Overview of dehydration: What to know, drink types, and tips

Additionally, dark liquors especially have high contents of congeners and tannins, which studies have shown to increase hangover symptoms (including dehydration). If you don’t want to deal with dehydration from alcohol, the best (and most obvious) preventative measure is not to drink alcohol. Dehydration can also cause fatigue and drowsiness, which can increase the risk of accidents, particularly when driving or operating heavy machinery. This is because dehydration can cause a decrease in blood volume and low blood pressure, which can lead to reduced blood flow to the brain, causing fatigue and drowsiness. Other lifestyle factors, such as exercise, climate, and medication use, can also impact alcohol’s dehydrating effects. Dehydration may also impair blood sugar response in some, such as those with type 2 diabetes.

Electrolytes are found in common foods, including salt, bananas, and watermelon, and can also be consumed from electrolyte-specific drinks or mixes. Alcohols like whiskey and brandy have high levels of congeners, including tannins and acetaldehyde. These might lead to dehydration more quickly, according to a 2010 study [8] [9]. For reference, a standard drink—12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of liquor—has 14 grams of alcohol, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism [3]. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy an adult beverage or two from time to time.

Mild Dehydration

But for metronidazole or tinidazole, Dr. Clayton recommends waiting at least 72 hours after your last dose before consuming any alcohol. If you plan to drink alcohol on a flight, pack some snacks and make sure to eat a meal before boarding if you know there won’t be any in-flight food service. But while some may grab a drink as a celebratory kickoff for a long-awaited trip, others may experience side effects while drinking on a plane. When consumed in excess, it may lower inhibitions and lead to unruly behavior, which we saw a lot of when people reacted negatively to federal mask mandates. Overloading your system with water will only cause your body to eliminate any excess through your urine — taking vital electrolytes with it.

Thirst plays a central role in fine-tuning that balance, she explains. The signs and symptoms of dehydration also may differ by age. One of the hormones made by the posterior pituitary gland is called vasopressin, or anti-diuretic hormone (ADH). Third, we humans seem to prefer to drink our alcohol in 10 gram lumps. Ten grams of alcohol is about 12.5 millilitres (but you can call it 10 mL and still be fairly accurate). So each glass of beer, wine, or spirits has about 10 grams of alcohol.

Myth #3: We need sports drinks to replace salt and other electrolytes.

A 2016 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition assigned a beverage hydration index (BHI) to various drinks that would determine hydration status after ingestion. But prolific pee production isn’t the only way alcohol dehydrates you. Alcohol delays stomach emptying, which can cause vomiting, a sure way to become dehydrated [1].

And when scientists looked at papers on this subject in a systematic review, they concluded that there’s just not enough evidence for the general public. But the results were inconsistent for people who were not dieting. Ultimately, the researchers concluded, “The evidence for this association is still low, mostly because of the lack of good-quality studies.”

What? Another medical form to fill out?

Alcohol dehydrates the skin and can lead to liver damage and cognitive impairment, Osborn warned. “Lack of exercise contributes to aging by causing muscle loss, bone density reduction, weight gain and cardiovascular issues,” Ericsson told Fox News Digital. Other tips include pre-planning meals and snacks — with a focus on focusing on whole, unprocessed foods — to avoid impulsive unhealthy choices, according to Ericsson. Osborn agreed, also warning of an increased risk of skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma and melanoma, the latter of which can be fatal. Doctors shared with Fox News Digital the eight most common unhealthy behaviors that speed up the aging process — and tips on how to avoid them.

  • “Chronic stress can also exacerbate skin conditions and impact mental health, accelerating aging,” Ericsson added.
  • Many carbs in alcohol turn to sugar that will spike your blood sugar levels.
  • Additionally, dark liquors especially have high contents of congeners and tannins, which studies have shown to increase hangover symptoms (including dehydration).
  • The best way to ensure proper hydration is to drink plenty of water.
  • The consumption of a cold soda may feel refreshing at first but likely will not satisfy a person’s thirst in the long run.

“That’s pretty close to those hangover symptoms, right?” asks Brigitte Zeitlin, M.P.H., R.D., C.D.N., and owner of BZ Nutrition. Alcohol is a diuretic because it suppresses the release of vasopressin, also known as antidiuretic hormone. When vasopressin is suppressed, you lose fluids by peeing more, which leads to dehydration. Having a few drinks can be fun, but feeling dehydrated or hungover is not. It’s up to you to decide if the pleasures of alcohol are worth the potential next-day effects.

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