A refreshing shower followed by an ice-cold drink in the shade – it doesn’t get any better than this in midsummer, does it? Some heat myths persist. But which ones are true?
At temperatures above 30 degrees, most people only wear skimpy clothing, and they go to the outdoor pool in bikinis or swimming trunks. Some people’s libido increases. But is that related to the weather? And is it true that midday is the hottest? Time for a fact check.
CLAIM: Warm weather increases desire for sex.
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 sense of pleasure, because this is how the body produces more vitamin D. This increases the mood and ensures relaxation. According to de Liz, less clothing and more bare skin are of course additional visual stimuli that get the hormones pumping.
CLAIM: Heat damages laptops and smartphones.
FACTS: Write something for university or work in the park on your laptop or make funny videos with your cell phone? Yes, but please in the shade! Because electronics should be kept cool, advises Alexander Spier from the computer technology magazine “c’t”. Heat and sun can sometimes lead to impairments: The devices then work more slowly, there are display errors or the service life is reduced. It is not for nothing that modern smartphones now switch themselves off when it is too hot to prevent damage.
CLAIM: Warm weather causes heat rash.
FACTS: Enjoy a few quiet moments in the sun and small blisters can form on your body – so-called heat rash. “They occur because of blocked sweat glands caused by heat build-up,” says dermatologist Uta Schlossberger. The culprit is usually too tight, impermeable clothing in summer. But they also often appear in heavily sweating areas such as the back, under the armpits or on the décolleté. According to the doctor, as soon as the body cools down, the heat rash usually disappears again.
CLAIM: Do not water the leaves when watering flowers in summer.
FACTS: Drops of water on plants are said to act like magnifying glasses in summer. So don’t water plants from above? “It’s 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. “Instead, the moisture promotes the formation of fungal pests,” explains the gardening specialist.
CLAIM: Noon is the hottest.
FACTS: “After work heat” would probably be more appropriate. “Because the temperature is only highest between 4 and 5 p.m. on a midsummer day,” says Andreas Friedrich from the German Weather Service (DWD). The degree of heat does not reach its peak at the same time as the sun is at its highest, but only after a delay. Then when the ground is heated to the maximum and streets or roofs also give off heat. In addition, due to summer time, the sun’s highest point in Germany is not at 12 noon, but in the early afternoon.
CLAIM: A cold shower helps against sweating.
RATING: Better not.
FACTS: It’s tempting to shower your overheated body with ice cold water, but it’s ultimately counterproductive. The cold water initially lowers the body temperature. But then you sweat a lot more. “Because the body raises the temperature again,” explains Ingo Froboese from the German Sport University in Cologne. Especially after an intensive training session, a cold cool down is just stress for the body. He advises taking it easy on the temperature and showering with lukewarm water first. You can then turn it colder step by step.
CLAIM: An ice-cold drink is the best refreshment.
FACTS: The same applies to water, soda etc. as to a fresh shower. “Cold and ice-cold drinks put a lot more strain on the body than warm or well-tempered ones, because it has to expend a lot of energy to regulate the temperature,” explains Jan -Christoph Lewejohann, who worked at Asklepios Klinik until recently. Cold drinks can also lead to stomach problems and discomfort. So feel free to grab a warm peppermint tea. It can also be refreshing.
CLAIM: Bedouins wear dark clothing to protect themselves from the heat.
RATING: True, although the cut is more important.
FACTS: The desert dwellers of North Africa and the Middle East often wear dark robes. And this despite the fact that, unlike white clothing, it absorbs sunlight – why? Israeli researchers studied the question in 1980. Their result: the color of the robes made hardly any 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.