While you had a blast at the party or hanging out with friends, you don’t enjoy the effects from the hangover the next morning. One of the worst issues of drinking too much is that light-headed or dizzy feeling. Your world is spinning and you don’t want to move.
Many of your hangover symptoms come from dehydration. Your body is made up of mostly water, and when it doesn’t get enough it sends out warning signals. Drinking alcohol can cause dehydration if you aren’t vigilant.
Alcohol and Dehydration
When you drink alcohol, you may notice you go to the bathroom more. You probably think nothing about it because you’re drinking a beverage, after all. However, the rate of drinking doesn’t equal to the rate of elimination. In fact, you’re getting rid of more water than what you’re consuming, which is why you end up dehydrated.
There are several reasons for this. First, you probably aren’t drinking as much water since you’re consuming beer, wine or other alcoholic beverages. These drinks have less water than juice and other beverages.
According to research, alcohol also suppresses a hormone in your system which tells your kidneys to conserve the water in the system. It’s a natural anti-diuretic and helps ensure your body maintains enough water to function well. Lose too much water, and you begin to not feel good.
Dehydration and Hangovers
Much of your hangover is simply caused by being dehydrated. Yes, alcohol is the cause behind the dehydration, but it doesn’t give you those feelings of dizziness, nausea or light-headedness. Being dizzy and light-headed is caused by not having enough water in your system.
Dehydration is more than the loss of water. You also lose important electrolytes from your system that your body needs to function. Sodium and potassium are two that go out in urine or sweat. Loss of these electrolytes can lead to headaches, nausea, sore muscles or muscle cramps and other symptoms associated with a hangover.
A person can begin to experience the symptoms of dehydration at 2 percent. This is when you start to feel thirsty and want a drink. You may be even more dehydrated because of the increased urine output and loss of electrolytes. Because you’re drinking wine, beer, or another alcoholic beverage, you may not even get the warning of dehydration by being thirsty.
Can You Prevent Dehydration?
If dehydration is the cause of a lot of your hangover symptoms, you may wonder if you can prevent it by just drinking more water. Drinking more water will help if you make it a priority. Start out hydrated by drinking extra water when you plan to go out. Continue to drink water along with your alcoholic beverages to help replenish what’s lost when you go to the bathroom.
You should also drink more water after you finish your fun evening and before you go to bed. Continue drinking the next day if you notice some symptoms of a hangover even if they aren’t as bad. You may want to include Gatorade or other speciality drinks that contain electrolytes because plain water won’t replenish what is lost.
An even better idea is to take a hydration blend that replenishes specific electrolytes that are lost during drinking. These include potassium, magnesium, B-12, and sodium. You’ll feel much better with enough hydration and won’t suffer from as severe of a hangover or for as long. Don’t let the bad after-effects keep you from having fun but prepare ahead of time to avoid that unpleasant and debilitating hangover.