Listen Now Download as mp3 from the show Naked Science Q&A and the Edinburgh Science Festival
Simon, Hiroshima asked:
If I'm walking in the desert and becoming dehydrated, would drinking wine accelerate my dehydration or would it help? If I left the wine out so that the alcohol could evaporate, how long would I have to leave it to be safe to drink?
Sue Baic, Lecturer in Nutrition and Public Health at Bristol University:
It's perfectly safe to drink the wine, or coffee, or any one of the other 'unsafe' drinks.
No, alcohol is a diuretic. (Something that causes dehydration)
If you were to leave the wine to let the alcohol evapoate, some of the water content would also be lost.
What if it's alcohol free wine ? neilep, Fri, 4th Apr 2008
then you are in luck.. it would be better yet..
Water is a diuretic. Should you avoid it when thirsty?
If you take pedantically the definition that a diuretic is something that increases urine production, then yes, water is a diuretic. However in a healthy body drinking water will obviously never cause you to become dehydrated.
More importantly, what do they do withe the wine free alcohol?
turnipsock, Sun, 6th Apr 2008
Apparently, they needed several takes for that scene. John Mills was in quite a state by the end - almost dehydrated, possibly. lyner, Wed, 9th Apr 2008
There is a famous historical case where the crew of the ship Medusa foundered on a sandbank and took to a raft, large quantities of wine were consumed and despite being quite close to the shore all perished.
Actually, maybe a bit unseemly, but not unheard of - if the wine is acting as a diuretic, then could this effect not be offset by drinking your own urine? another_someone, Thu, 10th Apr 2008
not a pleasant thought, but interesting question
Yo! Professor Macfarlane: ...temperatures over 100 degrees CENTIGRADE in the desert... ??? Dude, that´s 212 degrees Farenheit and no place on earth outside a volcano has ever gotten that hot passerby, Sat, 7th Jun 2008
Water not a diuretic it equates to life, we are 85% water so how the heck can it be a diuretic. But of course if we drink large amounts our kidneys will tell us soon.
You answered your own question and then postured another that was already discussed in the first few posts Madidus_Scientia, Tue, 1st Jul 2008
Even in the sun in the middle of the hottest desert, ambient temperature has never reached 100 degrees centigrade. 100 degrees Fahrenheit sure, but not centigrade. will d, Thu, 28th Apr 2016