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Is drinking in the sun a dangerous combination?

If you plan to head out in the heat, have a few drinks and spend the afternoon with friends, one thing you should remember is that mixing alcohol and sun can be dangerous. There are two primary reasons that alcohol and sun simply don't mix.

The first is that drinking actually reduces how long you can be in the sun before you get a sunburn. Part of the reason for that may be that people who drink are less likely to apply sunscreen regularly and could spend more time in the sun without realizing how long they've been out. Another reason that researchers discovered is that UV light takes less time to burn the skin when people have been drinking.

A horrible sunburn is just one problem with drinking in the sun, though. Another prominent problem is the risk of dehydration.

Both alcohol and the sun can cause dehydration if you're not hydrating with water. Alcohol is a diuretic. The sun makes you sweat. In combination, you'll lose fluids faster. With less water in the body, you may start to suffer from symptoms of dehydration such as increased heart rate, dry skin and dizziness. In worst-case scenarios, this can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

If you plan to go drinking, remember to hydrate regularly and to grab extra sunscreen. Alcohol and the sun can be hard on your body, so make sure you're getting enough fluids throughout the day and spending some time in the shade to counteract alcohol's effects. Finally, don't drive home if you've been drinking. Sun and alcohol can cause many symptoms, like dizziness and exhaustion, that could result in a crash, DUI charge or worse.

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