It almost seems inevitable. Another event with friends, you have a night out and are having a great time, but the urge to use the bathroom will not stop! If you suffer from this phenomenon while having a night out at the bar you are not the only one. Millions of people experience this same issue. But why? Why does beer make you pee?
The answer comes down to science! The more alcohol you take in, the more ADH is produced in your body, the more you have to pee. You could be at a party, the local tavern, a wedding reception – it does not matter where you are. The urge to answer nature’s call can happen at any time or any place, especially while consuming beer. Sometimes, alcohol tends to make things a little bit tricky, even more so when it comes to having to pee! Beer contains mostly water, so of course, it makes you pee. About 95% of the makeup of any beer is water. Besides that, beer also contains ethyl alcohol. If you drink anything that has ethanol (ethyl alcohol) in it, you will automatically feel an increased urge to urinate. The reason for this is because ethanol is an ADH. ADH is an antidiuretic hormone.
Antidiuretic hormones are supposed to help our bodies retain water. Once you start drinking, alcohol will start to affect your brain and body, which affects the production of vasopressin (an ADH). Have you ever heard of vasopressin? Vasopressin is a hormone that all of us have inside of our bodies. The pituitary hormone vasopressin is responsible for promoting water retention in the kidneys. It also increases blood pressure in the body. When we drink beer, our body starts to release the hormone vasopressin. Antidiuretics, like vasopressin, cause the body to retain more water than usual. When this happens, your kidneys become overloaded. When the kidneys have overloaded, the need to release fluids from the body increases. And this will result in more frequent bathroom trips due to drinking beer.
This process can also leave you feeling dehydrated because you are releasing so much fluid from your body. That is how hangovers happen! The next thing you know, you will feel dehydrated, nauseous, and have a headache. It’s not a fun time. However, there are some precautions you can take. Can you stay hydrated before and after you “break the seal”?
What Does Breaking the Seal Mean?
Is it the truth? Could it be a myth? Or just a funny saying that we have adopted as a norm? Breaking the seal is a term that is commonly heard at any night out at the bar or club. For years, we have used the term to describe the first time we use the bathroom during a night of drinking. During drunken shenanigans, you will almost certainly hear someone use the words break the seal, at least once during the night. That is just how it is. Once the seal is allegedly broken, you will feel the need to pee constantly for the rest of the night! Isn’t that fun?
Many people believe that if you hold it as long as possible, you will not break the seal and have to piss every five minutes. Urologists have assured us, that there is no magical seal inside our bodies that break once we pee for the first time after drinking beer. It is an urban legend or myth. As mentioned before, alcohol acts as a diuretic. What this means, is that a diuretic pushes your body to get rid of fluid much quicker than normal. Normally, the average bladder can hold about 2 cups of fluid. If you drink beer, you will have to pee more because you are consuming more. Breaking the seal is merely an idea, not a fact.
According to urologists and healthcare workers – Breaking the Seal is not a thing. It is simply not true. If anything, it is speculated to be all in your mind. Breaking the seal is more mental than physical. Whatever you put in your body is going to come right back out. The difference is that when it comes to drinking a beer over other beverages like whiskey or wine; you will be peeing more frequently due to the amount you are consuming and the fact that beer acts as a diuretic. Breaking the seal is a myth and one that can be dangerous. Holding it for the sake of not breaking the seal, so to speak, is putting unnecessary strain on your bladder and is not good for your body.
Holding your urine all night can cause major health problems and even damage your sphincter muscles which are responsible for preventing your body from leaking any urine. Answering nature’s call is vital to your health, and also, you wouldn’t want to end up with any embarrassing accidents while you talk to that cute guy/girl, right? Relax! It’s okay to release the floodgates. Your body filtering everything out is normal. Just go with the flow. Literally.
How Do I Stop Peeing So Much While Drinking Beer?
Are you looking for an innovative answer? Sorry to break it to you, but there is no magical answer to this question. However, based on some research, I do have a couple of ideas. The first idea is no secret at all. If you want to pee less, drink less. The answer is simple. Drinking less means you will take less frequent bathroom breaks.
If you have no choice and your friends pressure you to stay for another round, try to choose drinks that have lower alcohol content. Traditionally, beer has less alcohol content than wines, vodka, or other hard liquors. It’s still important to keep an eye on the amount you are drinking if you don’t want to use the bathroom every few minutes.
Which Alcohol Makes You Pee The Most?
You might already know the answer to this. Drumroll: It’s beer! Why is it that beer makes us pee the most? Well, simply put, because beer is mostly made up of water and because it contains ethanol! When looking at the consumption of liquors, whiskey, and beer, we can conclude that you will pee more from drinking beer. With beer containing mostly water, on top of the volume you are drinking, it is a fact that beer will cause you to urinate more frequently than other alcoholic beverages.
If you continuously consume liquids, especially ones that contain antidiuretics like beer, the amount of urine production in the body will increase and you will find yourself in the bathroom more often than not.
What Is Beer Made Of?
Besides being made up of 95% water, there are a few other main ingredients in beer. Beer is a fermented beverage that contains grains of cereal. It might sound weird, but that is the truth. Cereal, you might be wondering? Yes, beer contains grains. The grain that you may find in your favorite beer could be many things, but more than likely it is malted barley. Hops, yeast, and water also make up a beer. The grains inside of beer provide color and flavor. Hops are added for preservation. Yeast is used for the fermentation process. There is a variety of grain, hops, and yeast that breweries use depending on the type of beer or ales that they are producing.
How Can I Stay Hydrated While Drinking Beer?
Although many become carried away at happy hour, it is critical to keep this little idea in the back of your mind. Staying hydrated before, during, and after alcohol consumption will help you feel your best. Not saying to down a jug of water before going out for the night, but drinking water before drinking does help. Another technique that I love is to eat fruit or high water content foods like melons, strawberries, cucumbers, and (my favorite) pineapples! Snacking on these foods while sipping on your favorite beer can help make your hangovers less dramatic in the morning.
In case you are not the fruity type, coconut water is an option as well. Coconut water has plenty of nutrients and can help balance the alcohol content in your body and keep you hydrated. Electrolyte drinks or electrolyte-infused water is another option. We all know that athletes use electrolyte-based beverages to stay hydrated. We also use electrolytes when we become dehydrated from getting sick. You can use electrolyte beverages to keep yourself hydrated while you are drinking. Pedialyte and Gatorade are always an option.
There you have it. To stay hydrated while drinking is not so hard after all. Keeping a water bottle with you is always an option so you can play it safe. Really though, hangovers are not cool and are definitely not cute. Another idea to keep in mind is for every beer you drink, have a glass of water. It should be an instinct to want to stay hydrated. There is no shame in using water as a chaser. It’s a fact. Being hydrated helps prevent hangovers! Be sure to keep all of these tips in mind next time you go out for a happy hour.
- Why Does Beer Dehydrate You?
- When Beer Goes Flat Does it Lose its Alcohol Content
- The Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Beer
- Our List of Interesting Beer Facts
- Does Beer Really ‘Go Through You’ Quicker Than Other Booze? (vice.com)
- Is Breaking the Seal a Real Thing? (womenshealthmag.com)
- The Main Ingredients of Beer – dummies
- The Brewer’s Tale – A History of the World According to Beer by William Bostwick
- The Comic Book Story of Beer by Jonathan Hennessey and Mike Smith
Kimberly Anne is a freelance writer and aspiring author. She is currently in school working towards her BA in Creative Writing and English. Besides work and school, she is writing her first novel and helps small businesses design their websites and brands. You can follow @kimberlyanneinc on IG and Twitter.