I recently posed the question "Do you consider alcohol a classic attribute of celebration?" to my Instagram chat on "Biohacking", and the majority responded with a resounding "Yes". So, if you find yourself indulging in more alcohol during the holiday season, you're not alone. Social drinking often becomes an integral part of the holiday experience, and whether it's homemade cocktails, wine, or champagne, there's no judgment—life happens.
However, as the holiday season approaches, let's address the issue of dehydration caused by alcohol. Staying well-hydrated is not only crucial for long-term health but can also help prevent uncomfortable hangover symptoms.
Why Does Alcohol Dehydrate You?
You may have noticed that alcohol consumption leads to increased urination. Alcohol acts as a natural diuretic, drawing fluid out of your body and expelling it more rapidly through the kidneys and bladder than usual. It achieves this by inhibiting the antidiuretic hormone, a hormone that guards against dehydration. With impaired antidiuretic hormone function, you'll experience more frequent trips to the bathroom and less concentrated urine, expelling much-needed fluids that your body wouldn't normally waste.
Here are some symptoms of dehydration from alcohol that you might experience: Headache, Puffy ankles, Dizziness, Body aches, Digestive issues, Fatigue, Hindered workout performance, Muscle weakness, Dark urine, Extreme thirst.
To prevent these symptoms, drink responsibly and be mindful of the alcohol content. That splitting headache you wake up with after a fun night of drinking might not be solely due to dehydration. Some people may react to the tannins in wine, while others are sensitive to ethanol, the chemical found in alcohol that causes vasodilation or the dilation of blood vessels. Both of these can cause migraines.
How to Prevent a Hangover or Bounce Back from it?
Never drink on an empty stomach, as alcohol reaches your bloodstream faster, and dehydration is more likely. Drinking after a nutrient-dense meal of healthy carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and fats provides a "slow release" effect, reducing the risk of dehydration.
Supplementing with minerals and electrolytes can help prevent dehydration from alcohol and alleviate symptoms if they occur.
Many of us don't get enough minerals regularly. This is partly because our soil is incredibly depleted, so our fruits and veggies don’t have the mineral content they once did. Additionally, our tap water is heavily processed and filtered, leaving most of the minerals behind.
Making mineral supplements a part of your daily routine can reduce the likelihood of dehydration. I personally use Ionic Elements by Purium, a combination of fulvic acid and ocean trace minerals.
Carry Ionic Elements with you for emergencies. These drops can be added to water or juice for quick and lasting hydration. Your cells will thank you!
Include a quick dose of electrolytes, such as E-Lyte by BodyBio, which works on a cellular level to facilitate fluid movement in and out of cells. It's a careful blend of sodium, magnesium, and potassium, and is formulated to stop dehydration in its tracks while boosting energy and mental clarity. You can purchase E-Lyte by BodyBio 15% off with promo code SMILA
When dealing with a hangover, it's crucial to explore the root cause.
If you're eating a full meal, consuming extra minerals, drinking responsibly, and still experiencing a wicked hangover, consider reassessing the type of alcohol you're drinking or investigating other potential causes, such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. The long-term impact of alcohol on the liver is a serious health concern. Excessive alcohol intake strains the liver, leading to conditions like fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer. Once this condition develops, even one episode of binge drinking can trigger alcoholic hepatitis—a severe form of liver inflammation that can be life-threatening.