Winter is here – and for much of the country, that means freezing temperatures and frosty days spent indoors with our fireplaces ablaze. When the snow is falling, your favorite winter warmer might be calling – perhaps it’s spicy mulled wine or the smooth whiskey you received as a Christmas gift…
Rehabs.com, a leading provider of addiction treatment resources, surveyed 3,000 Americans, and firstly found that 1 in 5 (20%) admit to drinking more when the weather is cold out. Meanwhile, 83% say they’re more likely to turn to alcohol when they are feeling low during winter months, rather than summer – perhaps this is because days are shorter, and the sunsets earlier. In fact, 36% say would choose to have a drink on a cold winter’s night over a hot summer’s day.
In order of preference, the top five drinks Americans indulge in on a chilly winter’s night include:
- Irish Cream Liqueur
- Hot Toddy
When we experience freezing temperatures, it may be tempting to pour yourself a nightcap, such as a whiskey neat, to take the edge off the biting cold. Indeed, the survey also found that 1 in 10 (12%) say they drink alcohol in winter for this very reason – to keep warm.
This could seem logical – drinks such as a hot toddy and mulled cider, which are served piping hot, therefore must lead to an increase in body temperature, right? However, alcohol acts as a vasodilator, causing blood vessels to dilate. This effect creates a sensation of feeling warm – however, alcohol actually takes heat from your vital organs and conversely lowers your core temperature. Alarmingly, the survey revealed that 1 in 10 people also believe alcohol can protect against hypothermia.
Therefore, the experts at Rehabs.com advise that in order to avoid any medical complications, particularly in the time of the coronavirus, it is best to avoid alcohol on colder nights altogether – bundle up in a good winter coat, cook warming foods, and find ways to stay active – even if they are just simple exercises you can do indoors. It will help with your cold problem better than alcohol and you will feel much better the next day.
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