This year’s summer will bring record temperatures and heat waves that are causing many people problems.
With temperatures well above 30 degrees, most people long for an ice-cold shower or cold drinks. But do such cooling also help in the long term?
Is it really the hottest around noon? Can you train your sweat glands? And do people really want sex more when it’s hot? We provide answers to the most important questions about heat.
The assumption that heat can increase people’s desire for sex is actually true.
As the gynecologist Sheila de Liz told the “Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland”, high temperatures should also “increase our libido”. According to the expert, the amount of sunlight and heat should boost vitamin D production, which in turn improves mood.
In addition, the tight clothing and a lot of bare skin in midsummer would also “make the hormones boil”, according to the gynecologist.
This myth is only partially correct. When it comes to the question “White or black clothing?” Opinions differ: While some wear white clothing in midsummer because it is supposed to reflect the sun’s rays, others prefer dark and refer to the traditional black clothing worn by Bedouins who live in the desert Life.
The textile expert Stefan Thumm from the “Association of the Bavarian Textile and Clothing Industry” explains to the German Press Agency (dpa): “Dark colors charge more in the sun. White, on the other hand, reflects heat”. In fact, white surfaces reflect the sun’s rays better, while black surfaces convert the sun’s energy directly into heat.
So why do Bedouins wear black robes? Tests in the Israeli Negev desert showed that the color of the clothing is less important than the question of how airy and breathable the fabric is. As the science magazine “Spektrum” reports, the test subjects in beige military uniforms and short shorts were much warmer than in the airy Bedouin clothing – it made absolutely no difference whether the loose robes were black or white.
The assumption that ice-cold drinks cool down the body is wrong.
At first glance, it seems as if cold drinks are cooling down and refreshing on a hot summer’s day. In fact, the ice-cold liquid gives the body the wrong signal: beware of the cold! To counteract this, additional heat is produced and you sweat more.
Incidentally, as the federal doctor of the Malteser, Rainer Löb recommends drinking drinks only slightly chilled or lukewarm, as the dpa reports. In summer you should drink up to three liters a day. Above all, mineral water, juice spritzers or unsweetened teas such as fruit or herbal tea are recommended, according to the doctor.
The myth that it’s hottest around noon is wrong. Instead of midday heat, one should probably speak of evening heat, as weather expert Jörg Kachelmann confirms.
In a YouTube video, the meteorologist explains that the highest temperature on a hot summer’s day is primarily measured “between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.”. That’s why it’s “particularly gaga when everyone always goes jogging in the evening after work”, because that’s when the highest temperature and ozone values prevail.
The myth that you can train sweat glands and the associated sweat production is correct. The “Academy for Sport and Health” has viewed a wide variety of studies in which the sweat production of trained athletes was compared with that of untrained test subjects.
The result: Sporty people sweat faster because the training effect comes into play and the body regulates the temperature more quickly as soon as physical activity begins.
At the same time, it was found that athletes sweat far more effectively than non-athletic people. In concrete terms, this means that athletes release the optimal amount of sweat. Untrained people, on the other hand, would often sweat excessively and lose valuable body fluids that fall to the floor in drops instead of evaporating and regulating body temperature.
In addition, unsportsmanlike people would flush out many more important nutrients from the body when sweating compared to athletes. On the other hand, if you train your endurance regularly, you condition your body to retain the nutrients.
It is not true that an ice-cold shower should help in the heat. If the heated body is cooled down with water that is too cold, this can lead to circulatory problems. This also applies to bathing lakes or the sea.
Daniel Keip from the “Deutsche Lebens-Rettungs-Gesellschaft” (DLRG) recommends here: “Cool off before swimming, get used to the water temperature, don’t overtax yourself.” Sunbathing for half an hour and then cooling down immediately can put a strain on the circulation , said the rescuer to the dpa.
The assumption that more so-called heat rashes form when temperatures rise is correct.
As the health insurance company “AOK” reports, the development of the small pustules (also called “miliaria”) is directly related to the sweat glands. Heat pimples occur primarily when the sweat gland ducts are clogged and the secretion can no longer be secreted through the skin’s surface.
How to avoid heat rash? The AOK recommends avoiding sweating and consequently the heat. In addition, those affected should not scratch the itchy areas, otherwise the skin could become inflamed.