Does Drinking Really Make You Warmer?
February 07, 2008
Alcohol may seem like the perfect cold-weather beverage, because it creates a sensation of warmth. But it actually decreases core body temperature and increases your risk of hypothermia.
In cold weather, blood flows away from your skin and into your organs, causing a sensation of coldness but increasing core body temperature. Alcohol reverses this process, increasing the flow of blood to your skin. This causes a sensation of warmth, but sets off a sharp drop in body temperature.
Alcohol also reduces your ability to shiver, which is one of your body’s way of creating warmth, and increases sweating, which further decreases body temperature.
Several studies have found that alcohol often plays a role in hypothermia-related injuries and deaths.