How to Drink Safely in the Heat this Summer
Finally! The warm, sunny weather is here for the summer. It's that time of year when the days get longer, and the drinks get colder! A backyard BBQ or relaxing day by the pool might include a cold, boozy beverage in hand. However, there's a few things to remember if you are sipping under the summer sun.
Alcohol makes you feel warmer than you already are.
Have you ever experienced the sudden feeling of being flushed or overheated after having only a drink or two? You’re not imaging this phenomenon. And, although this might not seem like a huge deal, it does significantly increase your chances of overheating, especially in warm temperatures. When combining alcohol, heat, and not enough non-alcoholic fluids, your body might not be able to regulate its own temperature effectively. This can lead to heat strokes, heat exhaustion, and, in extreme circumstances, organ failure.
TIP: Take a break from the heat by dipping in the pool or stepping inside for some cool air conditioning. If it’s too hot, try to avoid being outside for long periods of time.
Alcohol dehydrates you.
In addition to making you feel warmer, alcohol also drains fluids from your body, which leads to dehydration. While consuming alcohol, our kidneys work overtime to filter out toxins from the body; this causes us to urinate more than usual. Not only are you losing water through frequent urination, the heat makes you lose more water through your sweat glands. It is easy to overlook feelings of dehydration when sipping on a cold drink, so be conscious of the toll alcohol and extreme heat take on your body.
Tip: Have a glass of water every 30 minutes while drinking alcohol outdoors. Many people say to have a glass of water for every alcoholic drink, however, that is not enough to keep you hydrated in the heat.
The good news is there are ways to drink safely in the summer heat without disrupting your outdoor plans. Make sure you are drinking enough water in relation to your alcohol intake and take breaks from the summer sun to let your internal body temperature cool down. Now you can enjoy the warm weather and a cool drink this summer without the fear of heat exhaustion or dehydration!