Did you know that alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration? With the Christmas party period only a few short weeks away, we’ll look into why alcohol causes dehydration and how you can be prepared.
Why does alcohol cause dehydration?
Alcohol is a diuretic which causes your kidneys to generate extra urine1. This is why you experience dehydration after alcohol consumption.
If you drink 300 millilitres of alcohol, then you are likely to urinate a total of 420mL of urine. If you drink 200mL, then you are likely to urinate 320mL. Wondering where this extra 120mL come from? We’ll need to delve deeper into the mechanics of the human body so that you can get a clearer understanding of what’s going on.
Your weight is linked to the amount of urine you generate each hour. For example, if you weigh 60kg then you would be generating 60mL of urine each hour2. Humans also tend to drink alcohol in 10 gram lumps which equates to around 10mL2. This alcohol then affects the way our body works in terms of water regulation.
When you are dehydrated, the volume of water in your body is low yet there are still many salts in this water. Your body recognises this saltiness and anti-diuretic hormones (ADH) starts pumping out2. The purpose of the ADH is to stop you from urinating as they want you to keep the water in your body2. However, alcohol has the opposite effect and reduces ADH so that you urinate more. This then creates the extra 120mL we mentioned before in addition to the normal urination levels your body generates without alcohol.
Drinking water won’t help you avoid dehydration unfortunately as most of the water you drink will come out through urine2. The best solution would be for you to acquire an oral rehydration solution like BIOLyte.
One of the benefits of BIOLyte is that it’s available in sachet form. You can take BIOLyte with you and keep it in your pocket, bag or clutch. You can then drink BIOLyte during and after your drinking session.
By drinking BIOLyte, you may experience faster rehydration and restore the balance of water/electrolytes in your body. This will then help reduce the likelihood of becoming dehydrated.
Christmas is just over a month away but the parties are almost here. Make the most out of this Christmas party period by hydrating with BIOLyte.
- The State of Queensland (QLD Health) 2018, Dehydration – the condition all Queenslanders need to be aware of, Brisbane, < https://www.health.qld.gov.au/news-alerts/news/dehydration-the-condition-all-queenslanders-need-to-be-aware-of>
- Kruszelnicki, K. 2012, Why does drinking alcohol cause dehydration?, ABC, < http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2012/02/28/3441707.htm>