There's nothing like a good drink to take the edge off, and alcohol is a central part of many social activities. But does drinking alcohol have any benefits? And what are the side effects of excessive drinking?
What Happens To Your Brain and Body When You Drink Alcohol?
When you drink alcohol, your body converts it to ethanol. Ethanol is a psychoactive drug and can affect the brain and body in different ways. For example, heavy drinkers may experience impaired judgment, slowed reflexes, and impaired coordination. Drinking alcohol can also damage organs like the liver and kidneys. Your liver can’t properly break down the alcohol which means, over time, drinking can do irreparable harm to detoxifying organs of the body.
Alcohol can interfere with the communication that happens inside the brain. This interference can affect the overall functionality of the brain, resulting in changes in mood and behavior as well as coordination issues.
In addition to your brain and liver, drinking can also cause damage to other vital organs in the body including your immune system.
Can Your Body Sweat Out Alcohol?
The short answer to this is no, not in the way you may assume. Sweating can expel a little quantity of alcohol, but it is insignificant. The urine, breath, and sweat can only eliminate roughly 10% of alcohol, the other 90% is oxidized by the liver.
What the liver can't break down, the body gets rid of through a process called "oxidation," explains Rachel Daniels, M.S., R.D., senior director of nutrition at Virtual Health Partners. "During oxidation, the body breaks the perceived toxins down into three smaller particles (diacetic acid, carbon dioxide, and water) that the body can excrete through sweat, urine, and breath," says Axe.
"The diacetic acid changes the composition of your bodily fluids and leads to an odor like vinegar or nail polish remover," explains sports medicine specialist Naresh Rao, D.O., FAOASM, head physician of the USA men's water polo team.
Many people sweat more after a night out, that's because as alcohol accumulates in the blood vessels, they enlarge, explains Axe. "This can make people feel hot, which triggers the sweat glands."
However, when you sweat as a result of drinking, you aren’t sweating out alcohol, you are simply sweating as a byproduct of drinking. The only true way to get alcohol out of your body is to allow your liver to process and break down the alcohol over time.
Alcohol Detox and Sweating
If you are suffering from an alcohol dependency or addiction, the safest and best way to rid your body of all the alcohol that is in it before you start treatment is via a detox.
During the medical detox process, withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and even dangerous if not properly monitored and treated. That’s why it is important to undergo detox treatment under the care and supervision of trained medical professionals
One of those unpleasant withdrawal symptoms can be uncontrolled and unexplained sweating. During the alcohol detox procedure, certain individuals may experience night sweats. They might find themselves soaked in sweat in the middle of the night for no reason. This is the result of the alcohol’s effect on your central nervous system which regulates body temperature, in addition to heart rate and blood pressure.
Night Sweats and Alcohol
Most of us drink alcohol in the company of friends or loved ones, but what happens when you drink too much? Alcohol can increase your body's production of sweat, which can result in sweats during the night. If you're sweating a lot, it might be a sign that you're drinking too much alcohol.
When you drink alcohol, the heart rate speeds up, and blood vessels in the skin widen, which is called vasodilatation. This results in a warm and flushed feeling of the skin, which then triggers sweating. Since most people drink in the evening or at night, it is common to have night sweats.
To avoid night sweats, limit how much you drink per day.
Why Do I Sweat When I Hangover?
Drinking alcohol can lead to a hangover, which is a condition characterized by intense headaches, nausea, and sweating. A hangover is a result of drinking alcohol and breaking it down into acetaldehyde and hydrogen sulfide. These byproducts cause an increase in sweat production, which is why you feel hot and sweaty when hangover. To reduce the amount of sweat produced during a hangover, try to avoid drinking on an empty stomach, drink plenty of water, and take painkillers if necessary.
Drinking alcohol can dehydrate you and cause your body to release sweat. This can lead to nausea, vomiting, and even dehydration - which can be serious.
The key is to find the right balance – drinking too much alcohol will still lead to a hangover, but it won’t be as severe. So next time you have a few drinks to celebrate, make sure to drink responsibly and stay hydrated!
Is It Good to Sweat After a Night of Drinking?
To put it simply: you can’t sweat alcohol out of your system using exercise or other methods like a sauna.
Some believe that sweating will help eliminate toxins from the body, while others believe that sweating makes you sober up faster. The truth is that there is limited scientific evidence to support these claims.
In fact, if you notice that you’re sweating while drinking, this is just your body’s reaction to the toxins hitting your system. Some of the receptors in your brain are being affected by the alcohol toxins, and they don’t know how to process your body temperature correctly any longer. This is why you may start to notice the feeling of being hot or sweaty while drinking.
If you notice excessive sweating during the night, it could be a sign that you’re drinking way too much. It could be an indicator that you’re overindulging, developing, or currently have an alcohol problem and your body is having quite some difficulty processing the alcohol and its contents.
Hangover Sweats and dehydration
Here are seven facts you need to know about hangover sweats and dehydration:
1. Alcohol can cause dehydration, and sweat is the body's way of exchanging that fluid.
2. The liver breaks down some of the alcohol to create acids.
3. These acids break down proteins in your hair and skin, which leads to protein loss in sweat and urine.
4. This process can take up to five hours – so it's important to drink plenty of water while hangover sweats are still fresh!
5. Hangover sweats may last anywhere from a few hours to a few days, but the longer they last, the more unpleasant they will be.
6. If you experience hangover sweats that last more than a few days, it's advised to see a doctor.
7. Hangover sweats are not the only sign of dehydration – dehydration can also cause headaches, nausea, and dizziness.
In summary, you can´t sweat out alcohol so you better regulate your alcohol intake to avoid damage to your organs and nervous system. Be cautious, especially on these holiday days.