Dehydration From Alcohol: 5 Tips to Prevent and Treat It

Have at least one 16-ounce glass of water with every 12-ounce beer or 4 to 6 ounces of liquor, for example. Water can replenish your fluids and help you stay hydrated. Alcoholic beverages contain ingredients called congeners, which give many types of alcoholic beverages their flavor and can contribute to hangovers. Congeners are found in larger amounts in dark liquors, such as brandy and bourbon, than in clear liquors, such as vodka and gin. Drinking in the heat can increase your risk of a DUI and other problems related to intoxication, including an alcohol-related illness or even death – even if you didn’t drink as much as usual. In Arizona, the legal blood alcohol content level for most drivers is 0.08 percent.

  • When muscles are dehydrated, they are more susceptible to damage and injury, which can lead to delayed recovery and increased muscle soreness.
  • However, if you plan to partake in beer, wine or other alcoholic beverages, there are a few things that can be done to lessen dehydration’s toll on your body.
  • What is the first piece of advice you heard when you started drinking alcohol?
  • Consuming foods with high water content, such as fruits and vegetables, can help counteract the dehydrating effects of alcohol.
  • Again, alcohol acts as a diuretic and tends to dehydrate, so hydrating with plenty of water should balance out your equilibrium a little better, making your hangover pack less of a punch.

Despite various over-the-counter pills and tablets that claim to prevent hangovers, the only guaranteed way to prevent a hangover is to avoid alcohol. A person who is unconscious does alcohol dehydrate you or can’t be awakened is at risk of dying. If you suspect that someone has alcohol poisoning — even if you don’t see the classic signs and symptoms — seek immediate medical care.

The Importance of Drinking Water While Consuming Alcohol

Alcohol inhibits antidiuretic hormone vasopressin, which leads to the small spike in urination discussed above. However, more interestingly, this impact on vasopressin causes a pendulum swing that creates wider hormonal imbalances. Excessive urination from drinking alcohol causes your body to lose electrolytes, which are important minerals involved in many bodily functions, including nervous system function .

  • Sign Up for Wine Spectator’s Free Email Newsletters and stay up-to-date with all things wine.
  • Alcohol is a diuretic because it suppresses the release of vasopressin, also known as antidiuretic hormone.
  • One glass of liquor drunk slowly over the course of an evening will be less dehydrating than having several beers or glasses of wine during the same time frame.
  • It is easy to enjoy a nice glass of wine or a cold beer, but sometimes we can enjoy these adult beverages a little too much.
  • Interestingly, studies have shown that people over 50 overcome the suppression of ADH from alcohol more quickly than their younger counterparts.

If you didn’t eat and drink on an empty stomach, alcohol could be absorbed quickly into the bloodstream within minutes. But if you drink water or eat while you’re drinking alcohol, it may take much longer. The rule of thumb is limiting consumption to one alcoholic beverage an hour, with one glass of water also consumed for every finished alcoholic drink. However, even this may not help you avoid a harsh bout of dehydration. Thanks to alcohol’s ability to trip up your pituitary gland, you could lose more water through excessive urination than you would normally.


If you’re asking this question, you probably know that alcohol causes dehydration and you’re trying to find the best way to do this. Before your head hits the pillow, rehydrate your body by consuming water. Drink at least one to two glasses of water before going to bed after a day of drinking to prevent a hangover the following morning. Sugary and caffeinated drinks can have diuretic effects similar to alcohol, leading to further dehydration. So don’t mix your alcohol with these or drink them between alcoholic beverages.

why does alcohol dehydrate you

So, taking an NSAID like ibuprofen may help prevent a hangover headache. Alcohol can make you sleepy, but it prevents deeper stages of sleep and often causes awakening in the middle of the night. Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health. Mayo Clinic-approved amount for men is 15.5 cups of water per day, and for women is 11.5 cups of water per day. Effects of hydration status on cognitive performance and mood.

Make sure you’re hydrated before you start drinking

Alcohol gets into your lungs and is released when you exhale. Breathalyzers can be used to check if someone’s driving while intoxicated. One glass of liquor drunk slowly over the course of an evening will be less dehydrating than having several beers or glasses of wine during the same time frame. That said, the higher a drink’s alcohol content, the more of a diuretic it’s believed to be. When you don’t adequately replace this excess loss of fluids, you become dehydrated.

Which alcohol is most dehydrating?

In general, drinks with a higher alcohol content – think spirits such as vodka, gin, whiskey, and rum – are higher on the spectrum of alcohol content, making them more dehydrating per ounce than alcohols such as beer and wine.

This article looks at the causes, treatments, and tips. Dehydration can affect multiple bodily functions and cause a wide range of symptoms. Though the benefits can vary widely from person to person, taking a month-long break from alcohol can do your body good. The Mayo Clinic suggests one drink a day for women of all ages, and two for men under 65. NSAIDs like ibuprofen limit the production of enzymes that contribute to migraine and headaches.

Leave a Comment