How Alcohol Dehydrates You (And What to Do About It)

It’s easy to enjoy a nice glass of wine or cold beer. Sometimes we can enjoy these adult beverages a little too much. Over consumption of alcohol can create dehydration, causing havoc on your body the next morning. 

Waking up with dry mouth, throbbing headache, fatigue, brain fog, and nausea are all signs of alcohol-induced dehydration. 

The good news is you can reduce these side effects with a game plan to replace the lost fluids. 

Most reach for water to rehydrate, but in most cases that’s not enough to quickly and properly rehydrate you. Water doesn’t have enough electrolytes and/or vitamins to replace the electrolytes and vitamins lost due to dehydration.

So how do you properly rehydrate after drinking — or avoid alcohol dehydration in the first place? Let’s dive in.

How alcohol dehydrates you

Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that your urine output increases. For every standard drink you consume (10 mL of alcohol), you are likely to urinate 100 mL more than you drink.

Alcohol actually interferes with your body’s production of vasopressin, or antidiuretic hormone (ADH). Vasopressin causes your body to hold onto water, which limits the amount of urine output.

With interrupted production of vasopressin due to the consumption of alcohol, you start to lose more water through urination, which can cause those symptoms of dehydration.

Studies reveal that adult men and women should drink no more than four standard drinks on any one occasion. Above that is considered excess. If you drink six to 10 standard drinks, this could lead to 600–1,000 mL of lost fluids, causing dehydration. 

It’s also important to note that alcohol consumption inhibits the absorption and usage of vital vitamins such as vitamin B1, vitamin  B12, folic acid — as well as vital minerals such as sodium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. 

Does alcohol dehydrate your skin? Your muscles?

Dehydration can affect every area of your body, so it’s only natural to wonder how widespread the effects of alcohol-induced dehydration can spread.

Does alcohol dehydrate your skin? The answer is yes. Over time, alcohol dehydrates the skin and can make wrinkles and pores more visible as a result. It may also contribute to inflammation, which is one of the main causes of skin aging.

As for your muscles, when drinking too much alcohol for an extended period of time, you can experience muscle stiffness and cramping… or even lose muscle mass. 

That’s why it’s so important to drink responsibly and have a hydration game plan in place (more on that later) for nights when you indulge.

Which alcohol is most dehydrating?

Not all alcoholic drinks will affect your hydration status to the same extent. Why? Certain beverages contain more water, while others have a greater amount of alcohol by volume.

For example, beer contains more water than wine or liquor. So while more research is needed to know for certain, beer may not dehydrate you as much as other alcoholic beverages without as high of a water content.

Liquor and wine also have a higher amount of alcohol by volume (ABV) than beer, contributing to a potentially greater risk of dehydration from these beverages.

Keep in mind that to offset the low water content and high ABV of liquor, you can opt for a mixed drink with seltzer water.

Interestingly, dark liquor also seems to be more dehydrating than light/clear liquors. That’s because they contain high levels of tannins and acetaldehyde. So, when drinking liquors like whiskey and brandy, it’s especially important to consider how many drinks you’ve consumed versus glasses of water.

Your hydration game plan (while drinking alcohol… and after)

Indulging in alcohol doesn’t mean you’re fated to alcohol dehydration symptoms the next morning such as dry mouth, throbbing headache, fatigue, brain fog, and nausea.

If you prepare your body and drink responsibly, you can help combat these unwanted effects.

 So, here’s your Hydration Game Plan for your next night out:

  1. Pre-hydrate with LivPür Hydration before you start drinking if you think you’ll be consuming more than a couple drinks.
  2. Before you begin drinking, also make sure to eat vitamin-rich foods. On an empty stomach, alcohol is absorbed more quickly, which may also produce dehydration symptoms more quickly.
  3. Always match one glass of water with one standard alcoholic drink.
  4. Replenish again with LivPür Hydration before you go to sleep. Your body will thank you for it. 

How LivPür’s Hydration may help alleviate dehydration

For proper hydration, we need both replenishment of fluids plus important electrolytes and vitamins.

LivPür Hydration provides you with sodium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc to help rehydrate you quicker to feel better. 

Most importantly, LivPür Hydration helps replenish the loss of vitamin B12, which is considered the most important hangover helper.

Vitamin B12 helps increase your energy level and will help your body to function and recover properly from a night on the town. 

Your body uses vitamin B12 to eliminate alcohol from your body and aids in breakdown of carbs. Many carbs in alcohol turn to sugar that will spike your blood sugar levels. When you wake up, this can lead to some negative effects of dehydration. 

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Bonus: LivPür Hydration may even help improve sleep to enhance the feeling of wellbeing the day after consuming alcohol.