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Alcohol: why am I less cold when I drink?

After a few glasses of alcohol, you can tend to get hot. And if you are not very covered, you may not even feel the sometimes very low temperatures outside! But then, is this an impression, or are we really less cold when we drink alcohol? Doctor Catherine Simon, addictologist, answers us.

Alcohol is heating up… Myth or reality?

Doctor Catherine Simon is categorical: “To think that alcohol heats up is a false belief.”

When an individual consumes alcoholic beverages , the alcohol is absorbed in the digestive system and gradually spreads throughout the body, through the bloodstream .

A person who consumes alcohol may therefore experience a feeling of heat for a short time after ingestion. But it is only a sensation, because in reality, the body does not heat up, on the contrary …

What happens in my body when I drink …

Why is it just a “feeling of heat” in the body? The absorption of alcohol will create in the person a vasodilation of the vessels on the surface of the skin. This means that there will be a greater area of ​​temperature exchange between the body and the outside.

This cooling, which is real to him, may not be perceived, due to the effect of alcohol on the brain . Indeed, alcoholization alters our intellectual capacities, our sensory and bodily perceptions, and we may very well, when we are alcoholic, not feel that our body is getting cold. Not to mention the feeling of warmth we were talking about earlier, which means that you can even get hot!

This “feeling of warmth” can lead to dangerous behavior

Such a gap between reality and what is perceived when one has consumed alcohol, can lead to inappropriate behavior, such as being in a t-shirt outside, a glass of alcohol in hand, while outside temperatures are low…

Also, depending on the blood alcohol level, endangerment by exposure to cold can lead to a risk of hypothermia and on the contrary, exposure to high heat can lead to a risk of dehydration .

This is why it is important to think before consuming alcohol to safety rules: know the risks of acute alcoholization, exchange with your group of friends, drink hot non-alcoholic drinks, be attentive to your environment, etc.

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