Some like it hot
Heat myths put to the test
A refreshing shower and then an ice-cold drink in the shade – it doesn’t get any better in midsummer, can it? Some heat myths persist. But which are true?
At temperatures above 30 degrees, most people only wear skimpy clothes, and they go to the outdoor pool in bikini or swimming trunks. This increases libido in some people. But does that relate to the weather? And is it true that it is the hottest at noon? Time for a fact check.
CONDITION: Warm weather increases the desire for sex.
EVALUATION: That’s right.
FACTS: Heat actually affects sex life. “Because our libido increases with the temperatures,” says gynecologist Sheila de Liz. According to the expert, sunlight and heat are incredibly important for our sensation of pleasure, because this way the body produces more vitamin D. This increases the mood and provides relaxation. According to de Liz, less clothing and more bare skin are of course additional visual stimuli that stimulate the hormones.
ALLEGATION: Heat damages laptop and smartphone.
FACTS: Writing something on your laptop for university or work in the park or shooting funny videos on your cell phone? Yes, but please in the shade! Because electronics should be kept cool, advises Alexander Spier from the magazine for computer technology «c’t». Heat and sun can sometimes lead to impairments: The devices then work more slowly, there are display errors on the display, or the service life is shortened. It is not for nothing that modern smartphones now switch off by themselves in excessive heat to prevent damage.
CONDITION: Warm weather causes heat pimples.
Assertion: That’s right.
FACTS: Enjoy a few quiet moments in the sun and small bubbles can form on your body – so-called heat pimples. “They arise because of clogged sweat glands caused by heat build-up,” says dermatologist Uta Schlossberger. The fault is usually too tight, impermeable clothing in summer. But they also often occur in sweaty areas such as on the back, under the armpits or on the cleavage. As soon as the body cools down, the heat pimples usually disappear again, according to the doctor.
CONDITION: When watering flowers in summer, do not water the leaves.
EVALUATION: That’s right.
FACTS: Water droplets on plants are said to look like burning glasses in summer. So don’t water plants from above? “It is actually better not to do it,” advises Isabelle van Groeningen from the Royal Garden Academy in Berlin. However, the reason is not that the leaves could burn. “It is the moisture that promotes the formation of fungal pests,” explains the gardener.
CONDITION: It’s hottest at noon.
FACTS: “After work heat” would be more appropriate. “Because the temperature on a midsummer day is only at its highest between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.,” says Andreas Friedrich of the German Weather Service (DWD). The degree of warmth therefore does not reach its peak at the same time as the sun’s peak, but only after a delay. Then when the floor is warmed up to the maximum and streets or roofs also give off heat. In addition, due to the summer time, the highest sun in Germany is not at noon, but in the early afternoon.
CONDITION: A cold shower helps against sweating.
EVALUATION: Better not.
FACTS: It’s tempting to rinse your overheated body ice cold – but in the end it’s counterproductive. Because of the cold water, the body temperature goes down for the time being. Then you sweat a lot more. “Because the body raises the temperature again,” explains Ingo Froböse from the German Sport University in Cologne. Especially after an intensive training session, a cold cooling is only stress for the body. He advises taking it easy with the temperature and taking a shower with lukewarm water first. You can turn it colder step by step.
CONDITION: An ice cold drink is the best refreshment.
FACTS: Similar to a fresh shower, the same applies to water, soda, and the like. “Cold and ice-cold drinks are much more stressful for the body than well-tempered or warm ones because they have to use a lot of energy to regulate the temperature,” explains Jan -Christoph Lewejohann from the Asklepios Klinik Wandsbek. Cool drinks can also cause stomach problems and discomfort. So go for warm peppermint tea. It can also refresh.
CONDITION: Bedouins protect themselves against heat with dark clothing.
EVALUATION: True, although the cut is more important.
FACTS: The desert inhabitants of North Africa and the Middle East often wear dark robes. And even though it absorbs sunlight in contrast to white clothing – why? Israeli researchers looked at the question in 1980. The result: the color of the robes made little difference, but the cut did. Because the Bedouins wear their robes loosely around the body – this allows air to flow between the layers, which transports the heat away and cools the skin.