Homework Question on Effects of consuming ethanol on body temperature
- Many of you may know the story about how the large St. Bernard dogs rescue people stranded in snow drifts in the mountains carrying a container of strong alcoholic beverage in casks around their necks, used so that the rescued person can drink from it and get warm.
- Research and report on the short and longer term effects of drinking alcohol (ethanol) on body temperature, particularly in cold weather.
- In your answers include what happens to blood flow and metabolism and heat loss.
- Also include an energy balance at the skin surface and any other energy balances that may be appropriate for the particular method being discussed.
Homework Answer on Effects of consuming ethanol on body temperature
Most people in different areas that experience freezing temperatures resolve to consuming ethanol-rich beverages such as alcohol to stay warm. The practice has been ongoing for many years and it follows a common myth that consuming ethanol is appropriate in boosting one’s body temperature. According to Philips (22), some people can have a tingly feeling of rising body temperature after taking the first glass of alcohol while others require a greater amount of alcohol to feel it.
As such, people have naturally embraced the impression that consuming ethanolparticularly in cold weather can raise the body temperature. For instance, ice skaters as well as skiers among other cold weather sporting funs drink alcoholic beverages before going out to increase their body temperature (Miletich 66). The St. Bernard dogs have also been popularly usedin rescue missions where they carry alcoholic beverages on their necks to be used in warming the rescued persons.
However, medical practitioners have argued that consuming ethanol is not a safe way to boost body temperature, as it is associated with both the short-term and long-term implications (Steven 111). Consuming ethanol primarily makes a person feel warm because it causes blood vessels to dilate. This dilation allows a significant amount of blood to flow closer to the surface of the skin, which makes a person to experience a temporally increase in body temperature.