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Weather Works: Does drinking an alcoholic beverage when it's cold outside keep you warm?

It’s a common misconception that alcoholic beverages keep you warm, in fact, it’s quite the opposite.

MACON, Ga. — You may enjoy an alcoholic beverage like a hot toddy in the fall and winter months to keep you warm, but does your body really warm up in the presence of alcohol? 

Meteorologist Taylor Stephenson tackles the truth behind drinking in the cold and how your Weather Works.

A hot toddy is a whiskey beverage, usually mixed with water, honey, and spices. It’s a common misconception that alcoholic beverages keep you warm, in fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Alcohol is known as a vasodilator, or something that dilates your blood vessels. That means it causes them to open and allows for more blood to rush toward the surface of your skin.

The rushing blood makes you feel warmer, but, you start to lose body heat as the blood cools to the outside temperature. Your body depends on tightening your blood vessels to retain heat in cold temperatures.

Additionally, alcohol limits your body’s ability to shiver in the cold. So, that’s two methods of fighting the cold weather gone.

If you want to keep yourself warm in the cold, drink a warm non-alcoholic beverage like a cup of coffee or cocoa.

If you have any questions on weather phenomena and how the weather works, just send us an email at news@13wmaz.com, leave a comment under the post of this story on our Facebook page, or text us at 478-752-1309.

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