TTUHSC shares tips to understand alcohol in the heat
1. Alcohol is a diuretic. Therefore, when drinking under the sun, in hot temperatures, a person runs a higher risk of dehydration and heat exhaustion than normal. It is best to drink plenty of water when consuming alcohol in the sun.
2. Alcohol binds to proteins and changes their function. Binding causes an increase in chloride through the GABA-A channel (neuroinhibitory function). Alcohol also leads to oxidative damage, which damages cells as well as their DNA, and can lead to an increased risk for cancer. It is wise to make the decision to drink based on individual health risks.
3. What “hold your alcohol” really means. When men say they can “hold their alcohol,” they are referring to the behavioral and physical changes the body makes when drinking. Behavioral changes can vary from high levels of energy to tired, depressed reactions; either reaction is, at least in part, due to genetic differences. Tolerance of alcohol is the result of both the behavioral and physical changes made when intoxicated, which explains why a person learns to walk and talk better the more often they drink. Individuals who demonstrate these two types of tolerance also increase their risk for health consequences related to the heart, liver, and other vital organs.