Dehydration From Alcohol: 5 Tips to Prevent and Treat It

Generally speaking, women should consume 90 ounces of fluids per day and men should consume 125 ounces per day. Alcohol will dehydrate you, which has adverse effects both in the short and long term. And if you need help with that, I’ve included some resources at the end of this article, including a quiz to help you assess your current drinking habits. It can also cause muscle cramps due to an imbalance of electrolytes in the body, such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium, which are essential for proper muscle function.

does alcohol dehydrate you

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. 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. 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.

Health Benefits of Alcohol Beyond Hydration

Lastly, dehydration can delay muscle recovery after physical activity. When muscles are dehydrated, they are more susceptible to damage and injury, which can lead to delayed recovery and increased muscle soreness. If you mix alcohol with caffeinated drinks (ex. rum and Coke), you’re also increasing your dehydration factor, as caffeine will make you pee more which leads to further dehydration. If you are looking for a performance-enhancing jolt of caffeine, it may be best to just stick with water.

Dehydration contributes to hangovers but is just a piece of the puzzle. Drink water when you feel thirsty, and even if you don’t feel thirsty. It can be easy to mistake that you are hydrated when you’ve been sipping on a cocktail all evening. These foods also have the bonus of being easy on the digestive system if yours is upset from drinking too much alcohol. The good news is you can reduce these side effects with a game plan to replace the lost fluids. Together, ethanol and acetaldehyde cause a tangle of issues your body has to deal with when you drink.

Common Myths About Hangovers

If you are experiencing dry mouth or skin, headaches, muscle cramps, or dark colored urine, these are signs of dehydration. You can usually reverse dehydration by taking in more fluids, but some people may be at risk of complications. The higher the alcohol content, the more dehydrating the drink will be. Stick to beer and wine to mitigate any dehydration you may experience.

Does alcohol actually dehydrate you?

How does drinking alcohol dehydrate you? One of the main causes of a hangover is dehydration, and drinking alcohol dehydrates you faster thanks to its diuretic effects. When your body senses that you're getting dehydrated in general, it produces a hormone called Vasopressin which reduces the need to urinate.

When you wake up, this can lead to some negative effects of dehydration. 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 https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/how-to-naturally-reduce-alcohol-cravings/ liquors like whiskey and brandy, it’s especially important to consider how many drinks you’ve consumed versus glasses of water. Alcohol actually interferes with your body’s production of vasopressin, or antidiuretic hormone (ADH).


Consuming alcohol while dehydrated will just make dehydration worse. The diuretic effects will cause your body to lose water faster due to increased urination. The best way to ensure proper hydration is to drink plenty of water.

does alcohol dehydrate you

Multi-flavor pouches are available for mixing it up, and subscriptions allow users to save 25%. Perhaps you dehydrated yourself while exercising or spending all day in the hot sun. 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]. A vodka with soda is likely more hydrating than just a shot of vodka because you’re consuming more fluids from the soda. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy an adult beverage or two from time to time.

Alcohol begins to build up in your bloodstream

Alcohol does not create the effects of dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and vitamin deficiency that we grew up believing it did. Stoutz emphasizes the importance of hydrating before and during drinking, which does alcohol dehydrate you can minimize how dehydrated you become. “Stronger alcohol might provoke more dehydration, but it truly has not been studied enough to know for sure,” she says, pointing to a 2017 study published in Nutrients.

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