As summer temperatures rise, many people seek relief from the heat by drinking cold beverages such as beer. However, drinking excess beer in the heat could put you at risk for heat-related illness if precautions aren’t taken.
Since Paducah locals can leave the premises with alcoholic beverages and consume them while walking through the center of downtown entertainment destinations, it is imperative to understand how to do so responsibly.
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are potentially fatal conditions that can result from prolonged exposure to high temperatures. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 600 people die each year from heat-related illnesses as a result of drinking alcohol in hot weather. Heat exhaustion is characterized by profuse sweating, weakness, dizziness, nausea and headaches. If left untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, a condition that requires immediate medical attention.
Drinking alcohol intensifies the effects of heat on the body, making it harder to maintain a steady body temperature. Dehydration is a risk factor for heat-related illness. Beer, in particular, may contribute to this risk.
Todd Blume of Paducah Beer Werks, who has worked in the industry for many years, claims that during the summer months people are less likely to drink lower alcohol beers. He believes that the best way to stay healthy and drink good beer without getting sick is to drink light beer in moderation and drink enough water.
Bloom says there are many different options for drinking on a hot day. A light and refreshing drink, such as a pilsner or rattlesnake, is always a good choice.
Bloom stresses how important it is to stop drinking alcoholic beverages and replace them with water or other non-alcoholic beverages. He recommends staying in a cool, shaded environment, avoiding alcohol on an empty stomach, and wearing loose clothing to promote air circulation.
“If you drink any alcoholic beverages on an empty stomach in this heat, it will have a more noticeable effect on you,” Bloom said. “We want everyone to take responsibility for their own safety.”
If you’re looking for a low-carb, healthy drink, drinking soda seems like an option. However, according to Bloom, this strategy is only sometimes optimal and never acceptable in extreme cases. He said soda was nothing more than espresso masquerading as an alcoholic beverage.
“Sodas are an option, but they’re not a good option,” says Bloom. “Better be extra careful because soda has 5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) and could accidentally get you on it.”
Summer beers are one way to beat the heat and stay cool during the dog days. These beers taste great, but drinking them instead of other stronger alcohols can help keep you calm and reduce your risk of injury. Summer beers are usually lower in alcohol and lighter in body, making them great for hot weather as they keep the drinker from feeling overheated and heavy.
If you’re looking for some beer in the warmer months, there are plenty of options to choose from. Wheat beers, pilsners and India pale ales are the most popular choices. Wheat beers, such as Blue Moon and Shock Top, are known for being distinctly light and lemony. Pilsners such as Stella Artois and Heineken are ideal for hot weather because they are crisp and refreshing. If people prefer a slightly more hoppy flavor, try an Indian Pale Ale (IPA), such as Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Lagunitas IPA.
Matt Hopper, manager of Doe’s Eat Place in downtown Paducah, points out that having water on hand and making sure you’re drinking enough is crucial when you’re out in the heat. Drinking water regularly is necessary to prevent dehydration and maintain normal bodily functions. Whether you’re going hiking or relaxing by the pool, be sure to keep a reusable water bottle with you. Make sure to drink water throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Take regular sips of water.
“I always recommend having a bottle of water on hand,” says Hopper. “It’s crucial to stay hydrated in this heat, especially when you know you’ll be drinking a lot.”