Why Drinking Makes You Poop

A night out with friends can be priceless. Ok, not priceless. The price you pay is physical. Bluntly put, alcohol, gives you the runs.

The drinks that seemed like a wonderful idea the night before suddenly want to quickly leave your body. So why the urgent movement?

Why your body is making you suffer?

Because Alcohol is a diuretic, during a night out we normally end up in the bathroom many times. The drinks enter the bloodstream and cause the pituitary gland to inhibit the production of vasopressin, which regulates the body’s water retention and constricts blood vessels. The kidneys then send water straight to the bladder. The next morning, it is no longer pee you are worried about. The alcohol increases the gut motility and doesn’t get broken down before it reaches the colon, which bacteria then feasts on.  The increase motility means everything moves faster, meaning the colon has less time to absorb water, which results in watery stool and diarrhea.

And the worst offenders are…

Studies show the more concentrated the alcohol, the worse the reaction- meaning hard liquor will be worse. Sadly, beer is not your friend either. The body produces enzymes to assist in breaking down the complex carbohydrates found in beer as they travel to the small intestine. Drinking beer fairly quickly means some of the carbs will make it to your large intestine without breaking down. The bacteria in the large intestine start fermenting those carbs, resulting in gas, cramping, loose stool, and diarrhea.

How to (un)soften the blow

Pay attention to what you’re drinking! If beer seems to be the most likely culprit, try switching to wine or clear liquor. Everyone is affected differently, so it’s going to be a personal call.

Since alcohol increases the acid content in your stomach, eating helps reduce alcohol’s abrasive effect on the intestines. An empty stomach means more alcohol is moving to the small intestine and getting absorbed by the blood, which can affect other organs like the colon.