Alcohol and Dehydration
How to Minimize a Hangover
by Merlin Hearn

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

women drinking alcohol

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.

Excess Water Loss with Alcohol

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.

Alcohol and Dehydration Effects

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.


ABC Science: Why does drinking alcohol cause dehydration? 2012

Return from Alcohol and Dehydration to Dehydration Effects of Water Loss in the Human Body

If you would like to reproduce or republish this article or any other article on this site, feel free to do so but please include a reference or link to the article at 

Did you find this page helpful? Please share it . . .

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Sign Up for Our Monthly

50% Off Select Filtration Systems

Visitor Comments

"This was the best and most straight forward info on the net yet. I asked a question and got an answer that made sense. Thank you so much!" - Linderlinder

FINALLY!!! I have been wondering about this for years with no 'solid' answer. This is exactly what I've been wanting to know! Thank you for this share..." by Andy

"Thank you for the information, Nancy. I appreciate it. Your article and findings are very helpful,  referring to dehydration." -  Carolyn

"Lemon water is one drink both my wife and I can't drink. It upsets our stomachs. We are in our sixties and in very good healthwell, better health now that we drink about 2 liters plus of water each day. It has made so much difference to our digestive systems and recovery every day. Thank you for your website and effort." - Rod