Drinking alcohol in hot weather can be ‘extremely dangerous’ – four health risks

Dehydration: Dr Phillipa outlines the main symptoms

The temperature dial is set to reach 29C on Thursday and Friday in some parts of England, which means sun safety is paramount.

As some may be looking forward to having a few drinks in the sunshine, experts share a stark warning.

Addiction Specialists at the private rehab centre Delamere pointed out the risks of drinking alcohol in the sun.

“One of the biggest risks of drinking outside during summer is dehydration,” the experts noted.

“Alcohol removes fluids from your blood through the renal system, which includes the kidneys, ureters and bladder, much more quickly than other liquids.”

When this process occurs during hot weather, there is a further risk of dehydration as the body is sweating to help cool itself down.

Signs of dehydration include:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling thirsty
  • Dry mouth, lips and eyes.

The experts advised: “If you start to display signs of dehydration, it’s important to replenish the fluid levels in your body, by drinking water or sports drinks.

“If your symptoms do not improve, it’s important to seek medical treatment as it can develop into a serious problem.”

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Another risk of mixing alcohol and hot weather is sunburn, as research shows that the skin becomes more sensitive to the sun after consuming alcohol.

“The research shows that the amount of UV it took to burn the individual’s skin was a lot less than without consuming alcohol,” the experts elaborated.

As alcohol can impair a person’s judgement, the likelihood somebody forgets to top up their sun protection when intoxicated is higher.

Alcohol consumption can also increase the risk of heat stroke, which occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature.

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Signs of heat stroke:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Rapid breathing
  • Nausea
  • High body temperature
  • Headaches
  • Altered mental behaviour.

The experts warned: “Alcohol can reduce the amount of sweat we produce, thus making it harder for the body to cool down.

“This can then cause your body temperature to rise to extremely dangerous levels, causing heat stroke.”

There is also a greater risk of drowning when intoxicated because “alcohol weakens the nerves that control involuntary actions, like breathing and the gag reflex”.

The experts explained: ” This makes swimming and being around water extremely dangerous, as it increases the risk of drowning if you start to struggle in the water.”

Four risks of drinking alcohol in the sun:

  1. Dehydration
  2. Sunburn
  3. Heat stroke
  4. Drowning

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