Holiday merriment is often a euphemism for overindulgence. Raising an extra glass (or two!) at that upcoming holiday party can lead to a slow morning the next day. There’s a biological explanation for that that starts in the hypothalamus and ends in the bladder.
Anecdotally, most of us know that drinking water alongside our favorite alcoholic refresher does help us feel better the next day. But why is that?
One of the many effects of alcohol consumption is the suppression of an anti-diuretic hormone (ADH), fancy name arginine vasopressin. ADH is produced in the hypothalamus and secreted from the posterior pituitary gland. The hormone is responsible for telling the kidneys how much water to reabsorb versus excrete as urine. With that hormone in short supply, the kidneys get the formula wrong. They send too much liquid into our urine stream and not enough is reabsorbed into our blood stream. Hence, dehydration (and those frequent trips to the restroom during our big nights out). The upshot? The liquid that’s coming in is going right back out in a high concentration of water in the urine.
The obvious advice is don’t overdo it. Consuming less alcohol will keep ADH levels closer to normal and diminish the possibility of getting dehydrated. But this time of year, that kind of practical wisdom can get lost in the festivities of the season. Your second-best remedy is to stay hydrated while you imbibe your holiday cheer.
For maximum rehydration, oral rehydration solutions (ORS) have plain ol’ water beat. In fact, ORS are proven to be as effective as an IV. ORS activate the body’s own sodium-glucose co-transport system, which means electrolytes are absorbed more quickly and more completely. This process counteracts the depletion of ADH, brought on by overdoing. DripDrop is an oral rehydration solution in powder form. It’s portable, tastes good and can get you back into the holiday spirit even after a long night of revelry.