• Beer revealed as Maryland’s top winter boozy beverage.
  • More than 1 in 10 people admit to drinking to keep warm.
  • And 1 in 10 wrongly believe alcohol can protect against hypothermia.

Winter is here, and for much of the country, that means freezing temperatures and frosty days spent indoors with our fireplaces ablaze. When the snow is falling, your favorite warm winter drink might be calling – perhaps it’s spicy mulled wine or the whiskey received as a Christmas gift.

Rehabs.com, a leading provider of addiction treatment resources, surveyed 3,000 adults and found that nearly 1 in 5 (16%) Marylanders say they drink more when the weather is cold out. Additionally, 83% say they’re more likely to turn to alcohol when they are feeling low during winter months rather than summer, which can possibly be explained by the season’s shorter days. In fact, 36% say they would choose to have a drink on a cold winter’s night over a hot summer’s day.

In order of preference, the top five drinks Marylanders indulge in on a chilly winter’s night include:

  1. Beer
  2. Wine
  3. Whiskey
  4. Irish Cream Liqueur
  5. Hot Toddy

In frigid temperatures, it might be tempting to pour yourself a nightcap, to warm up a bit – in fact, the survey found that more than 1 in 10 (12%) say they drink alcohol in winter for that very reason. This seems logical – drinks such as a hot toddy and mulled cider, which are served piping hot, must lead to an increase in body temperature, right? Actually, it doesn’t. Alcohol acts as a vasodilator and causes blood vessels to dilate. This effect creates a sensation of feeling warm – however, alcohol actually takes heat from your vital organs and conversely lowers your core temperature.  Alarmingly, the survey revealed that 1 in 10 people also believe alcohol can protect against hypothermia. 

Therefore, the experts at Rehabs.com advise that in order to avoid any adverse health and/or medical complications, particularly in the time of the coronavirus, it is best to avoid alcohol on colder nights altogether. Bundle up in a good winter coat or blanket, eat warming foods, and find ways to stay active, even if they are just simple exercises you can do indoors. These actions will help you through the cold better than alcohol and you will feel much better the next day.

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