Drinking alcohol in the cold weather, some may feel, it helps them stay warmer outside, but doctors say the two can be a lethal combination.
When you drink alcohol, your blood vessels dilate, increasing blood flow to the surface of your body. You may feel a flushed, warm feeling. But that increased blood flow keeps your core temperature down, putting you at risk for hypothermia. The body is also not as sensitive to the cold, increasing the risk of frostbite. Even if you are planning on only being outside for a short time, doctors say combining the two can be dangerous.
"Can't predict the future, you don't know what's going to end up happening to you if you've been consuming beverages for a period of time, you don't know what's happening to you," said Dr. John Lehtinen.
You can help your body stay warm from the core by drinking warm, non-alcoholic beverages, eating food, and wearing proper winter weather gear.