination leading to dehydration
Here this out. If you consume only 10 mg (for example, a glass of beer has 14 grams! That converts into half a cup of pee!) of pure alcohol, you will produce approximately 100ml of urine. This is a significant amount, and this explains why consuming alcohol leads to dehydration.
3. Main symptoms of dehydration
After a night of partying like there is no tomorrow, you can expect to experience symptoms such as dry mouth, dizziness, fatigue, and headache. Those are all symptoms caused by dehydration.
4. You drink on an empty stomach
If you drink on an empty stomach, you will make a lot of mess for yourself. If there is no base provided from food rich in vitamins, proteins, and fats, alcohol will be absorbed into the bloodstream in only a few minutes. That means you will get drunk easily.
That also means you will get dehydrated quickly and enhance the chances of waking with a bad hangover. Alcohol, especially when consumed in larger amounts, removes water and important nutrients from your body, and that will prolong hangover and make it even worse.
What happens in your body when you're dehydrated by alcohol?
There are a few things that will occur in your body when you get dehydrated by alcohol.
- Your skin will develop acne since hormone levels will change significantly.
- You can cause alcoholic myopathy, which means your muscles will become stiff or cramped.
- Your liver will be harmfully affected by excessive build-up of fat and proteins. This can lead to developing some liver disease.
- You will also risk damaging your kidneys since high blood pressure, and toxins from alcohol will be processed to your urine.
Your brain will be less alerted , your decision-making and environment-responding ability will decrease significantly.
Tips for dealing with dehydration
If you went overboard last night and consumed too much alcohol, I am sure you are now affected by dreading hangover. Luckily I've been there before, so I will share some helpful tips that can help you out:
- Make sure you eat some food that is high in proteins and vitamins since that will keep your blood sugar up. This will make headaches a bit easier.
- Don't drink any alcohol the morning after!
- Sleep is crucial. Allow your body to rest properly so it can fight fatigue.
- Prepare yourself a cup of coffee or tea to wake up your numb body
- Drink plenty of water, especially electrolyte-fortified water, since it will help you rehydrate faster. Sip it slowly.
Staying hydrated is always a priority , especially when you are about to have a wild night out full of alcohol. This especially considers summer night parties when drinking gets paired with high temperatures — honestly, here is a no better formula for dehydration and disaster than this.