|MadSci Network: General Biology|
Wow! I didn't find many answers using my usual resources (PubMed and Google searches). However, after speaking to some of the people in my lab, I got some good ideas. There may be several factors at play here. One possible physiological explanation may be the well- characterized suppressive effect of alcohol on antidiuretic hormone (ADH), a hormone that acts on the kidney, in part, to decrease the volume of urine sent to the bladder. This doesn't completely explain the 'breaking the seal' phenomenon, but perhaps if you take into account the lag time required for consumed liquids to enter the bloodstream, go through the kidneys and then to the bladder, we're getting closer to the answer. However, I presume there are individual differences that impact this phenomenon, as well (i.e., not everyone experiences these sensations universally, or to the same degree). I propose you do the experiment with a group of friends, or just yourself, using water as a control. See if the same phenomenon occurs after consumption of equal volumes of water! If you see the same effect from water, perhaps it's more a matter of the lag time required for your body to process the liquid. . . Sorry I don't have a more concrete answer for you--you could resubmit your question as one regarding Physiology (instead of General Biology). I'd be interested to see how much the answer you receive would change. Thanks for your question! Take care, Chris Reigstad
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