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Recently the elevator got broken at my place and it's been a few days of using stairs. I live on the 5th floor.

I noticed.. actually I didn't notice anything when going up and down the stairs during the day. I feel like 'ok, I went through stairs', but nothing special.

but the other day, we went out and had quite a few alcoholic drinks. On the way back, not only the stairs were 'harder', but I noticed that my heartbeat pulse was significantly stronger than when I normally climb up the stairs.

Has alcohol any effect on this?

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1) Alcohol dilates the arteries in the skin, which results in lower peripheral resistance (the resistance of the arteries to blood flow). In order to maintain normal blood pressure, the heart needs to beat faster and push out larger amount of blood per beat. This makes you aware of your heart beats more.

Additional explanation:

Relations between alcohol consumption, heart rate, and heart rate variability in men (PubMed Central)

The reason for a positive association between alcohol intake and heart rate is unclear but possibilities include an increase in sympathetic activity secondary to vasodilation or increased calcium entering into cardiac myocytes.

2) Dehydration, which causes a drop of blood volume also results in the increased heart rate. Alcohol is a weak diuretic (it slightly stimulates urine excretion), but dehydration after drinking strong alcoholic beverages is more likely caused by insufficient water drinking during alcohol drinking rather than by alcohol itself. Beer (4 vol%), which contains a lot of water actually hydrates you.

Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate (NAP.edu)

...it appears that the effect of ethanol ingestion on increasing excretion of water appears to be transient and would not result in appreciable fluid losses over a 24-hour period.

  • Alcohol is also a diuretic so that could lead to volume depletion. – Graham Chiu Jan 14 '17 at 19:19
  • I added this part above. – Jan Jan 14 '17 at 19:51

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