(Editor’s Note: The story was first published on 3 May 2019 and is being republished from The Quint’s archives after the recent incidents of heatstrokes in India.)
It’s summer time and there are a lot of viral messages warning us about the heat and giving us tips to stay cool. But what’s the truth behind the messages?
CLAIM: One message going viral claims that drinking ice water once the temperature rises to 40 degrees could contract your blood vessels, may be life-threatening.
This message has been spreading across social media, appearing as soon as the weather outside gets hotter day by day.
True or False?
Drinking cold water as soon as you come indoors from the hot weather is tempting, but not advisable, however this is “not dangerous” as Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, senior consultant- internal medicine at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals says.
Ideally you should not have cold water immediately in high temperatures of 42, 45 degrees as your body will not be acclimatise to the cold – but this is not dangerous, no blood vessels will erupt.Dr Suranjit Chatterjee
Not Harmful, But Avoidable to Drink Cold Water Immediately
Dr Chatterjee says that, “Drinking ice cold water immediately may cause a sore threat or an irregular heartbeat for some time, but this is nothing alarming.”
So while it is not harmful, it is best to wait and rest a bit before we drink anything cold.
There is a discrepancy in your body temperature and the ice water and it is best to wait a while and cool down before having cold water.Dr Chatterjee advised.
So What Happens To Our Blood Vessels if We Wash Our Face With Cold Water?
Point three in the message describes an alarming event where a man’s jaws almost froze after a cold shower, and even point two warns against immediately washing your hands or face lest your blood vessels contract.
“Vessels contracting in the cold is part of the body’s normal mechanisms,” explains Dr Chatterjee.
The blood vessels contract with exposure to cold temperatures to preserve heat. But again, this is not dangerous and washing your face, hands or feet immediately after you come from the hot temperature is fine.Dr Chatterjee.
So the message is clear – do not panic, the body has natural mechanisms to protect you in different temperatures, but is is best to rest before having anything too cold if you’re coming in from the heat.
(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)
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