Risks of drinking alcohol in the summer sun & how to avoid them
There’s no doubt that an ice cold beverage in your hand is the perfect remedy to the hot summer sun, but drinking alcohol in the sun can be dangerous. Most individuals are unaware of the serious consequences that drinking may have on your health. If you’ll be enjoying an alcoholic beverage in the sun this summer, be sure to take caution by understanding the risks and taking these simple steps to avoid them.
You might be thinking, so what? A little sunburn. We’ve all gotten a sunburn once or twice, even without the alcohol, but let’s not forget what sunburn can turn into- skin cancer. Drinking alcohol makes you more likely to become sunburned because it is easier to lose track of time. Four hours may only seem like one, which means you’ll forget to lather and repeat with more SPF. In addition, studies indicate that the ethanol in alcohol makes your skin more sensitive to light, giving you a higher risk of developing skin cancer.
How to avoid it: Make sure the sunscreen and your phone are close by. Set a timer on your phone for every two hours and slap on the sunscreen regardless of the SPF.
Drinking alcohol in the sun gives you twice as many ways of becoming dehydrated, since both alcohol and the sun cause dehydration. First and foremost the sun makes you sweat which leads to water loss, and alcohol is a diuretic, which also makes you lose water. The symptoms of dehydration include: thirst, a lack of urination, fatigue, dry mouth, dizziness, increased heart rate, rapid breathing and dry skin.
How to avoid: Drink water. It’s that simple. For every alcoholic beverage you drink in the sun, it is recommended to consume at least 8 ounces of water after each drink.
Overheating and dehydration are not exactly the same. You are at increased risk for both, but overheating can be remedied by more than just drinking water. Overheating is also more seriously known as heat stroke. Heat stroke occurs in three phases: first, you will experience heat cramps from loss of water and sodium. Then, heat exhaustion is a result of dehydration. Finally an actual heat stroke is the final phase and may lead to organ failure.
How to avoid: If you have been in the sun for quite some time, consider relaxing in some shade or a covered area where you are not directly exposed to the sun’s rays.
Drinking alcohol in or near the water can also increase your risk of drowning. Since drinking alcohol impairs your abilities, when in water, you may find yourself lacking the needed coordination or energy to stay afloat. Or worse, you could find yourself passed out in the water.
How to avoid: Avoid operating a boat or engaging in any reckless activity. If you are near the water, you should avoid getting in, especially if everyone else around you is drinking or may be impaired.
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