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Practical info for the smarter drinker

Hot or Cold: When is the Safest Season to Drink?

We’ve all been there—a chilly Saturday in November, drinking to keep warm before the big football game. Or maybe it’s a sweltering hot evening in mid-July, and nothing sounds better than cooling off with a nice cold beer (or six). The truth is, while drinking in moderation is typically always okay, drinking in extreme temperatures can pose serious health risks.

When it’s hot. Everyone knows that when the heat spikes, it is important to keep hydrated. However, alcohol dilates your blood vessels and lowers your blood pressure, which means your circulation is not at peak performance. Blood circulation is required to rid your body of heat, so while you’re drinking, your body is radiating heat and not sweating as effectively as it should. In addition, alcohol can lead to dehydration, which can in turn lead to heat stroke or heat exhaustion. While we are not suggesting you deny yourself alcohol all summer, be sure to drink plenty of water in between alcoholic beverages and limit the number of drinks you have if you are doing anything outdoors, such as boating or sports.

When it’s cold. There is a common misconception that drinking alcohol warms your body. The truth is, drinking alcohol lowers the core temperature of your body. While alcohol can make you feel warmer (because your blood alcohol level is rising), the false sense of warmth is actually just blood rising to the surface of your skin. Drinking also reduces your body’s ability to shiver, taking away one method your system uses to keep warm. With the false sense of warmth and the inability to shiver, you inhibit your ability to know when it’s too cold, which in extreme temperatures can lead to hypothermia.

Alcohol Seasons and Weather

Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).


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