Is 'Breaking The Seal' When Drinking A Real Thing To Worry About?

There is a lot of advice that comes with drinking. From how you should actually treat a nasty hangover to easy ways to sober up, people are quick to give their thoughts (even if they're not completely accurate). It comes with the fun of growing up and figuring out what works for you. While this advice usually means well, it is important to research the facts before you get yourself in a sticky situation.


A popular word of advice is to not "break the seal" while drinking. According to Urban Dictionary, breaking the seal entails using the bathroom after you drink, and causing you to find yourself running back and forth to the bathroom excessively. It is believed that if you drink alcohol normally and refuse to urinate before the alcohol is out of your system, you won't need to use the bathroom nearly as much. While this might seem like sound advice to some, how accurate is it?

The evidence behind breaking the seal

Despite this being a popular claim, there is no science backed evidence to support breaking the scene. According to Benjamin Brucker, M.D., associate professor at NYU Langone Health, who spoke to Self, the reason this is a common belief is because of how our bodies know how to process fluid. The fact is, there is no such thing as a "seal" to begin with.


The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases explains that after we drink something, our kidneys will begin to produce urine. which goes through tubes in the bladder. Once we have up to two cups of urine in the bladder, we get the feeling of needing to go to the bathroom. So, what is happening is not that you are breaking the seal, but instead getting a natural signal to the body (that was going to happen regardless of what you drank or when you went).

Alcohol does make you use the bathroom

While there is no seal that you are breaking, there is some truth behind the claim. Alcohol does make you use the bathroom way more than usual. Blaine Kristo, M.D., a urologist at Mercy Medical Center explained to Self that reason that you have to pee more than usual is that alcohol is a diuretic. Studies have also found that there is a correlation between alcohol and the hormone vasopressin, an antidiuretic hormone. Vasopressin causes your body to take in way less fluid than if you drank a non-alcoholic beverage, causing you to urinate more.


There is also a chance that the reason you're using the bathroom more has to do with the fact that you are just taking in a lot of fluid. If you plan to drink alcohol, you should also be drinking water throughout the night. That means it should be expected to use the bathroom more than usual, which means holding urine in your bladder would not do much except keep you uncomfortable.