Hydration and Alcohol
After a long week of hard work, there’s no better way to unwind than with a tall glass of something strong and some quality time with your closest friends. And while we all love a rollicking good time down at the bar from time to time, we definitely don’t love the sore head and persistent lethargy the morning after.
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably no stranger to hangovers — and you’ve probably heard that drinking a glass of water between each drink is best for preventing them. That’s because dehydration is one of the main causes of hangover, but water alone isn’t enough to restore nutrients lost through drinking. Let’s take a look at how alcohol affects your hydration levels, why it’s important to stay hydrated while drinking, and how you can drink smarter with a healthy, hydrating mixer like BrightFox.
How does alcohol affect your hydration levels?
As you probably already know, alcohol is a diuretic, a substance that flushes fluids and excess sodium from your body. Did you know your urine volume increases by as much as 50% while drinking? The reason why you urinate more and become dehydrated quickly when you drink is two-fold.
Alcohol reduces the production of your body’s anti-diuretic hormone, called vasopressin. As your liver processes alcohol, it’s broken down into a substance that’s toxic to your body in high concentrations and removed from the body through urine. This makes drinking a double whammy when it comes to dehydration.
Another factor influences your hydration levels while drinking, as well as the likelihood of developing a hangover: the type of alcohol. Dark spirits and wines, like rum and merlot, contain a high concentration of conegers. These byproducts from the distilling process are thought to activate the body’s stress response, in addition to causing alcohol’s effects to last longer in the body, leading to dehydration and hangover. Scientists are still investigating the effects of conegers, but the general consensus is, the more conegers there are in a drink, the more likely you are to be hungover the next morning.
Why is it important to stay hydrated while drinking alcohol?
First and foremost, adequate hydration helps keep that head-splitting hangover at bay. Drinking enough fluids also protects your skin, muscles, brain, liver, and kidneys from both short-term and long-term damage caused by alcohol. Acne, muscle stiffness, and high blood pressure are just a few negative side effects of consuming heavy amounts of alcohol without hydrating properly.
As you drink, your liver and kidneys flush out sodium and other electrolytes. These charged minerals determine how much water your body retains and how much you lose through sweat and urine. The higher your electrolyte intake, the quicker and more effectively your body rehydrates. Electrolytes also keep you hydrated for longer by managing your body’s fluid levels.
Whether enjoyed as a mixer or a buffer between drinks, BrightFox adds a much-needed dose of hydration and electrolytes to your system, including 84 mg of potassium and 80 mg of sodium. That’s not to mention over 30% of your daily amount of vitamins B5, B6, and E, which also play a role in regulating essential biological processes like your heart rate, blood flow, and liver function.
How can you optimize hydration on a night out?
Sure, plain water is hydrating, but it’s not enough on its own to replenish your electrolyte levels and other nutrients lost through drinking. Plus, because of the lost electrolytes, your body only retains about half of the water you drink. The rest passes through the urine. So even though you might drink a glass of water between each drink, you can still end up dehydrated if you’re drinking heavily. Sugary sodas and popular mixers with high amounts of caffeine can further exacerbate the problem.
Instead of reaching for that sugary mixer with no nutritional value, why not create a new cocktail from your favorite spirit and your favorite BrightFox flavor? Our crisp, refreshing flavors not only pair delectably well with gin, vodka, and tequila, but they’re also packed with electrolytes and other essential nutrients — keeping you at the party tonight and feeling refreshed tomorrow. BrightFox also contains antioxidants that shield your cells from the effects of oxidative stress as a result of drinking.
Hydration and alcohol: the bottom line
We all know how important it is to stay hydrated, especially on a night out. Adequate hydration not only helps prevent hangover, but it also protects our vital organs from long-term damage. Because alcohol is a diuretic that also impedes our body’s ability to maintain optimal fluid levels, drinking can spell double trouble for dehydration.
Fortunately, there are ways to stay hydrated and fend off that dreadful morning-after headache. Make no mistake — there’s no such thing as a hangover cure (yet). But there are intelligent ways to prevent hangover while simultaneously enjoying your favorite adult beverages. BrightFox replenishes your fluid levels, electrolytes, and essential nutrients while you drink, making it a smart and delicious way to enjoy your favorite cocktails and mixed drinks. (We’ll toast to that.)