Experts reveal reason you should avoid a cold shower during a heatwave

TheUK’s temperaturesare rising and set to get hotter over the next few days, with experts predicting thepossibility of 40C in some parts of the country.

The heatwave hasarrived just in time for the school holidaysand the country is seeing high temperatures even at night making sleep very hard to come by.

It seems there’s no end to the keeping cool hacks that are being shared, including one that createshomemade air conditioning using a fan and an ice pack, but experts have now revealed that those turning to cold showers could actually be making themselves warmer.

The reason is down to how our body maintains its internal core temperature. While a cold shower may seem like a good choice as a tactic to “cool off”, the cold water actually causes decreased blood flow to the skin.

This is because the cold causes the vessels that supply blood to the skin to constrict and as a result, our core gets warmer due to the reduced heat loss through the skin.

Therefore, just minutes after a cold shower, you will likely feel hot again.

However, warm water on the skin leads to an increased blood flow to the skin, and therefore greater heat loss from the body.

The Conversation’s health check said: “We feel uncomfortable at hot environmental (ambient) temperatures because our bodies are striving to maintain a constant core temperature.

“A cold shower to ‘cool off’ might seem a good immediate choice. We feel cooler because of the combination of the cold water and the decreased blood flow to the skin, but in fact our core will get warmer because of reduced heat loss from the body without skin blood flow.

“Some minutes later, we feel hot again. But a warm sensation on the skin will lead to increased blood flow to the skin, increasing heat loss from the body.”

They add that to keep cool in the summer a shower at 33C is more effective than one at 20C and add: “It will seem warm initially but after a few minutes will provide better comfort in the long term”.

Meanwhile one expert did reveal that the heatwave could fizzle out in the next eight to nine days and with it will come thunderstorms.

Speaking toExpress, Jim Dale, senior meteorologist at British Weather Services, said: “In possibly eight or nine days' time when there is a breakdown of the heat, thunderstorms will bring some temporary relief for sure.

“The jury is out on what comes next, but it’s not the end of summer.”


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