Because beer contains alcohol many people believe it dehydrates the body. But does beer dehydrate you? Let’s find out.
This is a common urban legend that is not true. Beer does not dehydrate you.
Alcohol does harm water retention, but beer does not contain enough alcohol in it to compensate for how much water is in it. Beer is typically about 95% water. Drinking one beer has about one shot of alcohol and over 10 ounces of water. The water to alcohol ratio is too far unbalanced for the beer to cause dehydration. In other words, there’s too much water and not enough alcohol to cause dehydration.
One university study showed that four two ounce shots caused approximately 15 ounces of water loss. As you can see, that is far more alcohol than is in one beer. That is about equivalent to 10 beers, but only causes the water loss of about 1.5 beers.
While beer does not dehydrate you it is certainly not a great way to get proper hydration because of the impairing affects of alcohol. There’s certainly nothing wrong with enjoying a cold refreshing beer on a hot day as long as you get plenty of other liquids including water.
So now you know that beer does not dehydrate you even though it has alcohol in it. In fact, drinking beer is better than a hard alcoholic drink in terms of hydration.