The Seal

Stosis
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The Seal

A couple of days ago me and my buddies were drinking and we started arguing over whether or not the seal exists. I, personally, never feel its affects and argue that the only reason you pee more is because you're drinking much more liquid than you normally would. Others feel otherwise. So what's your opinion? Also, if you can get some real scientific facts about it, that would be great.

 

 

 

Cheers and here's to another


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What?   

What?

 

 

 


HisWillness
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He's talking about the

He's talking about the notion that while drinking, once you start going to the bathroom, you go more frequently. It's called "breaking the seal".

Now, I always thought that people knew what a silly idea that is. After all, if you start drinking, you'll eventually have to go to the bathroom, and then you'll have to go more frequently because ... you've continued to drink. If you were drinking water, the same thing would happen. Your body would be taking on the water gradually as you drank it and would still be processing it while you went on to drink more water.

Unless, of course, there's some more complicated version of this phenomenon I'm not aware of.

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Local beer drinkers call

Local beer drinkers call this effect a "flow heater". After several beers, like dozen, they drink one beer, go to bathroom, drink another one and go to bathroom again, and so on. (of course this is not a permanent effect at all) This may continue well over 20 beers in total. It has an effect of so-called "beer callus" forming on the belly.
On the other side, trying this with water is much more dangerous, because it may cause a water poisoning, which is possibly mortal.

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HisWillness wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

Unless, of course, there's some more complicated version of this phenomenon I'm not aware of.

 

You mean like the fact that alcohol blocks the effect of vasopressin (ADH or anti-diuretic hormone) on your kidneys?

 

HisWillness wrote:
Now, I always thought that people knew what a silly idea that is. After all, if you start drinking, you'll eventually have to go to the bathroom, and then you'll have to go more frequently because ... you've continued to drink. If you were drinking water, the same thing would happen. Your body would be taking on the water gradually as you drank it and would still be processing it while you went on to drink more water.

 

I would not exactly call it a seal but consider how large a bottle of spring water you can drink without needing to take care of business vs trying to knock back the same volume of whiskey without having to do the same?

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Answers in Gene Simmons

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

Unless, of course, there's some more complicated version of this phenomenon I'm not aware of.

You mean like the fact that alcohol blocks the effect of vasopressin (ADH or anti-diuretic hormone) on your kidneys?

Haha! But that wouldn't point to "breaking the seal", by which is usually meant the first time you go to the bathroom. The first time you go to the bathroom is immaterial, it's the fact that you're drinking alcohol.

Answers in Gene Simmons wrote:
HisWillness wrote:
Now, I always thought that people knew what a silly idea that is. After all, if you start drinking, you'll eventually have to go to the bathroom, and then you'll have to go more frequently because ... you've continued to drink. If you were drinking water, the same thing would happen. Your body would be taking on the water gradually as you drank it and would still be processing it while you went on to drink more water.

I would not exactly call it a seal but consider how large a bottle of spring water you can drink without needing to take care of business vs trying to knock back the same volume of whiskey without having to do the same?

The "seal" concept usually applies to beer, if I'm not mistaken. A pint is just under half of a litre, and I've certainly seen people put away four pints. Downing two litres of water will, in fact, have you going to the bathroom.

If we're going to go at this "scientifically", and we're considering frequency of bathroom breaks, we'd have to also take into consideration the depressive effect of alcohol on the nervous system in delaying the signal to go to the bathroom. So while our anti-diuretic hormones are suppressed, so is our nervous system, causing us to get up from the table just as much with water as beer, but to evacuate much more if we're drinking beer.

Anecdotally, I think that's true, but It's a hypothesis, anyway.

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HisWillness wrote:Haha!

HisWillness wrote:
Haha! But that wouldn't point to "breaking the seal", by which is usually meant the first time you go to the bathroom. The first time you go to the bathroom is immaterial, it's the fact that you're drinking alcohol.

 

And I will agree with you on that. I don't think that the first time that you go to the bathroom is relevant. A more reasonable explanation is that some drunk guys were trying to think about why it happens and “the seal” is what they came up with. Hardly rigorous science.

 

You did ask for a more complicated explanation and a fairly well documented biochemical pathway would seem to be on point.

 

HisWillness wrote:
The "seal" concept usually applies to beer, if I'm not mistaken. A pint is just under half of a litre, and I've certainly seen people put away four pints. Downing two litres of water will, in fact, have you going to the bathroom.

 

Well, in all honesty, I had not heard of this seal before this morning. However, I would think that to be similar to what I have heard such as “you don't buy beer, you borrow it for a half hour” and similar sentiments.

 

That much having been said, I am fine with beer being a bigger issue if for no better reason than the higher volume of liquid ingested. I suppose that you could test it by drinking two liters of water and following that up with four shots. If alcohol is the major factor, then you should feel the urge faster than you would just from the water alone.

 

How to test that with scientific rigor, I can only guess but if it involves having some scientists pay my bar tab for a month, I would be willing to sign up.

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Atheistextremist
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The Seal does exist - sort of

Alcohol is diuretic. The process takes a little while to start but once you have enough alcohol in your system

your body will lose more fluid that you take in. If you're drinking beers at pace, then you're going to be doing

a lot of pissing. The seal is the time between when you have your first drink and the time it takes to reach the

state of required pissedness for the diuretic effect of the booze to hit you. Once it hits it won't ease till you hit

the pavement.

 

P.S. Luminon - I loved your observation: "After several beers - like a dozen"... 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Stosis
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So it seems likes its

So it seems likes its completely bogus. Thanks!


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No dude, I don't think

No dude, I don't think that it is bogus. I think that it is a real thing but drunks are not good scientists. I attribute it to ADH. However, in the northern hemisphere, we are past the weather where it can be tested reasonably. Perhaps the Aussie contingent can be of some help.

 

On a hot summer day, drink quite a bit of Gatorade and then have a single beer. If ADH is the root, then you should break out in a sweat.

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