As we step into spring in Australia I think the entire country has noticed that it is way hotter in 2023 than it was this time last year in 2022. The novelty of the beautiful balmy spring weather hasn't worn off just yet and across the beverage category we've seen a spike in sales as people are coming out of hibernation and start getting out and about again. As many of our customers have called it: "It's BBQ Season!".
Over the last few months we've observed devastating and record heatwaves in and throughout Europe, America and Asia and it doesn't look like we're going to escape it this summer here in Australia with an El Nino recently declared. As a country that already records extreme temperatures above 40C and have had temperature records broken over the last few years it's daunting to think of what might be waiting for us around the corner. So what does this have to do with drinking alcohol you may ask?
Well, a lot actually! As the weather warms up and we start to really feel the heat, it will make it especially more appealing to reach for a cold beverage to quench your thirst. The first things that come to mind is a nice cold beer or a refreshing glass of white wine. As appealing as it sounds, there are some added negative effects to drinking alcohol during extreme heat.
Firstly, you will be more dehydrated. It's a common fact that alcohol can cause dehydration due to its diuretic effect - this means it will cause you to go to the toilet more. Drinking in extreme heat will accelerate the process of dehydration. The last thing you want to do is become dehydrated if the temperatures around are you soaring as your body needs those fluids to help maintain your core temperature and keep your body in balance.
A second point is that alcohol can in some case impair thermoregulation, meaning that you may feel warmer than you actually are. For those that drink; think of when you may have felt a bit flushed or gone red in the face. Whilst your temperature may not have changed too much, you may have felt a bit warmer after a few drinks. Combined with symptoms of dehydration such as dizziness, dry mouth, headaches you could be put at risk of masking life-threatening illness such as heat stroke and misdiagnosing it for intoxication.
Thirdly, is that you may find yourself drinking more alcohol in order to quench your thirst. I'm guilty to admit in the past and especially over summer it is much easier to drink an extra glass of white or reach for another beer when it's hotter outside. This could mean that your consumption over summer will increase and this can have a direct effect on your health and mental wellbeing. It can lead to increased and unintentional intoxication resulting in consequences like hangovers, being unable to drive or wanted behaviours. It may also mean you're reaching for another bottle or another beer resulting in you spending more money than you normally would.
Lastly, because it is hotter outside you may find yourself craving a drink more frequently. Now craving a drink doesn't necessarily mean alcohol, but it can mean you may be more inclined to drink more of it if you aren't already moderating your alcohol intake in your lifestyle. You may find it easier to slip into alcoholism because it's hotter if you're not balancing it with non-alcoholic options.
So what could you do about it? We would recommend to consider drinking less or none at all this summer to minimise the negative effects of alcohol that comes with drinking in extreme heat. Consider turning to non-alcoholic options if you're looking to drink to quench your thirst rather than a drink with alcohol in it. There are some incredibly similar non-alcoholic beer, wine and spirit options any many more options that don't taste like alcohol altogether. This will allow you to still hit your cravings for something cold while ensuring that you remain vigilant and healthy. If you're planning a picnic or time out at the beach, remember to bring extra water and to space out your drinks if you're still choosing to drink alcohol. Don't over indulge and put yourself at risk this summer. Non-alcoholic beers, wines or pre-made cocktails provide an enjoyable way to quench thirst, socialise, celebrate and moderate over summer.