These days, the line of when it’s an "appropriate" time to drink is super blurred. I mean, you probably shouldn’t be slugging beers in between Zoom calls, but pouring a glass of pinot or cracking open a White Claw "too early" doesn’t have the same stigma as it did when we were reporting to the office every day.
Not only that, but it seems to...not take as many drinks, if you know what I mean. We’re sitting around a lot more than usual and we haven’t gone out to a real-life happy hour in weeks -- if you find that your tolerance has slipped, there’s a clear culprit.
So, ever wonder if "breaking the seal" -- aka using the bathroom for the first time after you’ve been drinking, resulting in your fate to revisit the bathroom over and over again thereafter -- is real? If ever there were a time to test it...
Well, it’s mostly a myth. There’s no such thing as a "seal." It’s just that the more you think it’s true, the more it’ll manifest. You know how when you really have to pee, but don’t have immediate access to a bathroom, the biggest advice you’ll hear is to not think about it? Once you "break the seal," you’ll be thinking all about how you broke the seal, and you’ll need to start peeing more often just because you can’t -- you guessed it -- stop thinking about it.
It’s just normal bodily functions, albeit sped up a little. You probably don’t drink a bunch of eight-ounce glasses of liquid back to back to back normally, but that’s sure what you do when you go out drinking!
"It takes a little while -- two or three or four drinks -- and then the body starts getting all this excess fluid on board and starts dumping it off," associate professor of urology Daniel S. Elliott, M.D. told Women’s Health. "It's just that the body is starting to kick all this excess fluid out."
There is some biology hiding behind the myth, though. For instance, it doesn’t help that alcohol is a diuretic: It literally makes you produce more urine, just like coffee (so, yes, you can break the seal, so to speak, with coffee, too). Plus, alcohol suppresses the production of vasopressin, or antidiuretic hormone (ADH), in your brain. With less ADH, your brain fails to let your kidneys know that it can stop making so much pee. As a result, your kidneys don’t absorb as much fluid and instead send it right down to the bladder.
But, ultimately, no, you won't have to pee any more than you would have, anyway. Let yourself use the bathroom. We won’t get into how standing in line for the bar bathroom can increase your need to pee tenfold.