Diarrhea after beer

What is beer diarrhea?

Beer diarrhea is the frequent bowel movements after consuming beer. This is usually soft to liquid and is often associated with gas and stomach cramps. Many people develop gastrointestinal complaints after excessive alcohol consumption, and beer diarrhea is not uncommon. It usually occurs the next morning, after an alcohol-intensive night. In rare cases, however, diarrhea can occur just a few hours after consuming beer. Fortunately, it is short-lived and usually stops on its own after a day or two. The extent and intensity of the symptoms, however, differ from person to person and vary with the amount of drink and the type of alcohol.

Read more on the subject at: Diarrhea after alcohol


As the name suggests, beer diarrhea is mainly due to drinking beer. However, not only beer, but also other drinks can cause diarrhea, as alcohol is often responsible for gastrointestinal complaints. During digestion in the small intestine, this means that fewer salts and water can be absorbed and thus remain in the intestine. This changes the usual consistency of the stool and you have soft to liquid diarrhea. In addition, the alcohol ensures that food needs more time to pass through the gastrointestinal tract and that more gases are produced in the process. The barley and yeast also contained in beer intensify this process, so that in addition to diarrhea, increased flatulence can also occur.

Brewer's yeast

The yeast in beer consists of single-celled organisms and is a basic component of beer. More precisely, this is a species of fungus that is responsible for converting malt sugar into alcohol in the preparation of beer. This process is known as alcoholic fermentation. In the process, gases are released, which on the one hand ensure the sparkling taste of the beer through carbonic acid, but on the other hand result in increased gas development in the intestine during digestion. The type of yeast used depends on the type of beer, so it may be that certain beers are better or worse tolerated.


In order to determine whether diarrhea is beer diarrhea, it is important to weigh what was eaten and drunk the previous day. If you can confirm that you have already consumed beer extensively here and no other causes can be found, it is probably beer diarrhea. After about 24 hours, this should have improved on its own. Another cause of the diarrhea could be a bacterial infection, which often occurs after consuming raw meat, fish or unrefrigerated foods. If the diarrhea manifests itself not only after consuming beer, but also after consuming other foods, this could be an indication of a food intolerance e.g. Be gluten intolerant. This should be examined more closely by a doctor.

Read more on the subject at: Causes of diarrhea

Concomitant symptoms

Diarrhea after beer is usually accompanied by gas and painful gastrointestinal cramps. These complaints can be attributed to the digestion of the individual components of the beer and the harmful effects of alcohol on the body. The gastrointestinal tract is "irritated" and reacts with altered bowel movements (peristalsis) and diarrhea.Frequent bowel movements and excessive pressure on the toilet can make these symptoms even worse. In addition, headache, nausea, heartburn or general malaise occur relatively often as accompanying symptoms.


In digestion, fermentation processes are a natural process for the metabolism of the food components. Certain factors, however, can trigger an imbalance in the gastrointestinal tract, leading to gas or flatulence. These complaints are caused by excessive gas build-up in the bowel, which can cause a painful feeling of pressure throughout the abdomen. The digestion of beer favors the generation of gas and usually leads to these typical complaints for a few hours or the next day. The barley, yeast and alcohol contained in beer are responsible for this. During digestion, these components are broken down into sugars, which serve as nutrients for the natural intestinal flora. This also releases gases that inflate the bowel.

Read more on this topic at: Flatulence after beer

stomach pain

One of the most common causes of abdominal pain after consuming beer or alcohol is stomach or intestinal discomfort. The stomach reacts to the consumption of beverages that are less than 10% vol. Containing alcohol, with an excess production of stomach acid. This also attacks the stomach and can also cause discomfort in the esophagus if the stomach regurgitates. The intestines, on the other hand, are often over-inflated and cause discomfort. If alcohol is consumed regularly and heavily, other organs such as the liver, gall bladder or the pancreas can also be affected and cause abdominal pain.

Read more on the subject at: Abdominal pain from alcohol

How can you prevent diarrhea after beer?

Since beer diarrhea can mainly be traced back to drinking beer, one of the easiest ways to prevent it is to restrict the consumption of beer. However, if you want to take preventive measures for an upcoming consumption, it is advisable to avoid foods that are difficult to digest first. This includes, for example, particularly fatty dishes, very hot or very spicy dishes. Furthermore, the consumption of caffeine can lead to diarrhea the next day. It not only stimulates the nerve cells and wakes them up, but also activates the intestinal cells, which can also have a laxative effect. Therefore you should avoid the combination of alcohol and caffeinated energy drinks.

However, there are also foods that can counteract the development of diarrhea. These include, for example, bananas, raw apples or carrots and bulky foods such as oat or rice porridge. If the diarrhea has already occurred and manifests itself with cramp-like symptoms, a hot water bottle can relieve pain and have an antispasmodic effect. It is then important to drink plenty of fluids to compensate for the loss of water through the stool. Herbal teas such as fennel, peppermint or chamomile tea are particularly suitable for this.


Beer diarrhea is annoying, but in most cases it stops on its own after one or two days without further action. For the time being, drug therapy is not recommended. The gastrointestinal tract consists of a delicate balance of the intestinal flora which, once disturbed, needs a certain amount of time to regenerate. By consuming easily digestible food, such as toast, rusks or pretzel sticks, you can have a positive effect on the regeneration process. However, if the symptoms persist for more than three days or if bloody diarrhea develops, a doctor should be consulted for further clarification.

Read more on the subject at: Duration of diarrhea