If you ve ever had a drink, you know it sent you to the bathroom, but do you know why alcohol makes you pee? Do you know how much more urine you produce or whether there is a way to reduce it? Science has the answer to all these questions:
Why Does Alcohol Make You Pee? Alcohol is a diuretic. What this means is, when you drink alcohol, youPproduce more urine. This happens because alcohol suppresses release of arginine vasopressin or anti-diuretic hormone (ADH),PPthe hormone that allows your kidneys to return water to yourPbloodstream. The effect is additive, so drinking more alcohol increases the level of dehydration. PAnother part of the reason you visit the bathroom more often is because alcohol also stimulates the bladder, so you ll feel the urge to pee sooner than you would ordinarily. How Much More Do You Have To Pee? Ordinarily, you produce 60-80 milliliters of urine per hour.
PEach shot of alcohol causes you to produce an additional 120 milliliters of urine. It matters how hydrated you are before you start drinking. According to thePJuly-August 2010 issue of Alcohol and Alcoholism, you ll produce less urine from drinking alcohol if you are already dehydrated. The biggest dehydrating effect is seen in people who are already hydrated. Urination isn t the only way you become dehydrated from drinking alcohol. Increased perspiration and possibly diarrhea and vomiting can make the situation even worse. Some people believe you can stave off the need to pee by waiting as long as possible to break the seal or urinate for the first time after you start drinking. It s a mythPthat the first pee is a signal telling your body you need to visitPthe bathroom every 10 minutes until the booze clears your system. The truth is, waiting just makes you uncomfortable and has no effect on how frequently or copiously you will pee from that point on.
Can You Reduce the Effect? If you drink water or a soft drink with alcohol, the diuretic effect of the alcohol is reduced by about half. These means you ll get less dehydrated, which helps to reduce your. Other factors also affect whether you ll get a hangover, so adding ice to a drink, drinking water, or using a mixer may help, but won t necessarily prevent headache and nausea the next morning. Also, since you re increasing your fluid intake, diluting the alcohol won t make you pee less. ItPmeans a smaller volumePof that urine will be from the dehydrating effect of the booze. It s worth noting, no matter how many beers you drink or how much water you add, the net effect is dehydration. Yes, you are adding a lot of water to your system, but each shot of alcohol makes it that much harder for your kidneys to return that water to your bloodstream and organs.
People can live if the only liquid they get is from alcoholic beverages, but they get water from food. PSo, if you were stranded on an island with nothing to drink except rum, would you die of thirst? If you didn t have lots of fruit to offset the dehydration, the answer would be yes. Two reasons, though I don t know much about alcohol but the principle holds in general. Drinking a large amount of water (a large component of alcohol) activates receptors in the body that signal the filtration of MORE water than usual out of the body. This is done to account for the larger intake of water. Everything in the body must be balanced. Not too much water, not too little water. Another thing is particles in alcohol. There is a physical phenomenon called Osmosis. In short, osmosis is the transfer of water between containers.
The transfer of water goes from the container with lower concentration of particles per volume of water to higher concentration of particles per volume. The net effect is the lower concentration becomes a higher concentration due to loss of water, and the higher concentration becomes a lower concentration due to intake of water. Eventually, both containers will reach the same concentration. With the intake of alcohol, you increase the number of particles into your bloodstream. These particles are filtered out by your kidneys. Because the kidneys have a higher concentration of particles than normal, it will drag out more water (by osmosis) than normal from your bloodstream. This increase of water extraction into the kidneys causes a larger volume of pee. Substances that make you pee more because you drink them are called Diuretics. Same with coffee, as coffee is a diuretic.