Cold Weather Myths: Alcohol warms you up

Published: Jan. 21, 2023 at 4:39 PM EST
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(WHSV) - During the wintertime, you might enjoy a hot beverage like hot chocolate. There’s a belief that alcohol can also warm up your body, but is this true?

Michael Cavender from Carilion Clinic Family Medicine - Fort Defiance said not really.

“It can also sometimes cause flushing which will make you feel like you are warmer but you’re losing body temperature when that happens. Not typically any noticeable degree just something that is kind of not consistent with the way you feel,” said Cavender.

Cavender also said alcohol could cause behavior that lowers your body temperature.

“Biggest thing with alcohol and cold weather is unfortunately if you drink to excess and your judgment is cloudy, you may think you are warmer than you are and put yourself at risk for things like frostbite and cold injuries,” said Cavender.

Cavender said with flushing, more blood gets closer to the areas that get exposed to the cold causing the body to cool easier.