Does Beer Dehydrate You? How Drinking Beer Affects Your Health
Does beer dehydrate you is a major health question beer lovers are conscious about. Alcohol and beer is a diuretic that causes human bodies to remove fluid from the whole renal system. Beer and other alcohols remove fluid and water from the body at a much faster rate than any other non-alcoholic beer.
Learn more about how dehydration with beer works and how you can take care of your body to lessen the effects.
Does Beer Lead To Dehydration?
It can; alcohol has direct chemical reactions with the body and acts as a diuretic inside your system, making the body lose water content, which then leads to dehydration. That is why it is always recommended to drink water along with your alcohol.
It is an incorrect assumption that any fluid consumption will only hydrate your body, and there is hardly any chance of dehydration when you sip a beer. This serious myth and unscientific belief among beer lovers have led to many health confusions. Alcoholic beverages are a little more complicated than other fluids. Drinks with alcohol content, like beer, react with your renal system and make your body lose fluid from the kidneys, uterus, and bladder at the same time.
The diuretic increases the urine output rate of the body; hence, people need to urinate very often when they drink beer. People who drink raw alcohol for the taste of it stand a higher chance of getting dehydrated much faster. And it’s not just dehydration — consuming too much beer can lead to a lot of effects on the brain, skin, and other organs as well.
What Are the Reasons for Beer Dehydration?
Drinking on an empty stomach, alcohol building up in your body, and alcohol acting as a diuretic are just some of the most common reasons behind beer dehydration. Make sure you eat a full meal before drinking and consume a lot of water with your alcohol.
It has also been found that the dehydrating capacity of each alcoholic drink is different. Drinking beer can dehydrate you a little less than drinking other alcohol. This is because the lesser alcohol beer has, the lesser the chances of dehydration, as lesser alcohol means lesser diuretic effects.
The alcohol by volume (ABV) determines the dehydration capacity of beer or any alcohol, for that matter. But some craft beers and stouts reach above 10 percent ABV and can have serious dehydrating effects on the human body. When you look at the other beer counterparts like whisky, vodka, gin, wines, and more, they have a higher chance of dehydrating than beer. Light beers are actually not as risky for a dehydrating body as other alcohols because their dehydration effects are very slow and minimal.
But the alcohol content of beer is not the only contributing factor to making beer a dehydrating drink. There are also many other reasons behind you getting dehydrated much faster when you consume beer. Has the beer dehydration led to a lot of bad hangovers for you? Are you worried about these hangovers? There can be many reasons behind this. Check them out below.
– Drinking on an Empty Stomach
One of the biggest reasons drinking alcohol dehydrates you is drinking on an empty stomach. Alcohol passes through both your bloodstream and your digestive system. If you are drinking beer on an empty stomach, it can easily get absorbed into your bloodstream. This not only starts dehydrating your body faster but also gets you drunk more quickly.
These effects can be dialed down if you eat a wholesome meal before drinking or consume a lot of water with your beer. This is why most people prefer having snacks while consuming alcohol. It helps boil down the rapid effects of alcohol.
– Alcohol Can Get Metabolized by the Body
The normal metabolism of your body can turn some of the components of the beer or alcohol into nutrients and energy components that can lead to dehydration. If you have a generally faster metabolism rate, these effects can be greater.
This factor depends on how many glasses of beer or alcohol you have in one hour. So if you are a slow drinker, this factor may not affect you as much.
– Alcohol Can Begin to Build Up in Your Bloodstream
After beer enters your body, it can travel throughout the body and can actually affect any number of organs. If you think that beer only enters your stomach, you are mistaken. It can affect your brain, cloud your judgment, and even enter your lungs and be released every time you breathe.
That is the primary reason why breath analyzers are used as a medium to detect drunken driving cases. This helps determine blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and detects how drunk a person is on a standard scale. The higher the alcohol in your bloodstream, the higher the chances of you getting dehydrated.
– Alcohol Can Flush Out Water from Your Body
When you drink alcohol, especially in hot weather, you can dehydrate quickly. When your blood has more alcohol, your body starts to flush out all the water. Above that, if you drink in hot weather conditions, your body is naturally dehydrated.
These things added can lead to numerous health issues and extreme dehydration conditions. Most beer lovers have a tendency to sip beer during hot weather conditions. But if you want to stay hydrated and avoid hangovers, drinking in a cool place is a better idea.
– Alcohol Can Begin Acting as a Diuretic
When you consume beer, the enzymes in the liver get converted into a large amount of acetaldehyde. When this substance becomes too high in your body, it can become toxic. This can lead to a lot of dehydration. Alcohol also causes the body to produce a lot of vasopressin, and this compound directly impacts the diuretic effect and dehydrates the human body.
What Are Some Tips To Cope With Beer Dehydration?
Eating light and healthy food, drinking electrolyte-infused water, and sleeping well can all help with beer dehydration. There are times when dehydration becomes inevitable after a sudden night of beer indulgence. Here is how you can minimize the effects of dehydration:
– Do Not Consume More Alcohol
The first thing you need to remember is that once you are already dehydrated, do not drink more alcohol.
This can become fatal for your system and can lead to extreme cases of dehydration and hospitalization.
– Eat Light and Healthy Food
After you are already dehydrated, consuming oily and fatty fast food is not a good idea. These foods dehydrate the body even more, so once you feel that a lot of beer has dehydrated your system, you must have a healthy and light meal.
Get protein-rich yet light food like boiled eggs or chicken to reduce the effects of dehydration. There is a high chance that dehydration reduces your appetite, so you might not feel hungry. But it is important to keep yourself well-fed after a dehydration episode.
– Drink Electrolyte-Infused Water or Other Drinks
Drinking electrolyte water and sports drinks can easily help you get hydrated much faster.
These drinks increase the actual nutrient content of the body and will normalize your fluid content.
– Sleep Well
You need to allow your body to rest to recover from dehydration. A sound 8 hours of sleep will do a lot of good for your dehydrated body.
How Do You Prevent Dehydration from Beer?
Drinking lots of water, consuming beer slowly, and knowing your limits can help you avoid becoming dehydrated while drinking. You can ensure certain precautions before you start sipping beer.
– Drink Lots of Water With Beer
When you are drinking beer, drink a lot of water along with it. The water you drink helps compensate for the water you lose through your renal system and urine output.
– Drink Slowly
The best remedy to stop and reduce dehydration is drinking slowly and taking a lot of time to finish your drink.
– Know Your Limits
Everyone has a threshold for drinking alcohol, so you need to understand your limits and drink accordingly to avoid any extreme phases of dehydration. Always remember to drink moderately.
How Does Beer Dehydrate Your Skin and Other Body Parts?
Alcohol affects the kidneys, skin, muscles, liver, and other parts of your body by impacting them in different ways. Most parts of your body can be dehydrated by the effects of beer; check them out below.
When your body loses a lot of fluids due to heavy beer intake, your whole renal system has to work overtime. This can lead to a lot of kidney damage, leading to kidney disorders. This can eventually lead to your body retaining a lot of extra fluid when your kidneys fail to function and stops generating the normal amount of urine.
When you drink too much beer or alcohol, you end up dehydrating your skin, and that can lead to seriously dry skin and acne issues. Multiple pieces of research have shown that oxidative stress due to high alcohol consumption can lead to skin-related issues.
Your body muscles remain in their standard shape and function when there is enough water in the body. If you keep consuming a lot of alcohol, your body starts getting constantly dehydrated, and your muscles become stiff and can get cramped over time. This phenomenon is also known as alcoholic myopathy.
Your liver is what helps break down the alcohol and reduces its harmful effects with the enzymes it produces. Overconsumption of alcohol can lead to a lot of protein and fat development, which can lead to the enlargement of the liver and make it fatty. This reduces the enzyme secretion capacity due to dehydration of the liver, and your whole system can collapse.
Alcohol consumption can lead to brain fogginess. Once there is too much alcohol in your bloodstream and less water and other fluids, your brain’s normal functioning gets hampered. The more water you drink while consuming beer, the better it is for your brain to retain your normal state of being.
We learned a lot about how and why beer can cause the human body to dehydrate and how you can avoid it. So before you go out to the next drinking party, remember these few essential points.
- Beer dehydrates you because all kinds of alcohol are a diuretic, which causes the human body to lose a lot of fluid.
- If you drink beer or any alcohol in hot weather conditions, you stand to become dehydrated. Your body is already sweating and dehydrated, and the alcohol in beer enhances the process even more.
- It is a complete myth that since beer contains a lot of fluid, it can not dehydrate you.
- The more the alcohol content of the beer, the higher capacity it has to dehydrate you because the diuretic effects are greater.
Keep these factors in mind, and remember to take care of your body even when you are out at a beer party to avoid any episodes of dehydration.