Summer unofficially began this past weekend and the weather – here in NJ at least – was not disappointing. Temperatures soared into the upper 80′s with high levels of humidity and a heat index in the 90′s. Weather like this means you’ll probably be enjoying the pool more and more and kicking back with a few cold ones. Whether you’re enjoying an ice cold lite beer or drink made with liquor, you need to take safety into account. Not only can drunken swimming lead to drowning, but if you don’t drown, you could still face brain damage. Let’s take a closer look at why you shouldn’t mix drinking and swimming and how to be careful in the warm weather.
Side Effects of Alcohol on Swimming Ability
Just like anything else, drinking can affect your swimming ability. You may think that you’re perfectly fine, but drinking can affect a number of your motor skills. First of all, drinking can alter your vision and depth perception. This means that you may think you’re jumping into a deep end of the pool, but you’re actually jumping into less than three feet, which could lead to broken bones or a concussion. Alcohol can also cause you to move more slowly, which can make it hard to make split-second decisions. Another side effect is the body’s inability to stay warm in the water when under the influence of alcohol. Last, but certainly not least, alcohol can induce sleep, which may result in falling asleep on a float and drowning. It’s plain to see that swimming and alcohol does not mix.
Warm Weather Drinking Safety
When the weather is warm it can be easy to consume well more than the advised limit of alcohol, especially when drinking beer. People with alcohol in their system are also more prone to heat stroke. This means you need to wait until the cooler parts of the evening to enjoy a frosty beverage. Until then, it is recommended to drink water and plenty of it. The key is to stay hydrated and alcohol actually leads to dehydration. This is why it needs to be avoided during the hotter parts of the day.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying an ice cold beer, but drinking too much during the hot weather can be deadly, especially when swimming is involved. Not only can alcohol affect your vision and depth perception, but it can also make you sluggish and slow to respond to danger. Not only that, but alcohol can actually lead to dehydration, which makes it much easier to become a victim of heat stroke. Remember to drink responsibly this summer and to never swim when under the influence of alcohol.