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How to Keep From Getting Dehydrated While Drinking Alcohol

By Andrea Cespedes

If you choose to drink alcohol, you may be familiar with the unpleasant side effects that occur the next day. Headaches, body aches, fatigue, nausea and dehydration may make you think twice about indulging. When you drink alcohol, you produce a greater amount of urine. You can lessen hangover symptoms, such as thirst, weakness, dry mucous membranes and dizziness, by taking steps to prevent the dehydration caused by drinking alcohol.

  1. Modify your drinking habits. Stick to just one drink per hour — the amount most adults can process readily.

  2. Drink several glasses of water or juice between alcoholic drinks.

  3. Eat food while consuming alcohol. Avoid salty foods, which make you thirstier and might possibly increase your alcohol consumption.

  4. Avoid carbonated alcoholic beverages and shots, which deliver alcohol to your system faster, increasing dehydration.

  5. Choose the types of alcohol that are less likely to cause a hangover, including vodka and gin, instead of those that are most likely to do so, such as red wine and bourbon.

  6. Tip

    In most states, a blood alcohol level of 0.08 exceeds the legal limit for driving. For a 120-pound woman, four drinks in one hour raises your blood alcohol level to 0.17. For a 160-pound man, five drinks in one hour raises your blood alcohol level to 0.14. The safest strategy is to abstain from driving if you have been drinking.


    If you are on any medications, consult with your physician before imbibing. Mixing different types of alcohol, such as wine with hard liquor or beer, can intensify your hangover. Alcohol can be addicting; if you have a family history of alcoholism, modify your consumption.

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