Myths and Truths about Cold

Beauty woman in the winter sceneryAlcohol really warms us?  What about hot beverages?  The body heat is lost mainly by the head? Are we getting sick because we are cold?  Is the feeling of loneliness more …cold than the ambient temperature?  Why women do feel the cold more than men?  Let’s unravel some myths so as not to blame the cold weather for everything!

Alcohol does not warm us

ΑΛΚΟΟΛAccording to studies, although alcohol resembles the perfect drink for the cold because it creates a temporary feeling of warmth, actually it lowers body temperature and increases the risk of hypothermia!  When it’s cold, we feel cold because the blood flows away from our skin, towards the internal organs in order to keep them warm – and this mechanism increases the internal body temperature.  Alcohol reverses this natural mechanism, increasing blood flow to the skin and significantly reducing our internal temperature.

Moreover, a study conducted by the US Military Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (ARIEM), showed that alcohol reduces the ability of shivering – and chills are the way for our body to generate heat!  Therefore, do not rely on alcohol to keep warm in winter…

COLD - HOTHot beverages …cool us off

When we consume a hot beverage, the nerve endings of the tongue send the rest of the body the message that something warm enters the body and therefore the sweating process must be enabled.  Should we better try the cold beverages for the opposite effect??? 🙂

Loneliness makes us feel cold

ΜΟΝΑΞΙΑResearchers at the University of Toronto set out to prove that the “cold feeling” of loneliness is not only metaphorical, but literal.  In an experiment, they asked participants to recall a moment from the past when they felt either socially excluded or accepted. Then, they asked them to estimate the temperature of the room in which they were sitting. Those who brought to mind memories of loneliness felt that the room was quite cold unlike those who bared in mind memories of pleasant socializing.

So, next time that you will feel a shiver penetrating you, just get in touch with someone you love!

Colds are not due to cold weather

hExposure to low temperatures cannot by itself cause colds.  According to the American Health Service “there is no experimental evidence that exposure to low temperatures increases the chances of getting a cold”.  In fact, the increase in colds and diseases in winter happens because people spend more time indoors, where the transfer of germs from one to another is a piece of cake….  This means that the cold simply weakens our immune system enough for viruses to take control of our body.

Heat is not lost mainly through our head

ΚΡΥΟ 1The myth of losing most of our body heat through our head probably began by military investigations into soldiers, who were not wearing hats, therefore the results showed the obvious, that the heat “escapes” from the most exposed part of the body. However, the numbers say that we lose from the head only 7-10% of our body heat, i.e. proportionally balanced amount relatively to the other body parts.

Cold Weather runningWomen feel more cold than men

Men have a higher metabolism than women, due to their greater muscle mass. This means that their body quickly burns energy, therefore heats more easily. Furthermore, anemia or low iron levels in the blood – a common phenomenon in women – affect the regulation of body temperature, and so does the potential lack of vitamin B from the body. Finally, female hormones have their own share of responsibility, as high levels of estrogen, make the female body more sensitive to cold.

Learn truths about cold …it’s good for you!

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