We’re no strangers to holding in our pee past the three-pint mark; after all, you wouldn’t want to ‘break the seal’ too early and risk spending the whole night darting to the loo. But is this common drinking tale fact or cap?
According to Healthline,‘breaking the seal’ is a myth, but alcohol does indeed make you pee more.
What is ‘breaking the seal?’
For those uninitiated into the world of getting ‘on the lash’, ‘breaking the seal’ is a common expression for the first pee when drinkingalcohol.
The idea is that the longer you wait to pee, the less you’ll need to go during the night. But, if you ‘break the seal’ too early, you’ll be cursed with bladder urgency every half hour.
Is ‘breaking the seal’ a myth?
According to Healthline, ‘breaking the seal’ is actually a big ol’ fib, and of course, our bladders don’t have a seal that can break like a dam.
Instead, Healthline revealed that the urban myth might be due to mental suggestion. If you believe you’ll ‘break the seal’ and pee more, then that sweet bladder release will be at the forefront of your mind, leading you to be hyper-aware of your urge to urinate.
But while ‘breaking the seal’ may be a piece of fiction, it is true that alcohol does make you want to pee more. This is because alcohol is a diuretic or suppresses the body’s production of antidiuretic hormone, causing you to produce more urine than usual.
Essentially, when you’re out getting trolleyed - or even if you’re going for a casual few drinks - you’re taking in more fluid than usual. Combined with your body’s standard water reserves, this extra fluid can quickly build up pressure on the detrusor muscle (part of the bladder wall), giving you the overwhelming urge to constantly tinkle.
Holding in your urge to pee won’t stop you from needing to go throughout the night, and it’s not all that great for the body either. Holding in your pee can often lead to urinary tract infections or UTIs that make you feel like you need to go even when you don’t; talk about karma.
The frequent trips to the bathroom on a night out can also cause dehydration, leading to a hangover. Studies have shown that hangovers can actually get less severe with age, but enjoying a glass of water in between pints can help ensure you don’t suffer the next day.