Centre of Expertise Urban Vitality

The diuretic action of weak and strong alcoholic beverages in elderly men

a randomized diet-controlled crossover trial


With ageing, there is a greater risk of dehydration. This study investigated the diuretic effect of alcoholic beverages varying in alcohol concentration in elderly men. Three alcoholic beverages (beer (AB), wine (AW), and spirits (S)) and their non-alcoholic counterparts (non-alcoholic beer (NAB), non-alcoholic wine (NAW), and water (W)) were tested in a diet-controlled randomized crossover trial. For the alcoholic beverages, alcohol intake equaled a moderate amount of 30 g. An equal volume of beverage was given for the non-alcoholic counterpart. After consumption, the urine output was collected every hour for 4 h and the total 24 h urine output was measured. AW and S resulted in a higher cumulative urine output compared to NAW and W during the first 4 h (effect size: 0.25 mL p < 0.003, effect size: 0.18 mL, p < 0.001, respectively), but not after the 24h urine collection (p > 0.40, p > 0.10). AB and NAB did not differ at any time point (effect size: -0.02 mL p > 0.70). For urine osmolality, and the sodium and potassium concentration, the findings were in line. In conclusion, only moderate amounts of stronger alcoholic beverages, such as wine and spirits, resulted in a short and small diuretic effect in elderly men.

Reference Polhuis, K. C. M. M., Wijnen, A. H. C., Sierksma, A., Calame, W., & Tieland, M. (2017). The diuretic action of weak and strong alcoholic beverages in elderly men: a randomized diet-controlled crossover trial. Nutrients, 9(7). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9070660
Published by  Faculty Sports and Nutrition 28 June 2017

Publication date

Jun 2017


Kristel C M M Polhuis
Annemarthe H C Wijnen
Aafje Sierksma
Wim Calame


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