Does Beer Hydrate or Dehydrate You?

Beer Hydrate or Dehydrate You

Love to neck down a beer after workouts? Well, think again!

Beer is the most consumed beverage in the world. Because of its low alcohol content and a high percentage of water, many people believe that beer can actually hydrate you. When in reality, it’s quite the opposite.

The health benefits of beer are huge, provided you drink it in moderation. The hydration and dehydration level depends on the ABV of the beer. The lower the alcoholic content, the lesser the chances of dehydration. Don’t worry! This article is not meant to stop you from enjoying your favorite beverage in the world.

Beer has a diuretic effect. The more you drink, the more your body stops producing a hormone called vasopressin. The suppression of this hormone causes dehydration. It simply means when you drink excessively, the lack of antidiuretic hormones reduces the ability of your body to hold onto water. As a result, your body loses essential nutrients, and you find yourself with frequent washroom visits.

No hangovers are complete without chugging a few glasses of beer. So, when you’re planning to drink, make sure to keep an ample supply of water.

Continue reading the article to learn some interesting facts about why you should not rely on beer as a hydrating drink and how you can consume beer yet keep yourself hydrated.

Can you Survive on Beer Instead of Water?

The answer is simple. You can’t survive on an alcoholic drink. Even though beer contains 93% of water yet it can be a major source of dehydration. Wanna know why? Let’s get to know some facts.

Beer has an ABV of 5-6%. When you break your limits and consume more than the recommended amount, your body gets intoxicated, and you may experience serious health hazards. When you take in too much beer, your body loses an excessive amount of fluids. You begin to urinate more often, which can leave you feeling thirstier.

If you have a routine, drinking a chilled can of beer after exercise or love to drink on a hot sunny day, it’s high time you change your habit. Drinking beer on an empty stomach gives its alcoholic contents a quick entry into your bloodstream as compared to drinking while having lunch or dinner. When you’re eating and drinking side-by-side, it takes time for your body to break down each content. So you won’t feel extremely dehydrated as quickly afterward.

The amount of water present in beer is not good enough to keep you hydrated. The alcoholic contents can easily dehydrate your body. So make sure to drink water along with beer.

By far, water is the best drink to consume. Water has tons of benefits to keep you healthy and fit. The best way to consume a beer is to drink it with a glass of water. Water will help your body function most efficiently and reduce the chances of getting dehydrated.

How Much Does 1 Beer Dehydrate You?

Beer is made of grains, malt extract, hops, and 95 % of water, which are all considered healthy food staples. Keeping in mind its water percentage, most brewers think that it’s a good hydrating drink. The fact is 12 oz of beer contains 14 gm of alcohol, which can produce a little less than half a cup of urine.

When you drink too much beer, the antidiuretic hormones “vasopressin” are inhibited. As a result, your kidney fails to retain water. You begin to pee more than usual. As a result, you find yourself extremely dehydrated after a full night of hangover.

The type of beer also affects the dehydration level. Annemarthe H.C. Wijnin explains this concept in detail. Low-alcoholic beer, non-alcoholic beer, and beer mixed with water may cause less dehydration as compared to a full-strength beer with 5% ABV. 

On the other hand, sports drinks are more highly recommended than beer after a workout or a physical game, as they help reduce dehydration and restore the electrolytes in the body. Sports drinks also keep you energized.

Another way beer may dehydrate you is by vomiting. Due to excessive drinking, it becomes hard for the body to digest food. The process of emptying the stomach becomes slow, and you might find yourself throwing up. This can cause serious dehydration and abdominal discomfort. 

What is the Beer Dehydration Myth?

“Drinking Beer is the best way to Stay Hydrated.”

Not everything you drink can keep you hydrated. This is especially true when it comes to beers. Any beverage containing 4% and above alcoholic contents can cause dehydration. Too much consumption may even lead to a visit to the hospital. Drinking beer causes loss of necessary sodium, magnesium, and potassium electrolyte from the body and more urination after every 15 minutes, which results in dehydration. Your body also starts feeling fatigued after a while.

“You Drink 200 ml of beer; you will urinate 200 ml of water.”

This myth exists among beer lovers. People believe that beer keeps them hydrated, but the truth is when drinking 200 ml of beer, you pass out 320 ml of water, that’s equivalent to 120 ml of dehydration.

“Beer can help treat kidney Stones.”

A pint of beer can’t help you treat your kidney stones. You should try drinking 3-4 liters of water instead to prevent kidney stones. 

“Breaking the Seal”

People who drink beer need to use the restroom twice as much as people drinking water or any other non-alcoholic beverage.

Steps to Prevent Dehydration

Follow the following steps to enjoy your beer and still remain hydrated.

  • If you’re planning a beer party, drink lots of water before and during carousing.
  • Choose a drink that has a relatively low-alcohol content
  • Pick a “light-colored drink” rather than a dark one.
  • Avoid drinking on an empty stomach.
  • You can also use an oral rehydration solution available in the market to restore your hydration level.
  • Apart from water, milk, tea, fruits, juices, and sports drinks also keep you hydrated.

Final Takeaway

The myth that beer keeps you hydrated is not true. In fact, you might find yourself extremely dehydrated, accompanied by a headache after a full night of a beer party. But don’t put stress on yourself. You can always enjoy your favorite beverage in the world just by following the preventive measures mentioned above.

Remember drinking executes a feeling of pleasure, so do make sure not to overdo it. Drink responsibly, take in lots of water, and stay healthy!

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