Thursday evening, 9 p.m.: the appointment is given in your favorite beer bar. Unsurprisingly, you don’t go there for their orgeat syrup (even though it’s very good). After tasting the beer of the month, an IPA, and taking a pint of Pelforth because it was the cheapest, you end up with an irresistible urge to pee. Why does alcohol, and especially beer, make you want to go to the bathroom?
2 pints of beer is 1L of liquid. Usually, you manage to restrain yourself from peeing by emptying your water bottle of the same capacity. But not with beer. Obviously, the composition of beer, therefore, plays a role in our need to urinate, regardless of the amount of liquid drunk. The person responsible for all this has a name: hops.
The fault for the diuretic effect of hops
If there’s one thing to blame for your incessant back and forth to the back of the bar and the 10 minutes of queuing you do every time, it’s hops. And for good reason: it is a diuretic plant. In other words, it encourages the kidneys to remove water, just like asparagus or granny’s artichoke leaf infusion does. Add to that the overall effect of alcohol, and you have the winning combo to pee every 30 minutes.
Alcohol inhibits an anti-diuretic hormone
As if that were not enough, alcohol also has an effect on the production of our kidneys. To put it simply, our body knows that we don’t want to spend half the evening queuing in the bathroom. This is why it usually releases an antidiuretic hormone, vasopressin when you turn to softs. But as soon as you switch to one -or more- glasses of alcohol, it’s a different story.
Alcohol inhibits vasopressin and its anti-diuretic effects. As a result, the kidneys have carte blanche to carry out their filter mission. In other words, they remove all impurities and water from our bodies by making us urinate more often since vasopressin is no longer there to regulate their activity. The more alcohol inhibits the anti-diuretic effects of vasopressin, the more water the kidneys remove, the more one wants to pee. CQFD.
By dint of peeing, we are dehydrated and we find ourselves in a “hangover” the next day. The solution that we think of illico, in addition to avoiding consuming too much alcohol, is to drink a glass of water between each glass of alcohol. But is it really effective?
Alcohol abuse is dangerous to health. Consume in moderation.
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