Drinking alcohol won't warm you up, but it will make you feel warmer. The reason is because alcohol causes your blood vessels to dilate, making blood rush to your skin. It also increases sweating. Though this will make you feel warm for a few minutes, it actually lowers your core body temperature and can even cause hypothermia in extreme cases.
More about alcohol:
- Though many people imagine St. Bernard rescue dogs wearing a small barrel of alcohol on their collars, it's likely that most never did. The dogs themselves have been used to rescue travelers since at least 1690.
- Some people experience the dilation of the blood vessels much more strongly than others. This is officially called an alcohol flush reaction, though it is also known as Asian flush because many people of Asian descent are genetically predisposed to it.
- Alcohol can cause one's body temperature to drop as much as 6 degrees Fahrenheit (about 3 degrees Celsius) and remain lower than normal for hours — or even days if not promptly treated.
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Discuss this Article
Alcohol can help warm you up faster when you come from a cold place to a much warmer one.
Drinking alcohol in cold conditions as stated above can have disastrous effects.
The warming effect of a warm fire on cold numb fingers with alcohol added can be too much too quick. It can be painful if warmed too quickly.
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