How come alcohol dehydrates you even if you drink lots of water as well?

140 viewsBiologyOther

I used to drink to the point of ending up detoxing in hospital (I’m 3 years sober now). I’d be downing vodka but at the same time I’d be downing water too, loads of it. But every time I’d end up in hospital they’d say I was chronically dehydrated. I’d have thick brown pee. I don’t understand it. Where was all the water actually going?!

In: Biology

7 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Alcohol suppresses your body’s production of a hormone that tells your kidneys to concentrate urine, and pull water back into the body. So, all that water you were chugging got pissed out in the next couple of hours.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Simple alcohol disinfect by lowering the pressure outside the bacteria drawing out the water from the bacteria. It does the same to your cells you just have a lot more cells for it to draw the water out of.

Anonymous 0 Comments

ADH (anti diuretic hormone) makes you piss less to conserve water in the body. Alcohol stops this. You have to piss more when you drink alcohol. Since alcohol stops the hormone that makes you piss less you basically just piss all the water out leading to dehydration

Anonymous 0 Comments

I’ve been in the same situation, except I mostly detoxed by tapering. Went to the hospital for pancreatitis a few times. Hoping to get long term sobriety, but am struggling. Good job, it’s super hard to get there, and only other alcoholics can really understand.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Your kidneys produces ~100-110 mL of filtrate every **minute**. As a day have 1440 minutes, this means your body produces 144,000 mL or 144 liters of filtrate every day. The only way that it is possible is because the kidney also reabsorbs around 99% of it. And it spends a lot of energy in doing so.

In the distal nephron, there is a segment that is responsible for reabsorbing ~10% of water, called the collecting duct. This segment is sensitive to a hormone called vasopressin or antidiuretic. When this hormone is released, the collecting duct reabsorbs most of the water that pass through it. When this hormone is not released, the collecting duct reabsorbs very little water.

Because the body produces ~144 liters of filtrate every day, it is simple math to understand that if this nephron segment is not working properly, either because the hormone is not produced, or it is produced but the kidney has specific damage to that segment, then it will produce 14 liters of urine per day.

Alcohol directly inhibits the production of that hormone, so while under influence, you are producing ~10mL of diluted urine **per minute**. It is easy to understand that being intoxicated for some hours means producing more pee than a healthy, not intoxicated human, would produce in the entire day.

Anonymous 0 Comments

There’s a hormone called antidiuretic hormone, that tells your kidneys to reabsorb water. Alcohol inhibits ADH. Making antidiuretic into diuretic hormone basically. So quite literally you pee inappropriately. You need to be OVER hydrated and then also drink while drinking alcohol.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Drink pedialyte. When you drink alcohol it purges water out your system and the electrolytes that your body needs. Drink pedialyte before you go to sleep. Quit alcohol it makes you depressed.