Why does beer make us have to pee so badly? According to Doctor David Charbit, a urologist at the Cochin hospital in Paris, France:
"Beer has a diuretic effect that favours urine production. It's also a bladder irritant that sends the signal to our nervous system too early, telling us to empty our bladders."
It's not easy to manage because alcohol reduces our control, forcing us to pee frequently. It all depends on the quantity of beer you drink, but we rarely ever stop after the first pint. And we have hops to thank for that, as they are intense diuretics.
The sugars, malt proteins and other substances in hops (the plant that flavours beer) all contribute to making us want to empty our bladders. The high concentration of molecules stimulates our kidneys to produce more fluid to process the chemicals.
Urine is what regulates the concentration of minerals in our blood and what rids our bodies of waste materials. In addition, bubbly drinks, which contain carbonic acid, increase pressure on our bladders. This also happens when we drink coffee.
Once you start, you can't stop
They say if you wait to pee after your first beer, it will help you control your bladder for the rest of the evening. But that's not necessarily a good idea. Doctor Charbit warns:
"When you progressively increase the pressure on your bladder, urine can flow back into the kidneys and damage them in the long term."
It's kind of like a balloon that's too full, so it leaks and pushes urine back into the kidneys. One girl named Mathilde learned to control her bladder to avoid having to get up constantly.
"I'm lucky because I've learned to manage how often I go to the bathroom. Otherwise, it can get to be annoying at a party or at work."
But not everyone can do that. One night, a guy named Remi says he was flirting with a girl in a bar, sucking down pints of amber ale with his friends.
He was having a good time, and the conversation was going well. But unfortunately, he said:
"After ten minutes, I couldn't hold it anymore and decided to go to the bathroom for a second. When I came back, the girl I was flirting with had disappeared. So I ordered another beer."
Don't forget, abusing alcohol is dangerous for your health. Always drink in moderation. And remember to pee several times a day!