Sugary and caffeinated drinks can have diuretic effects similar to alcohol, leading to further dehydration. So don’t mix your alcohol with these or drink them between alcoholic beverages. For example, exercising while drinking can lead to greater dehydration due to increased sweating. Similarly, taking certain medications, such as diuretics or antihistamines, can exacerbate alcohol’s dehydrating effects. When you drink alcohol, your body produces more urine than usual.

does alcohol dehydrate you

Alcohol is a diuretic that makes you urinate more frequently. Urinating more frequently can lead to dehydration during and after a night of drinking. Energy drinks may contain a combination of dehydrating ingredients. They generally contain high levels of caffeine and sugar and may contain other added ingredients that stimulate the kidneys and act as a diuretic. Drinking 2–3 cups of coffee a day may be an acceptable practice to maintain moderate coffee consumption.

How Alcohol Leads To Dehydration

But if you insist on having a drink or two, there are things you can do to mitigate the dehydrating effects of alcohol. Remember that list of things that makes alcohol-related dehydration worse? Electrolytes are minerals in the body that help regulate fluid balance.

does alcohol dehydrate you

Symptoms become more severe with each alcoholic beverage consumed. Relatedly, alcohol consumption can also cause vasodilation, which is the widening of blood vessels. But leave the rehydration aids and electrolyte powders at the door; they’re not doing anything for you. Not all alcoholic drinks will affect your hydration status to the same extent. Certain beverages contain more water, while others have a greater amount of alcohol by volume.

Alcohol’s Effects on the Body

Certain medications may make it easier for you to become dehydrated. Emergency medicine physician Baruch Fertel, MD, explains dehydration and what can cause it. If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the
National Library of Medicine’s list
of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911. Though all liquids can help you meet your fluid needs, some may be more hydrating than others.

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