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Alcohol Dehydration

You know that alcohol comes with its consequences. Back in college, you remember waking up hungover, with a raging headache and nausea rolling in your stomach. You’d normally shut yourself into a dark room and scarf down some food and ibuprofen to help the side effects go away.

As you got older, you started to try different things to help combat these symptoms. Sometimes that meant drinking less, other times it meant trying to space out your drinks more. This helped sometimes, but not all of the time. One thing you’d heard about before was trying to drink more water alongside your alcohol. Is that true? Why does drinking water help?

While alcohol consumption is common, especially here in California where over 89 million gallons of alcohol was consumed in 2021 alone, the knowledge about its effects isn’t always as widespread. Here at Pacific Sands, our hands-on, clinical director believes in providing educational information to help people be informed about their alcohol use and health. Today we’re looking at alcohol, dehydration, and how the two can go hand-in-hand.

Why Does Drinking Alcohol Cause Dehydration?

There are two main reasons that drinking alcohol can lead to dehydration. The first reason is that drinking alcohol can lower your appetite, making you less likely to eat and drink water. Many people might feel their thirst is quenched by drinking alcohol, even when it’s not helping hydrate their bodies.

Secondly, alcohol is a diuretic. A diuretic is a type of substance that helps the kidneys remove salt and water from the body primarily through urination. This is why many people might feel the need to use the restroom often when they’re drinking. Excessive urination without water coming into the body to replace the fluids lost leads to dehydration.

Alcohol dehydration

How You Can Spot The Common Signs Of Alcohol-Induced Dehydration

If you’ve ever experienced dehydration before, then you know the signs to look out for. Alcohol-induced dehydration doesn’t have different signs than normal dehydration. These signs include headaches, dark urine, dizziness, and a strong thirst. Symptoms will persist until you start to rehydrate again.

Can Dehydration Make Hangovers Worse?

Yes, dehydration can make a hangover worse. Hangovers already include things like light and sound sensitivity, headaches, fatigue, dry mouth, nausea, and aches. The symptoms of dehydration will pile on top of those symptoms, and some things like nausea and vomiting can negatively impact your hydration levels, too.

Three Easy Ways To Prevent Dehydration From Alcohol

If you plan on drinking but want to prevent being dehydrated, here are three easy tips to help you out.

  1. Take your time when drinking alcohol. This gives your liver more time to process it and can lessen the negative side effects of alcohol overall.
  2. Drink water and other hydrating drinks throughout the night. If water isn’t your thing, things like electrolyte drinks, herbal tea, and even soy milk are also very hydrating.
  3. Avoid sugary drinks and high sodium. These types of drinks and food can increase the amount of water you need to intake to combat their dehydrating effects.
Dehydration and alcohol

How To Treat Dehydration From Alcohol Right At Home

Unless you’re experiencing symptoms like delirium and fainting spells from your dehydration, it can often be treated right from the comfort of your home.

The most important thing you need to do is to drink hydrating beverages. This means avoiding things like soda and coffee, which can dehydrate you more. Your body will start to rehydrate within a few minutes of drinking something hydrating, but it can take several hours for the side effects to fully go away. During this time you need to keep sipping on hydrating beverages like water, skim milk, soy milk, electrolyte drinks, or teas.

If Alcohol Is Impacting Your Life – Pacific Sands Can Help

Alcohol can impact lives in many ways. If you find that most of your day revolves around alcohol, whether that’s thinking about it, drinking it, or recovering from it – it might be time to think about rehab. Taking the time to put your life back on the path you want it to be on might seem overwhelming, or might seem like you can’t fit that into your busy schedule. Here at Pacific Sands, however, we’ve got you covered. Our intimate setting at our high-end facility is happy to work with you, your schedule, and your goals to set a alcohol addiction recovery plan into motion.

There’s no wrong time to get started on your recovery. The first step toward a new life begins here. Give us a call anytime at 949-426-7962. Our Pacific Sands team is here and ready whenever you are.

FAQs About Alcohol And Dehydration

How long does it take to rehydrate after drinking?

Depending on how much you drank, it can take a few hours to fully recover from dehydration.

How much alcohol does it take to cause dehydration?

The exact amount of alcohol that leads to dehydration varies depending on several things. It depends on how fast you drink, what foods you might be consuming, how often you’re urinating, and things like your own metabolism and health.

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