By Merlin Hearn
The ill effects of alcohol and dehydration have been experienced by many people.
Most of us have had those hangovers in the morning where everything hurts.
Our heads are splitting, and we feel like we are in a haze. We want to retch anything that we put into our stomachs. And the rest of our day is ruined.
These are just some of the symptoms of acute dehydration. Why does this happen though?
Alcohol is 95 percent water, and the other 5 percent is converted into water by our kidneys, so you would think that drinking 20 ounces of beer would have the same effect as drinking 20 ounces of water.
The difference is this: When we drink 20 ounces of water, we generally urinate 20 ounces of fluid. But when we drink 20 ounces of alcohol, we urinate about 32 ounces.
Why is this?
Normally, when our body is dehydrated, signals are sent to the pituitary gland, warning it of dehydration. The pituitary gland then creates something called ADH, which slows down urination so we keep in all the liquids that we need.
However, when we drink alcohol, the opposite effect occurs. It reduces ADH, which speeds up the urination process and causes us to pee much more frequently.
The body does this because the brain recognizes the alcohol as a poison and tries to clear it out of the body as quick as possible.
So each shot of alcohol causes our kidneys to produce triple the amount of water that it normally would, depleting our body, and leaving us with that hangover in the morning.
Dehydration seems like something that is not that big of a deal. One day later and we are all better, right? Wrong.
Many of the kidney transplants performed today are a result of chronic dehydration. Also, a majority of chronic diseases are accompanied, if not caused, by dehydration.
Our brain slows down while dehydrated as well, and dehydration is also one of the main causes of depression.
So, if you are going to minimize the effects of alcohol and dehydration, make sure you drink lots of water along with the alcohol.
But know that to replenish the fluid lost while drinking alcohol, you have to drink three times the amount of water that you normally would.
The type of drinking water that best minimizes the dehydrating effects of alcohol is ionized, alkaline water.
The reason for this is because ionized water contains molecular hydrogen which acts like a powerful antioxidant. In addition, since alcohol is highly acidifying in the body, the alkalinity of the water will help to neutralize its negative effects.
Stay healthy, stay hydrated.