This past year brought on many unexpected stressors to our lives, such as; the COVID-19 Pandemic, colder than usual winter weather, many canceled trips and events, and extreme isolation from our friends and family. Now that society has slowly begun to return to normal and summertime is here, this means beaches, pools, and lots of sun. Often these outdoor activities are accompanied by a nice cold alcoholic beverage, but do you know that drinking alcohol in the sun can put you at risk? Don’t think it will happen to you? Alcohol-induced dehydration can happen to anyone—even in small amounts.

Today, we will look at some of the main risks of drinking alcohol in the sun and how to avoid them while still enjoying the fun of sitting outside and soaking in some vitamin D. This information may encourage you to rethink your alcohol consumption while enjoying the outdoors. 

Dehydration

Whether you are planning a day on the beach, a boat ride down the lake, or having a backyard barbecue, drinking alcohol during these outdoor adventures can cause severe health issues such as dehydration, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion. 

When we are in the sun, our bodies work hard to keep us in a state of homeostasis to prevent overheating. The primary way that our bodies do this is to sweat but, what happens when our bodies sweat? When you perspire or sweat, your body releases water that forms on the surface of your skin. When this water evaporates, it helps to cool us down. However, prolonged sweating can cause severe dehydration especially if you aren’t replenishing your body with the proper fluids and electrolytes. 

Drinking alcohol while being dehydrated causes your blood alcohol levels to increase at much faster rates. Additionally, Alcohol is a diuretic that can negatively impact your core body temperature, causing extreme dehydration. Prolonged dehydration in the heat leads to heat stroke and heat exhaustion. A few symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • disorientation
  • confusion
  • loss of consciousness

Boating and Car Accidents

During the summer months, alcohol is a factor in many boating and car accidents. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five boating fatalities is alcohol-related. 

Additionally, more than 50% of fatal car accidents are alcohol-related. To prevent these accidents from occurring you should only allow a sober operator and driver behind the wheel or make a conscious choice to pack water and other non-alcoholic beverages in your coolers. 

Drowning

When enjoying your time outdoors with family and friends, the effects of alcohol may not be the first thing on your mind. However, alcohol can severely affect your motor and cognitive functions. Pair this with a fun leisurely swim and you have got a recipe for disaster. 

Being under the influence can result in engaging in risky, careless, and reckless behaviors, thus, a person is more susceptible to drowning. Did you know that alcohol use is the cause of almost 70% of adolescent and adult fatalities related to water activities. Here are a few safety precautions that you can take next time you are enjoying a day at the beach or pool. 

  • stay hydrated. away from sodas, coffee, and other caffeinated beverages. 
  • wear sunscreen, sun visors, and loose clothing
  • avoid peak temperatures that cause heavier perspiration 
  • do not operate a motorized vehicle, including a watercraft, if you are drinking alcoholic beverages
  • to ensure your safety while enjoying the beautiful sunny weather, stay alcohol-free. 

Alcohol and the sun are not compatible, and mixing the two can land you in the hospital emergency room if you are not careful. Enjoy the summer by staying hydrated and avoid drinking alcohol while soaking in some vitamin D. At Serenity Springs, we give you tools to live a clean and sober life. If you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol and substance abuse, we are here to help you on your journey to recovery. Visit us online to learn more about the programs we offer; get started on your journey to recovery today.