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Scientist Explains Why Drinking Water Won't Prevent A Hangover

Dominic Smithers


Scientist Explains Why Drinking Water Won't Prevent A Hangover

Featured Image Credit: PA

You might be thinking about having a couple of drinks tonight - and why not? It's Friday, after all.

But according to a scientist, if you're hoping to prevent the morning haze tomorrow, necking a bit of water before bed won't do the trick.

We've all tried it once or twice. You get home feeling a little buzzed and think that a little glass of H2O is going to absolve you of all your sins. But it doesn't.

Instead, you wake up six hours later with a thumping headache and a mouth drier than the desert.

This comes as no surprise to molecular biologist Patrick Schmitt, who knows all too well that water just doesn't cut it.

He told Business Insider: "It's a misconception that drinking water helps you avoid a hangover."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

While a study in 1950 showed that the body excretes more water while drinking alcohol, Schmitt explained how this doesn't mean that drinking a load before bed will help.

He said: "The wrong conclusions were drawn from these results.

"It was thought that, as the body was excreting more water, it would therefore become dehydrated - and this was simply accepted as a conclusive explanation for why we get hangovers."

So Schmitt decided to conduct his own experiment and monitored the hydration levels of his test subjects.

The study found that increased alcohol consumption doesn't lead to higher levels of dehydration, even though we pass more fluids when we drink.

Schmitt explained: "This means that the body does not lose any significant amounts of water.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"That recommendation to drink a lot of water when consuming alcohol is based on exactly this misconception.

"Since the body isn't actually getting dehydrated, drinking water alongside alcohol has absolutely no effect on whether or not you end up with a hangover."

He went on to say that water is in everything we drink, and alcohol is no different.

He added: "You're never really 'dehydrated'. It's not too dissimilar to the myth surrounding coffee."

While we're at it then, let's bust some myths around 'breaking the seal'.

According to Healthline, the whole idea is utter rubbish and having a pee after a drink won't specifically have to make you run to the urinal.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Experts are said to believe that is more of a 'mental suggestion' than an actual physical need to wee.

Alcohol is a diuretic, which makes you need the toilet but it has nothing to do with your bladder getting lazy and not sealing back up.

It is said that our brain produces a hormone called antidiuretic hormone (ADH) and according to a 2010 study, alcohol suppresses ADH production, causing your body to produce more urine than usual.

The extra urine comes from the liquid you're taking in, plus your body's fluid reserves. This depleting of fluid reserves is how alcohol causes dehydration and is partly to blame for hangovers.

Topics: Science, Study, World News, Interesting, Alcohol, Beer

Dominic Smithers
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