Industry insights

5 Tips To Help You Avoid Dehydration When Drinking Alcohol

2 min read

By Matt Stimpson |  Published

Whatever the season or reason to celebrate or commiserate, there’s always an excuse to crack open the bubbly or get a few rounds of drinks in. But we’re all aware of the consequences when we have too much to drink, so it definitely pays to stay hydrated when drinking alcohol. But how do you do it to avoid a hangover or any ill effects?

How does drinking alcohol dehydrate you?

One of the main causes of a hangover is dehydration, and drinking alcohol dehydrates you faster thanks to its diuretic effects. When your body senses that you’re getting dehydrated in general, it produces a hormone called Vasopressin which reduces the need to urinate. But by drinking alcohol, the amount of Vasopressin your body can produce actually reduces, making it harder to retain fluids.

But while hangover cures are a complete myth, there are a few things you can do to swerve alcohol dehydration and stay hydrated enough to avoid one or at least limit its crushing effects. Here are five tips to help you:

1. Eat plenty of food before drinking alcohol

Drinking on an empty stomach will speed up your blood alcohol levels so you get both drunk and dehydrated faster. Before your night out, make sure you have a good meal with plenty of carbs, such as rice, pasta, or potato. This will help your body to slow down the amount of alcohol going into your system.

2. Limit how much you drink

Drinking too much alcohol too quickly means your body won’t be able to process it fast enough. As a rule, it takes one hour for your body to process one alcoholic drink, so making your drink last longer, and therefore drinking less and more slowly will help keep you hydrated.

3. Stick to ‘light’ coloured drinks

Dark drinks such as red wine, whiskey, or brandy, contain congeners – chemicals that can enhance colour, taste, and flavour but ensure the alcohol stays in your body longer, dehydrating you. ‘Light’ coloured or clear drinks, like white wines, light beers, or gin, don’t contain these chemicals, but can still contain high alcohol levels, so beware.

4. Choose a lower alcohol content

Choosing a lower – not necessarily a low – alcohol content drink can help you stay hydrated for longer. Drinks with a high alcohol content will dehydrate you more severely and more quickly. So the less alcohol that’s in your system, the easier it is to stay hydrated.

5. Drink more water

While the jury is still out on whether alternately drinking water while drinking alcohol is beneficial to staying hydrated, we don’t think it can do any harm. One thing that will help you though is to drink a good amount of water before any night out to build up your hydration levels. And the NHS advise to also drink a pint or so of water before you go to sleep. This will help keep your body hydrated and replenish lost fluids while reducing any hangover effects.

Stay hydrated with Thirsty Work

Staying hydrated while drinking alcohol is essential to any night out. And Thirsty Work is supplying more and more hospitality venues with mains fed, pure-filtered still and sparkling water taps and bottling systems to help you stay healthy and hydrated.

If you’re a restaurant, bar, or venue manager or owner looking for a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly way to supply great-tasting pure-filtered water, contact the team today on 01392 877 172 or email to get your free quote today.