Why Does Alcohol Make You Pee?

Why Does Alcohol Make You Pee?

Alcohol being a diuretic makes you pee more frequent. It suppresses the anti-diuretic hormone (ADH), decreasing the return of less water to the blood and expelling it out through urine. It also stimulates the bladder, so you have a more frequent urge.

Drinking alcohol dehydrates the body in other ways as well i.e. by increasing the possibility of diarrhea, perspiration, and vomiting.

Factors Which Play A Role In Increasing The Need To Pee

Alcohol is a liquid and increases in the intake of liquids increase the urine output.

Kidneys in the body regulate the amount of water. It does this by regulating the plasma osmolality of the blood.

Osmolality is the ratio of particles in the blood to the fluids. When the fluid level increases than the particles, the kidney signals the body to release urine.

Alcohol is a liquid, therefore, after drinking there is a rise in the fluid level as compared to the particles. Which is why, you pee equivalent to the amount of alcohol consumed.

The second factor is that alcohol is a diuretic. Drinking alcohol decreases the releases of vasopressin, an anti-diuretic hormone. ADH is released by the brain in response to an increase in the particles over fluid in the blood. ADH further signals the kidney to hold on urine.

As alcohol suppresses ADH, kidneys release more urine. This can cause dehydrating effects on the body.

Factors Which Affect The Diuretic Effect Of Alcohol

Factors Which Affect The Diuretic Effect Of Alcohol

There are a few factors which affect how much you pee after drinking alcohol.

Alcohol Strength

The urine output increase as the content of alcohol goes up. A study shows that the urine output increases as the alcohol content goes up from 2% to 4% compared to the non-alcoholic drinks.(1)

Another study found drinking moderates amount of higher alcohol beverages such as wine and distilled liquor lead to lesser diuretic effects.(2) Comparatively, it was found that low alcohol beverages such as beer didn’t have as much diuretic effect.

Frequency of Drinking

The diuretic effect of alcohol also depends on how frequently you drink.

The body becomes accustomed to the presence of alcohol. Therefore, more a person drinks, lesser is the diuretic effect.

The Hydration Level Of The Body Before Drinking Alcohol

Those who are under-hydrated before drinking alcohol, pee less than those who have a properly hydrated body even though both drink the same amount of alcohol.(1)

How To Manage The Need To Pee?

The frequency of bathroom visits can be controlled if the following factors are kept in mind.

  • Drink beverage with low alcohol content rather than cocktails with hard liquor.
  • Never dehydrate yourself in order to pee less as dehydration can leave you feeling worse.
  • Drink in moderation
  • Drinking excess alcohol leads to a blackout. And most of the time makes you wet the bed as well.
  • It happens as the alcohol overpowers the brain, which cannot take the bladder signal when it gets filled/ but the bladder is still filling due to the alcohol which was drank.
  • The bladder distends and ultimately you pee whether you want it or not.

The solution is to drink in moderation. According to The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, moderate alcohol consumption is,(3)

  • 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits such as rum, tequila, or vodka
  • 5 ounce of wine
  • 12 ounces of beer which has 5 percent of alcohol

Limiting alcohol intake is the best way to cut down the bathroom trips and reduce the chances of an overnight accident.

Long term alcohol abuse can lead to kidney problems and the only way to eliminate alcohol-related kidney damage is to stop alcohol. You can also seek medical help for the alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

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