Heat and Cold


Does drinking alcohol truly warm up a person’s body?

While drinking a shot of bourbon or other alcoholic drink on a winter’s day might provide a sensation of being warmed up, in actuality alcohol makes a person’s body more vulnerable to the cold. When you drink booze, what happens is that the alcohol causes blood vessels to constrict. This forces more blood to the surface of the skin, which stimulates nerves in the body and makes the drinker feel warmer. The actual effect, however, is that increased blood to the surface of the body causes one to lose more heat, lowering body temperature and making him or her more susceptible to frostbite. Add to this the fact that alcohol impairs one’s judgment, and the idea of drinking on the ski slopes proves to be a very bad one indeed!


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