You noticed the beautiful girl dancing with her friends or the handsome guy standing at the bar, and your heart rate sped up. You decided to have a drink of liquid courage before you went over to talk to them. Maybe you even got lucky enough to have a drink or two with your dream guy or girl.
Later, during the evening, you notice your heart is still pounding. Did that person have such an effect on you? Unfortunately, you probably must blame your increased heart rate on alcohol rather than love.
Dehydration Could Cause A Rapid Heart Rate
One of the reasons alcohol causes your heart rate to speed up is because it also dehydrates you. Your body is made up of mostly water, which it needs to function efficiently. When you don’t have enough water, your body must work harder to do its job. This includes your heart, which beats faster to get oxygen through the bloodstream to the vital organs.
When you’re dehydrated, you also lose important electrolytes. Your body needs these, such as potassium, to function as well. Potassium plays a key role in your heartbeat because it triggers your heart to send blood to your organs. It also helps your kidneys filter impurities from the blood, which includes the toxins of alcohol.
More Alcohol = Faster Heartbeat
A study was done of people who attended Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. This festival pretty much revolves around beer, which makes it the perfect place to get research on how alcohol affects the heart.
Testing was simple. They used a machine to measure the heart rate of those attending the festival. They also checked the breath alcohol concentrations to determine how much alcohol they drank. The results showed that people who drank more had higher heart rates. In some cases, the rate was more than 100 beats per minute, while the average person at rest should be somewhere between 60 and 80, depending on age and other factors.
While most of the people in this study were young and healthy, the effects on older drinkers or those with health issues could be more serious. In fact, some experts wonder if regular heavy drinking could lead to arrhythmia. This term is a fancy way of saying a person has an irregular heartbeat.
What is the significance of this information for you? It depends on how much and how often you drink. An occasional night out with a few beers with the guys or happy hour with half-priced drinks won’t be enough to impact your heart if you make healthy decisions the rest of the time. On the other hand, if you drink regularly and heavily and you have other health conditions, you may want to pay attention to how it impacts your heart.
Be smart about how you drink and your health and you can have fun without damaging your heart. Consider supplements and other products that replenish electrolytes and otherwise positively impact your system when you plan to enjoy a few drinks.