Not all Drinks are Created Equal
Recovering from hypothermia takes time. It shouldn’t be rushed to speed up the process. Sipping certain beverages, when instructed by a medical professional, can be a step in the right direction. But which ones? There are some major dos and don’ts when administering liquids to help a hypothermia victim.
The benefits of drinking alcoholic beverages is a myth that must be avoided when nursing a hypothermia victim back to health. Even though liquor will feel warm when consumed as it travels down the throat, it actually pulls heat away from the body’s core and inhibits the body from properly warming back up. Avoid alcohol until the person is fully recovered and ready to celebrate their victory.
A warm tea beverage will feel great to the hypothermic victim, but it won’t go far to help raise their core temperature. If the tea is sweetened with sugar or honey, however, the simple carbohydrates will kick-start the body’s ability to get warm, so it’s not a bad choice.
A hot coffee sounds like a great way to warm a hypothermic person, but beware. If the coffee is caffeinated, it may act as a mild vasodilator and draw blood from the extremities, resulting in a somewhat colder core, thus harming, as opposed to helping, the victim.
Cold and caffeinated? Not a good choice. Only the sugars in the soda may be beneficial, but it’s not worth the tradeoff of its overwhelmingly negative effects. Avoid it. HOT CHOCOLATE
Even though the warm liquid will feel good to the victim, the actual heat from the beverage won’t do very much good to warm up their core temperature (the quantity is far too little). However, the simple sugars in the hot chocolate will begin to get the patient’s internal furnace ignited again and start the warming process.