Why lemon gin won’t quench your thirst (YOUR thirst)
How many of you are furry all over?
If your ass looks like this in a thong, today’s heat probably felt at least 10° higher than actual temperature.
I love summer, but not because it’s hot. I love the summer drinks, and today I’m thinking gin-and-lemonade—Gin-Ade (Gin-Aid, if you ever consider sponsoring a charity show to raise money for the LBHQ gin supply). Surely Gin-Ade will supply all the refreshment and hydration a hairy bear needs.
But apparently doctors say not.
According to Robert H. Shmerling, who has considerably more letters after his name than yours truly, even though a cold alcoholic bevy may sound refreshing, it’s not the wisest choice to quench thirst.
When you’re active in on a hot day, you lose water and salt, which has side effects*:
- Lowered blood pressure
- Muscle cramps
- Lowered muscle function
For bears like me, no problemo. Bring on the gin. But for you guys these things can be bad, especially if you lose more water than salt. This makes blood vessels constrict, increasing cramps and prompting the brain to send a chemical messenger (anti-diuretic hormone, or ADH) instructing the kidneys to conserve water.
In tandem with this, the brain’s thirst center kicks in, so you drink more. If you’re sensible, you reach for some H2O. If you’re a hirsute, thong-wearing bear, you belly up to the bar for another Gin-Ade.
So…good, right? Either way, you’re taking in fluids and therefore rehydrating. Wrong, according to Dr. Shrmerling. Those smart ADH instructions your brain sent to your kidneys to conserve water—well, alcohol inhibits those instructions. Your kidneys release water instead of holding onto it, and next thing you know you’re taking six consecutive trips to the pissoir where you crack comments like, “You can only rent a beer—*hic*.”
So your poor dehydrated body can’t hang on to the water it needs. And get you—you’re so pissed that not only does your ADH turn off; so does your judgment, and you order another round. And when you’re fully pissed, you have no idea how thirsty you are.
Throughout all this, of course, you feel increasingly clever and attractive and generally scintillating to everyone. If no one disabuses you of these notions (and perhaps if they do), you drink more, chasing the dragon that is your own magical charisma. You’ve screwed up, friend, and you won’t realize it till tomorrow, when you wake up dry-mouthed with a thong on your head.
Drinking on a hot day can start a spiral into dangerous dehydration. If you’re lucky and you don’t venture into epic excess, you’ll just end up with a wicked hangover. But keep an eye on those dehydration symptoms, or your Gin-Ade bender could eventuate in much worse.
As for Gin-Aid, let’s make it happen! Watch this space for more info.
* Luckily I don’t have blood, muscles, brains, etc. Not even genitals, I suspect.