3 Ways Cocktails Put Urinary Health on the Rocks
Alcohol interferes with our urinary health for two key reasons:
- It throws off the particle balance
The kidneys regulate the body’s water levels by balancing the ratio of particles to fluid in the blood. When there is more fluid than particles, the kidneys signal the body to release more urine. Because alcohol is fluid, the kidneys tell the body to pee out the equivalent of what you drink, which can throw off that balance (meaning you end up with more particles than fluid).
- It’s a diuretic
The imbalance of particles over fluids can impede the body’s ability to release an anti-diuretic hormone called vasopressin. When the level of particles increases over fluids, the brain should release more of this hormone. But alcohol suppresses the hormone’s release, which can cause the kidneys to release more water than they should.
3 Ways Cocktails Affects Urinary Health
By interfering with these balances, alcohol can diminish the urinary system’s ability to flush out toxins and other wastes in the body. This can contribute to or exacerbate three conditions:
- Kidney stones
As a diuretic, alcohol causes those who drink to pee more frequently. When liquid passes through the body faster, it is not able to flush out excess minerals and salts that, when concentrated, can form into kidney stones. A mocktail, however, can improve hydration. A mix of sparkling mineral water, cider (pear or apple), and fresh mint will help maintain that balance.
- Urinary tract infections
For the same reasons that alcohol can heighten the risk of stones, it contributes to urinary tract infections (UTI). A UTI is a bacterial infection, and good hydration helps flush bacteria out of the tract. A mix of cranberry juice, sparkling soda, fresh lime, and mint is festive and could support urinary tract health.
- Overactive bladder
Alcohol can interfere with the messages your brain sends to alert the body of bladder overflow, and it can irritate the bladder. That’s two causes to say cheers to mocktails, but note: carbonated beverages can worsen OAB symptoms.
Celebration is a Balance
Will a five-ounce glass of champagne trigger these conditions? It depends on your health, but we’re not suggesting you deprive yourself of a festive holiday toast, whatever form it takes. The key is not to overwhelm the system. The body is a well-regulated machine, and overburdening it with anything – alcohol, food, or even exercise – will stress its functionality.Contact Us