About Alcoholism - Alcoholism Information, Research and Treatment

Tell Those St. Bernards

"Is it true that a drink or two of liquor will warm up an individual?". . .

Actually, no. In the circulatory system, alcohol causes the capillaries that are just under the skin to dilate so they can carry more blood. The skin, flushed with warm blood, feels warmer. And so does the drinker.

But this, like many effects of alcohol, is an illusion. In fact, the body temperature does not rise, but falls, because much internal heat is carried by blood to the skin and dissipated there. Alcohol in very cold weather could lead to dangerous chilling.