Does alcohol dehydrate you? Of course, yes, alcohol can dehydrate you. Alcohol being a diuretic means that it is capable of making your body eliminate fluids through the bladder, ureters, and kidneys, which all make up the renal system.
If you do not drink water well enough after taking alcohol, you can be subjected to alcohol dehydration. Before we go into the things you can do to recover or prevent yourself from getting dehydration from alcohol, let’s get a little background on why alcohol can get you dehydrated.
Why do I get dehydrated by alcohol?
The easiest way in which alcohol can dehydrate you is when you drink on an empty stomach. After taking a drink, the liquid and the alcohol content of the drink go through the lining of your stomach and your small intestine and then into the bloodstream.
- So, if you take a drink while your stomach is empty, the alcohol content will be absorbed into the bloodstream within a few minutes.
- Another reason why alcohol dehydrates you is that it has begun to build up in your bloodstream. Once alcohol gets into your bloodstream, it can flow to any part of your body; including your brain and lungs. Its effect on the lungs is that it reduces the efficiency of the kidney in maintaining the balance of electrolytes and fluids in the body and the filtration of the blood.
- Noteworthy also is the fact that suppression of your appetite can lead to alcohol dehydration. When you take alcohol in large quantities, it can make you less likely to eat food. The effect of this is that the alcohol absorption in your body system is sped up and dehydration tends to set in.
How can I know if I am dehydrated?
When the body is affected by dehydration, it can be signified by several symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. So, here are some of the most common alcohol dehydration symptoms.
Mild symptoms may include Being thirsty, dark coloration of the urine, and mild headache.
Moderate symptoms may include Slight dizziness, fainting, and delirium. Other severe symptoms of alcohol dehydration include Imbalance in body electrolytes, coma, shock, and death.
What happens if my body is dehydrated?
Water is required in the right proportion in the body. It serves the functions of protecting organs, detoxification, and transporting nutrients to the body cells. So, when the body does not have the proper supply of water, it affects the functionality of the body. Now let us delve into some of the things that happen when your body is dehydrated.
Effect on Cardiovascular Function
Your heart is the center of the cardiovascular system so it is responsible for the transportation of blood to all the organs of your body. Water being one of the primary components of the blood means that it makes sure the blood is thin and fluid enough to freely within your body.
- When you are dehydrated, your blood starts to get thicker than it should and this reduces the flow of blood in your body, making your heart work harder than it should. This can increase heart rate and abnormal palpitations.
- Effect on Physical performance: Alcohol dehydration can also affect your physical functioning. When there is a decrease in the water level in your body, your body temperature is altered, and you begin to get fatigued.
- Effect on Digestive function: One of the conditions that spring up due to dehydration is constipation. When food goes through your large intestine, the large intestine can take up all the water, if it is not enough. This can cause your stool to become harder than usual, and in turn, it becomes difficult for you to pass them out.
- Effect on the body weight: It cannot be overemphasized that the body needs the right amount of water, if the water level is low, the metabolic process of the body is slowed down so energy can be preserved. This can lead to improper digestion, fatigue, and an increase in body weight.
What to do when you are dehydrated
Our lifestyle these days cannot keep us away from drinking alcohol, at least at house parties or at a hangout with friends. But it is safe to know the best way to rehydrate after drinking alcohol.
So, it is important to know the best ways to rehydrate after drinking. In the following paragraphs, we shall be taking a look into how to recover from alcohol dehydration.
- Drink enough water as much as you can. It is recommended for an adult to take about two liters of water daily but you need to increase how much water you drink after alcohol even while you do not feel thirsty.
- Sometimes, you are not thirsty and you don’t see the reason to drink water, you can as well substitute drinking water directly by eating fruits and vegetables that have high water contents.
- You might as well want to reduce your intake of coffee, teas, soft drinks, and generally drinks that contain a higher sugar content. It will be more beneficial to take natural fruit juice and milk.
- Always prevent skipping meals, and eat properly.
Taking alcohol can be fun, but feeling and staying dehydrated or getting a hangover is not good for your body. So always keep in mind the tendency for you to be dehydrated after taking alcohol and do well to check your body’s water and stay hydrated.
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