Hydration and the festive season

13 December 2018

Alcohol causes dehydration because it affects a chemical in your body called vasopressin. Vasopressin (also known as anti-diuretic hormone) helps your kidneys conserve water and prevents it from being removed from your body when you visit the bathroom. This mechanism helps keep the balance of fluid in your body just right.

Alcohol, however, stops vasopressin from doing its job. This means more urine is produced, making you need to go to the bathroom more often, causing dehydration. Being dehydrated is thought to be one of the main causes of a hangover.

Here are our top tips for staying hydrated over the festive period:

  • Get your day off to a good start by drinking a large glass of water before you have breakfast or leave the house.
  • Keep a bottle of water with you at all times as a reminder to drink throughout the day, and fill it up every time it’s empty.
  • Flavour your water with fresh fruit, lemons and limes or sugar-free cordial if you’re not keen on the taste of water alone. Milk, one glass of fruit juice, tea and coffee
    all count towards your daily water intake too.
  • For every alcoholic drink you have, balance it out with one glass of water.
  • Pace yourself. For every unit of alcohol you drink, it takes your body around one hour to digest it. So be mindful of how fast and how much you’re drinking and try to space your drinks out.

Have a lovely Christmas from all of us at Spire Cheshire Hospital!

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