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16th Jul 2022

Brits warned to avoid alcohol this weekend as record breaking heatwave takes hold

Simon Bland

Alcohol duty frozen in mini-budget

Temperatures are due to hit 40C this week

As temperatures prepare to soar during a record-breaking heatwave, many of us may be planning a trip to a beer garden this weekend – however experts have warned that may not be such a good idea.

Earlier this week, experts issued a red weather warning following the news that temperatures could hit a scorching 40C on Tuesday July 19. A red weather warning is the highest in the Met Office’s heat warning scale and its arrival earlier this week marks the first time it’s ever been issued.

Currently, the red weather warning is in place for Monday and Tuesday next week, impacting areas in London and the Midlands as well as northern spots like Manchester and York.

As a result, a national emergency has been declared, something that is only issued when “a heatwave is so severe and/or prolonged that its effects extend outside the health and social care system,” according to experts.

While many may feel tempted to go outside and enjoy the sunshine – perhaps take in a few beers in a pub or beer garden – experts have explained that it could actually be dangerous to your health.

Instead, official guidance suggests that the public should avoid alcohol and caffeine and drink plenty of water.

The reasons behind this advice is that alcohol can dehydrate you further – which isn’t exactly the best thing to happen during a record breaking heat spell.

“Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it encourages the kidneys to lose extra fluid. That is why you tend to go the toilet to urinate (pee) much more when you drink alcohol,” explains drinking advice site

“Alcohol also makes you sweat more. The combination of sweating more in the heat, and going to the toilet more, means you lose more fluid than you take in and become dehydrated unless you replace that lost fluid by drinking water.

“Limit the amount of alcohol you drink and drink plenty of water or soft drinks in between alcoholic drinks to prevent dehydration.”

The site continues, explaining that “during a heatwave, this advice is even more important,” and advising those who do decide to have a drink to not to drink more than the Chief Medical Officer’s low risk drinking guidelines.

What’s more, the site advises that people “be sure to drink plenty of water to reduce the risk of things like dehydration heat exhaustion or heat stroke.”

Other available steps that can help you beat the heat are closing your curtains, reducing travel and staying at home during the hottest parts of the heatwave.

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