5 heat myths you shouldn't believe

1. The cold air of the air conditioner is dangerous.

Air conditioning does increase the risk of allergies and colds, but the cool 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 conventional ventilation at work. In addition, they are more likely to experience irritation of the mucous membranes and skin, breathing problems, headaches and fatigue.

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

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

And this is true not only for office buildings. A home air conditioner can also spread allergens and harmful substances such as dust mites , animal dander, mold and bacteria.

In addition, a working air conditioner dries the air in the room, which creates heavenly conditions for viruses . Low humidity not only helps them spread, but also suppresses the body’s defenses, making it difficult for our cells to fight harmful particles.

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, try:

1. Clean the filters every two weeks. This is a simple operation that you can do yourself. Just open the lid of the air conditioner, remove the filters, wash them with warm water and dry them at room temperature.

2. Consider buying 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 of 40–60%. Buy a humidifier or try to improve the indoor climate on your own .

2. Ice water helps cool you down

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

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

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

At the same time, in response to exposure to cold temperatures, blood vessels constrict, which restricts 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. What’s more, it stimulates perspiration, so you cool off much more efficiently. Yes, a lot of sweat can be annoying, but it protects you from overheating and prevents you from getting heatstroke, which is much more important than the aesthetic side of the issue.

3. Cold showers are the best escape from the heat

We feel most comfortable when the air is heated to 28°C, but due to the mechanisms of thermoregulation we can maintain a constant body temperature in a wider range – from +12°C to +48°C.

The temperature inside the body is controlled by the blood flow. If we are cold, the flow of blood 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 down and the body temperature drops.

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

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

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

4. Drink only when you feel like it

Since sweating is the body’s only way to cool itself down, we lose a lot of moisture in hot weather. If the water reserves in the body are not replenished at the same time, thermoregulation may fail, 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 – I made up for the lack of fluid and sweat myself further. But not everything is so simple.

In fact, the desire 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 be less thirsty and therefore more at risk of dehydration in hot weather.

This is especially important if you play sports or actively move in the sun. During prolonged exercise, people often underestimate fluid loss through sweat, drink far less than they need to stay hydrated, and stop feeling thirsty before they overcome dehydration.

Drink at least 2.7-3 liters of water per day. With profuse sweating, as during physical activity , a glass of water every 15-30 minutes.

But too much is also bad. Excessive water lowers blood electrolyte levels, which can result in water intoxication with symptoms such as headache, weakness, and nausea.

In order not to catch this condition, you should not drink more than 1 liter of water per hour. If you drink 1.5 liters per hour during your outdoor workout, take a sports drink with carbohydrates and electrolytes next time. It will help maintain the water-salt balance and prevent dehydration.

5. Ice cream is 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.

Consumption of sweet triggers the release of the FGF21 hormone in the liver, which then travels to the hypothalamus and induces thirst.

Finally, the metabolism of any nutrient generates additional heat and slightly raises body temperature. Moreover, the more 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 have a lot of water, which will help you stay hydrated.

In addition, you can try spicy food. Capsaicin, a substance found in chili peppers, acts on 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.

Tell us how you deal with the heat.

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