September 26, 2019

Why Does Alcohol Make You Feel Hot?

John Lee

Have you ever noticed that when you drink alcohol, you may feel a warm and fuzzy inside? Or, have you ever seen a pack of girls wearing skin tight dresses moving standing outside a bar in the winter, wondering how they seem impervious to the cold? Well here are some answers to why some people may overheat when drinking or at least think they are.

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‟While you may think alcohol is making you warm, this is actually a perception generated by heat-sensitive neurons.”
Kyle Thompson

While you may think alcohol is making you warm, this is actually a perception generated by heat-sensitive neurons (thermoreceptors) located in your skin that detect a rise in your skin temperature from an increase in blood flow in the vessels close to the skin’s surface. However, alcohol actually lowers your core body temperature because blood rushes to the skin’s surface, causing a cooling effect on the body.

So while you may feel warm on the outside, your core temperature is actually getting colder. Alcohol consumption has also been shown to reduce the perception of the cold but this effect may due to alcohol's effect on the human brain vs actual dilation of blood vessels.

Ultimately, alcohol has multiple effects on your mind and brain. If you do decide to have a drink, for whatever reason, do so knowledgeable.

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