Does beer cause dehydration?

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question “Does beer cause dehydration?” and discuss how the alcohol present in beer acts in the body and how to avoid feeling bad and how to rehydrate after having some beers.

Does beer cause dehydration?

Yes, beer can cause dehydration. The main reason beer causes dehydration is because this beverage contains alcohol. Alcohol is not beneficial for health because it can influence (not in a good way) the functioning of different organs in the human body, especially the liver and kidneys.

Most beers have an alcohol content of approximately 5%, and the alcohol present in beer is a diuretic agent, that’s why when having a beer there is the need to go more frequently to pee, making dehydration easier! 

When compared to other alcoholic beverages, beer does not have high alcohol content. For example, wine can reach 14% and distilled drinks can have more than 40% alcohol content.

It’s important to pay attention to the amount taken of beer, as mentioned, beer has less alcohol, being a lighter drink, so you can end up drinking in larger quantities, especially in the summertime!

Dehydration is basically when our body doesn’t have enough water and essential fluids to function properly. 

A good tip to avoid dehydration, when drinking alcohol, is to drink water, avoiding also the hangover feelings occurring the next day. Drinking water with alcohol helps to reduce the effects of alcohol intoxication and consequent dehydration.

How does beer dehydrate the body?

Alcohol present in beer can cause dehydration. Every day, our heart can pump 180 liters of blood to the kidneys. However, after filtration, carried out by the kidneys, a small amount of water goes into the urine and most of the water goes back into the blood.

This happens because of a hormone called ADH (antidiuretic hormone) or vasopressin. This hormone, which is responsible for absorbing water, is produced within our brain, in a region called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a region responsible, among other functions, for the production of several hormones.

Alcohol inhibits ADH  (antidiuretic hormone) production in the hypothalamus. Thus, less water goes back into the blood and all this water goes into the urine, promoting dehydration and making the need to pee more frequently. 

Too much urination eliminates apart from water other compounds such as sodium, potassium, and chloride. 

What are the symptoms of dehydration after drinking beer?

As mentioned, the consumption of large quantities of  beer can cause alcohol-induced dehydration and it comes accompanied by some unpleasant symptoms, like:

  • Dry mouth feeling;
  • Very thirst;
  • Vomiting, nausea, and malaise;
  • Sensitivity to light and sounds;
  • Fatigue;
  • Strong headaches.

Even if they can occur after approximately 5 hours after the consumption of the alcoholic beverage, the related symptoms normally appear one day after exaggerating the quantities of beer taken. 

Is it possible to not suffer dehydration while drinking beer? Very unlikely, having a cup or maybe two of beer will bring out dehydration. So, you can enjoy a beer after a hard day at work or have a good conversation with your friends at a pub table. 

That’s why a beer also has water (non-alcoholic)  in its composition, so its hydration liquid can minimize the dehydration impacts. 

Learn a bit more about the effects of alcohol-induced dehydration here.

How to hydrate after drinking beer?

For this question the answer is quite simple: It is highly recommended to drink enough hydration fluids (non-alcoholic) while drinking beer, avoid drinking on an empty stomach, and always pay attention to the amount of intake. 

Drinking water is one of the most effective and easy ways to rehydrate the body, but there are other ways too. 

For example, having coffee and yogurt for breakfast, once yogurt has more than 80% water. Some fruits can be added to this meal because fruits have fiber and water, all of these components help rehydration and well-being. 

Another good option to rehydrate is to have iced teas, natural juices, flavored waters, and coconut water. The recommendation is to avoid the consumption of soft drinks and industrialized juices.

In addition to large amounts of water and other non-alcoholic beverages after dehydration, in some cases, it is also important to replace some electrolytes. They can be found in some pills easily found in pharmacies or liquid isotonic, it will help to get better hangover symptoms. 

Drinking beer frequently is not healthy, once you can become addicted to it. Besides the problems involving alcohol dependence, this compound can affect some internal organs: kidneys, stomach, liver, brain, and heart. 

Many experts do not recommend drinking more than 350 ml of beer a day, at most, this amount is safe from the point of view of chemical dependency and also from the harm to health.

Other FAQs about Beer that you may be interested in.

What is the difference between ale and beer?

Can women also have a beer belly?

What is the difference between beer and wine?


In this brief article, we have answered the question “Does beer cause dehydration?” and discussed how the alcohol present in beer acts in the body and how to avoid feeling bad, and how to rehydrate after having some beers.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.