College Myths Debunked: Breaking The Seal

191570954YDTudI_fsAs college students, we are constantly inundated with new knowledge. It can be useful, thought-provoking, or crammed into our head on a Starbucks-fueled binge several hours before an exam. However, very rarely do we question the validity of all this new knowledge (unless you take philosophy classes, then you’ll question away).

That’s where College Candy comes in. We’re not going to debate whether or not the Theory of Relativity actually exists (a disappointment, I know, but I’m a communications major and stopped taking science classes after Baby Bio fresh year). However, we are here to thoroughly investigate the most widespread college knowledge (no, not rhyming)—the myth.

One of the most well known and deeply feared college myths are three little words: breaking the seal. As defined by the most elite source of definitions, Urban Dictionary, breaking the seal is “The point at which you first piss after you have been drinking your favorite alcoholic beverage and at this point you will be pissing every ten minutes.”

We’ve all been there. Enjoying a lively round (or 6) of flip cup when all of a sudden, your bladder reminds you that it has a maximum capacity. You try to discreetly excuse yourself to visit the ladies room, but your concerned besties remind you—very loudly—that you can’t break the seal!

So this seal we all desperately protect, does it actually exist? Or is it possible that it’s simply an alcohol-fueled figment of our imagination? I’ve enlisted a panel of urological experts (read: my boyfriend in med school and Google) to figure out if this phenomenon is real.

Apparently, the more jello shots, Natty Lite or vodka tonics you consume, the higher your Blood Alcohol Level (I know, who’d have thunk?) Anywho, all that warm and fuzzy ethanol flooding your system affects certain hormones that your brain produces, like the must “dance now” and “sexy-time” hormones, as well as a hormone called ADH (an anti-diuretic hormone), which helps your body retain water by controlling the amount of urine you make.

Alcohol inhibits ADH, so the more you drink, the more you’ll have to pee. Also, in case you never caught on, alcohol is usually a liquid, and the more liquid you intake, the more you will expel. Breaking the seal has nothing to do with the amount that you’re gonna pee afterward, nor how often nature will call. And if you don’t “break the seal” you will still feel a need to pee anyway, so it’s all sorta the same thing, right?

I know it’s heartbreaking to realize that there is no magical seal built by your first 5 beers, but on the bright side, you won’t feel a twinge of guilt if you decide not to risk a UTI by holding out.

So, the moral of the story is that if you gotta go, you gotta go! Don’t bother holding it, because the more you drink, the more urine your body will produce, and the more frequent your bathroom excursions will be. The best advice I can give you is to re-fill your cup before waiting in line for the bathroom. You won’t waste precious binge-drinking minutes and once you reach the bathroom you’ll kill two birds with one stone. Cheers!



    1. Brooke says:

      I love that you called it baby bio. All of my friends that go to fsu call it that and i've never heard it anywhere else.

    2. Casey says:

      Ha ha! I love this! My friends always say this to me and I'm always just like, well I have to pee now so whether I go now or not I'm still gonna have to pee in 5 minutes. And I can't hold it for shit! lol

    3. D says:

      I go to a small private school in southwestern Pennsylvania and we call it "Baby Bio" too.

    4. trobs says:

      I'm confused, there are people who thought that the first few beers built a literal seal? Is this sarcasm way over my head.

    5. […] College Myth’s Debunked: Breaking The Seal [CollegeCandy] […]

    6. Texbarry says:

      @trobs yes, it is way over your head.

    7. […] the most widespread college knowledge (no, not rhyming): the myth. Last week we discussed breaking the seal and this week we’ll investigate the ice luge (the non-Olympic variety, of […]

    8. Dirk Diggler says:

      I'm confused if you meant that a 'literal seal' was the myth. Because, though alcohol inhibits the release of the ADH hormone into the blood stream, it does not nullify the effect that the ADH already in your blood has. As you urinate, more and more of the ADH that was stored in your blood is released, thus increasing the rate of potty time and overall pants-wettiness. So though there is no actual 'seal' you do lose your ability to hold onto liquids after the first trip to the washroom.

      1. Frank says:

        Urinating doesnt affect your ADH levels – ADH isn't 'stored' in the blood, it gets broken down by enzymes after about half an hour or so so the ADH level falls fairly quickly when drinking large amounts of alcohol

    9. […] shocking, huh? Get over it. It’s universal. The girls of CollegeCandy.com encourage their sisters around the nation to binge, pee, binge some more, and brag about it. By the […]

    10. […] results because of the dehydrating effect alcohol has on your body. Remember what we learned about breaking the seal? Alcohol suppresses your brain’s ability to create anti-diuretic hormones, so you lose essential […]

    11. […] pee, and then we’ll move on to the next party.” Cindy suggested, and having already broken the seal long ago, we all […]

    12. […] mad chugging skills, woman”s that came my way. I smiled, blushed and crossed my legs to keep my broken seal from dripping down my […]

    13. […] it as long as you can? Not really. The reason you're running trips back and forth is because of ADH, and anti diuretic hormone that determines the amount of urine you'll make, and it has nothing […]

    14. Brandon Maki says:

      My gawd… mind = blown.

    15. […] College Myths Debunked: Breaking The Seal College Candy […]

    16. Rumbekka says:

      I sell merchandise for a band so I am not able to run away to go to the bathroom a lot so I have trained my bladder to not break the seal until the very end of the night. Even though I am drinking copious amounts of vodka. I do not think this is healthy as I usually have diarrhea the next day, so one way or another it is going to come out! It probably is not very healthy for my organs to keep all that poisonous alcohol in my system that long so I am trying to "go" more often!

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