Beer makes you pee because of an ingredient called purines. When you drink beer, your body breaks down the alcohol to get rid of it before it can be broken down into acetaldehyde, which is bad for you. The kidneys send the toxins out in urine as a by-product and they also help replace the water in your body that has been used up while you’ve been drinking.
This is one of the reasons why beer drinkers are more likely to be dehydrated than people who drink wine or other alcoholic beverages.
The science behind beer and urination
While drinking beer is one of the most popular recreational pastimes in Australia, it is also one of the most hazardous. About 97% of all traffic accidents are alcohol-related, and alcohol contributes to 90% of deaths in young people under the age of 21.
Any fun evening can become a dangerous event if you drink too much beer. And that’s precisely why beer drinkers are more likely to be dehydrated than others who don’t drink a lot of alcohol.
The hydration aspect is pretty straightforward: beer is made up of water and alcohol. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it will make you urinate more. You don’t realize it because the water comes out along with the alcohol and other toxins, but you actually lose a lot of water when you drink beer.
Most people consume about 2–3 L (1/2 to 3/4 gallon) of fluid every day. When you drink beer, you’ll urinate more fluid and you may even lose the ability to tell how much water you’re losing. Since it becomes difficult to gauge just how much water is being lost through urine, it also becomes difficult to know when to stop drinking.
The other reason why people who drink beer are more dehydrated than others is that beer itself contains a high amount of purines. Purines are broken down by the body to form uric acid. Uric acid can build up in the joints and cause arthritis, gout and other severe conditions.
Drinking a lot of beer in a short time is particularly dangerous because it increases the amount of uric acid that you’re putting into your body. The uric acid then collects in the joints, forming waste deposits. Drinks like wine and spirits are usually gentler on your joints because they do not contain as much purine.
Which beers are better to drink to stop over urinating
In general, beers that are more bitter are higher in purines than bland beers. That is why the darker, stronger beers like stouts and some brown ales have to come with a warning label: “This product contains natural ingredients which may contribute to its purine content.”
If you want to keep your body from losing water through the urine, drink beer with very little purine (like wheat beer), drink less or drink more frequently instead of guzzling large amounts at once.
Also, try to mix up your alcohol intake by having every second drink a glass of water. This will help you replenish your body fluids and avoid dehydration. It will also stop you from being so focused on drinking the beer that you don’t realize how much you’re losing.
How to stop urinating after drinking beer
There are two ways to take care of the problem: you can either drink water or eat something high in potassium. Most people who over-drink flushes out a lot of water and need to replace it with other more substantial fluids that contain the body’s own potassium. Eat foods high in potassium such as eggs, oranges, bananas, milk and cheese. You can also drink a sports drink like Gatorade. If you take potassium, it usually takes about 4 hours to flush out the toxins from your body.
Be careful if you’re taking potassium though. If you’re taking blood pressure medication, it can make the potassium build up into your heart and cause a heart attack or arrhythmia. Be sure to check with your doctor before taking anything for your hangover.
It can also be that you’re drinking too fast and gulping air at the same time. When you gulp air while you drink, it creates an air bubble in your stomach which makes you feel bloated. Therefore, when drinking beer try to avoid gulping at all costs and instead sip your beer more slowly so that the bubbles can get out of your stomach and do not disrupt digestion. Sipping slowly will also help the alcohol to settle in your stomach properly and lower its absorption rate into your bloodstream.
Why do some people pee more than others when drinking beer?
This is a tricky one, some people tend to pee less when drinking beer because they drink less or eat more food at the same time. Other factors include:
– drink too fast before you get used to it and you will find that you pee more right after drinking by the end of the night.
– Eat food or drink something high in potassium before drinking, so that your body can flush out the toxins more as quickly as possible.
– If you drink alcohol with a meal, especially high-grain foods, all those nutrients will cancel out the effects of alcohol which may lead to less frequent urination.
Drinking beer is an incredibly great way to meet new people and get to know them. So if you want to drink a little without having to worry about how much it’ll affect you, just drink a glass of beer with a meal. You don’t have to over pour the bottle or spill any of it in the process. And even better, you’ll still have plenty of time before your next drink.
Wines vs. Beers: Which is Better?
Within a few short hours, beer drinkers can suffer from dehydration while wine drinkers may not suffer as much because wines don’t contain as many purines and thus those who drink wine don’t have to process so much alcohol at once.
The dehydrating effect of alcohol is a lot worse when you drink lots of beer quickly. A 2011 study published in the British Medical Journal found that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of death from all causes than people who drink beer, wine or spirits. The reason is that coffee contains chemicals called chlorogenic acids. These chemicals make coffee less toxic to the liver and therefore the body doesn’t break down so many purine compounds at once compared to beer, wine or spirit.
Is drinking beer bad for you?
One of the biggest problems with drinking alcohol is that a lot of people don’t stay away from it because they feel like they aren’t harming themselves. Alcohol is consumed in a variety of ways by adults across the world. In most occasions, adults drink alcohol in social settings or at parties where the only objective is to have good time and be social.
Alcohol is something that has been around since the beginning of time and has been consumed socially for as long as it has existed. So, of course, people always feel that it will not harm them.
The problem is that when we drink alcohol and get too drunk, we can experience a variety of negative effects which can be very dangerous to our health. They can include:
– Having too much alcohol over time will affect your liver in a bad way. A chronic liver disease called fatty liver produces inflammation and scarring in the liver that damages the organ which eventually leads to cirrhosis or liver failure.
– Alcohol can lead to low self-esteem, mood swings and depression.
– Alcohol can lead to unhealthy binging where an individual who is not used of having so much alcohol will drink too much and be at risk of alcoholism.
– Regularly drinking, even in small amounts, can cause damage to the brain which leads to memory problems and possibly a greater chance of developing dementia. It can also negatively affect your heart muscle which will eventually result in cardiac failure or even death.
– Regularly drinking can cause cancer.
– Alcohol can lead to increased risk of miscarriage or infertility.
– Alcohol can lead to abnormal fetal development and may result in a smaller baby or even death of the fetus. It is also associated with low birth weight which can affect the growth and development of the baby.
Since we are not often aware of these effects, people will usually drink until they feel a little bit buzzed, which is one beer or shot.
Bottom Line: Why does beer make you pee?
When you drink beer, you are more likely to become dehydrated. If you have to drink a lot of it at a party for safety reasons, take breaks between drinks so that your kidneys don’t get overloaded. And drink wine instead of beer if it is safer for your joints.
And one last thing… just because a lot of people drink beer, does not mean that all beers are created equally. Beer drinkers can be divided into light vs. heavy drinkers and the light ones will want to look at the alcohol content in a beer before drinking it. This is because beer with high alcohol content will dehydrate you more quickly.
If you are one of the heavy drinkers, you might want to consider one of these low-carb beers or if you want to cut down on calories check out The Best Light Beers or our list of Best Low Calorie Beers.