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XNUMX myths about salvation from the heat, in which you should not believe

Summer in the United States is in full swing, which means the onset of hot weather. Do I need to sit under the air conditioner, drink ice water and eat ice cream to cool off? Edition Life hacker collected myths about salvation from the heat, which people mistakenly believe.

Photo: Shutterstock

1. Cold air conditioning is dangerous

Air conditioning does increase the risk of allergies and colds, but the chilled air itself has nothing to do with it. Another thing is what is in this air.

Scientists have long noticed that people who work in buildings with an air conditioning system are more likely to get colds than those who have normal ventilation at work. In addition, they often experience irritation of the mucosa and skin, breathing problems, headache and fatigue.

And it's not that they freeze in the workplace.

Just the cooling parts of the air conditioning system are a great place for bacteria to grow. Microorganisms multiply in ventilation, and their metabolic products fill the air in cabinets and cause asthma, allergic rhinitis and pneumonitis.

And this is true not only for office buildings. Home air conditioning can also spread allergens and harmful substances: dust mites, animal dander, mold and bacteria.

In addition, a running air conditioner dries the air in the room, which creates a heavenly environment for viruses. Low humidity not only helps them spread, but also suppresses the body's defenses by preventing our cells from fighting harmful particles.

On the subject: Do not drink cold water: 5 tips for those who can not stand the heat

Cold can also reduce immunity, but for this, the air conditioner must be set to a really low temperature. If you are not going to arrange a freezer at home, this factor is unlikely to affect your health.

So, to avoid colds and allergies, you should:

  1. Clean the filters once every two weeks. This is a simple operation that you can do yourself. Just open the air conditioner cover, remove the filters, wash them with warm water and dry at room temperature.
  2. Buy an air purifier. The compact device eliminates dust, hair, mold and other flying muck that can cause your runny nose and headache.
  3. Maintain air humidity at 40-60%. Buy a humidifier or try to improve the indoor climate on your own.
2. Icy water helps to cool

On a hot day, it seems quite natural to drink cold water, and a misted glass with ice lemonade is associated with higher bliss. However, cold drinks are not the best choice for extreme heat.

When you drink a glass of ice water, the receptors in your mouth, esophagus and stomach tell your brain that the temperature has dropped. You feel fresh, and thirst recedes.

But this effect does not last long - only until the surrounding tissues heat the drunk water.

At the same time, blood vessels narrow in response to exposure to low temperature, which limits blood supply and causes the body to accumulate heat.

Unlike cold drinks, warm water (about 50 ° C) does not prevent the body from cooling itself. Moreover, it stimulates perspiration, so that you are cooling much more efficiently. Yes, a large amount of sweat can be annoying, but it protects you from overheating and does not allow you to get a heat stroke, which is much more important than the aesthetic side of the issue.

3. Cold showers - the best escape from heat

We feel most comfortable when the air heats up to 28 ° С, but due to thermoregulation mechanisms we can maintain a constant body temperature in a wider range - from +12 ° С to +48 ° С.

Temperature control inside the body occurs through blood flow. If we are cold, blood flow to the skin decreases, if it is hot, it increases. Due to the evaporation of sweat, the release of heat to the environment increases, the skin and blood cool, and the body temperature drops.

Since the receptors in the skin directly affect this mechanism, a cold shower brings relief, but it also interferes with thermoregulation.

Icy jets of water stimulate receptors and tell the body that you are cool. In response, the blood flow to the skin decreases, which reduces the loss of heat by the body. You exit the shower back into the hot room, but the receptors continue to behave as if you were cool. This reduces heat loss and prevents your body from cooling itself.

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At the same time, a shower is a good idea if you make it warm or at least cool. A water temperature of about 33 ° C will refresh you and not deceive the receptors in the skin, so that the body will be fully prepared to continue to fight overheating.

4. You need to drink only when you want

Since sweating is the only way the body can cool itself, in heat we lose a lot of moisture. If the water reserves in the body are not replenished, thermoregulation can malfunction, which will result in overheating and heat stroke.

It would seem that this should not be a problem if you are not in the desert. I wanted to drink - made up for the lack of fluid and sweat on. But not so simple.

In fact, the urge to drink is not the most reliable indicator of dehydration.

Thirst can be influenced by the taste and availability of drinks, individual habits and characteristics. For example, older people tend to drink less often, and therefore are more likely to earn dehydration in hot weather.

This is especially important if you play sports or actively move in the sun. During long exercises, people often underestimate the loss of fluid with sweat, drink much less than they need to maintain water balance, and stop feeling thirsty before they overcome dehydration.

Drink at least 2,7-3 liters of water per day. With profuse sweating, say during physical activity, a glass of water every 15-30 minutes.

But too much is also bad. Excessive water reduces the level of electrolytes in the blood, which can result in water intoxication with symptoms such as headache, weakness, and nausea.

In order not to catch this condition, do not use more than 1 liter of water per hour. If during a workout on the street you drink 1,5 liters per hour, next time take a sports drink with carbohydrates and electrolytes. It will help maintain water-salt balance and prevent dehydration.

5. Ice cream - the best food in the heat

Ice cream gives a feeling of freshness due to the cool sensation in the mouth, but this only works while you are eating. As with ice water, the coldness in your esophagus and stomach will prevent your body from reacting properly to heat and expelling heat from your body to the surface of your skin. What's more, after ice cream, you'll be thirsty.

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The consumption of sweets provokes the release of the hormone FGF21 in the liver, which then travels to the hypothalamus and causes thirst.

Finally, the metabolism of any nutrient generates additional heat and slightly increases body temperature. Moreover, the caloric the product, the greater this effect.

Therefore, if you do not want to complicate thermoregulation, try to exclude heavy food on hot days. Instead, lean on fruits, berries, watermelons and vegetables - in addition to fiber and vitamins, they also have a lot of water, which will help you avoid dehydration.

You can also try spicy foods. Capsaicin, a substance found in chili peppers, acts on the receptors in the mouth and causes the body to produce more sweat. And sweat, as we know, is the body’s best way to avoid overheating.

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