Why Am I So Dehydrated? 9 Common Reasons

Besides dehydration, alcohol can have other negative effects on the body. For this reason, a person should drink alcohol in moderation and avoid binge-drinking or chronic heavy drinking. Not everyone will have exactly the same experience when they stop drinking. Alcohol is a toxin, meaning that once it enters the bloodstream it goes on to negatively affect just about every organ of the body. When a person has been drinking for a while, their brain and body adjust to this new normal.

After you take a drink, both the liquid and alcohol contents of the beverage pass through your stomach lining and small intestine into the bloodstream. So what can you do to make sure you don’t get that infamous hangover headache caused by dehydration? Let’s find out and get a little background on why alcohol dehydrates you in the first place. If you don’t drink enough water with alcohol, you can become dehydrated quickly. To stay hydrated, a person needs to take steps before, during, and after alcohol consumption. These are substances that promote urine production, or diuresis.


Whether you’re exercising or just out in the heat, sweating causes a loss of fluids and electrolytes. Unless you drink more water to replenish what you’ve lost, it can lead to dehydration. Drinks that contained electrolytes—milk and oral rehydration solutions, for example—were more hydrating after two hours compared to water.

can alcohol cause dehydration

Alcohol’s diuretic effects mean it’s difficult to avoid experiencing some level of dehydration from drinking. However, you may be able to minimize its severity by following a few simple tips. You can avoid dehydration by staying hydrated throughout the day. “You can’t entirely prevent it, but if you go into drinking well-hydrated, you are less likely to feel the negative effects of dehydration,” she says.

How Do You Know If You’re Dehydrated?

According to the CDC, heavy drinking equates to more than three drinks per day or eight drinks per week for females and more than four drinks per day or 15 drinks per week for males. Binge drinking is when a person consumes an excessive amount of alcohol within a short period of time. This equates to drinking five or more drinks within 2 hours for males and four or more drinks within 2 hours for females. Alcohol is a diuretic and therefore causes excessive urination. People concerned about constipation can consider eating more fiber, drinking plenty of water, and exercising regularly.

  • Avoid drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine, which can make you lose more water.
  • Drinks that contained electrolytes—milk and oral rehydration solutions, for example—were more hydrating after two hours compared to water.
  • Cirrhosis of the liver can cause exhaustion, leg swelling, and nausea.
  • Children with dehydration are often directed to drink Pedialyte.
  • A variety of factors might make it necessary to increase your fluid intake.

The more you drink, especially in a short period of time, the greater your risk of alcohol poisoning. A person can consume a fatal dose of alcohol before passing out. Even when the person is unconscious or stops drinking, the stomach and intestines continue to release alcohol into the bloodstream, does alcohol dehydrate you and the level of alcohol in the body continues to rise. Additionally, making changes to the diet to replace dehydrating drinks may help. Over time, these changes can become habits and help correct dehydration issues. Energy drinks may contain a combination of dehydrating ingredients.

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