The heat has Germany under control again. In many places, temperatures will rise to 30 degrees. What is important now and how to behave properly in the high temperatures.
The summer heat has arrived in Germany, and with it comes well-intentioned hot weather advice. Add ice cubes to your drink or don’t exercise at all? A fact check.
Drink enough in the heat
Claim: Ice-cold drinks cool the body down.
Facts: When the temperature is hot, many people long for a glass of iced tea or iced coffee, but the cool drinks tend to have the opposite effect: the body then produces additional heat to compensate for the drop in temperature and we sweat even more. Experts recommend drinks like lukewarm tea instead. However, the amount of liquid is more important than the temperature anyway. So that you don’t forget to drink: It is best to have a carafe or bottle ready to hand and drink at least one glass with every meal.
Take it easy
Myth: You shouldn’t exercise when it’s hot.
Rating: Partially true.
Facts: Some people don’t like to move at all when it’s hot, others need their sport. But is it actually harmful in hot temperatures? Even if the sun lures you outside, now is not the time to aim for new personal bests and push your limits, says chief physician Panagiotis Bouklas in an article by the Helios St. Marienberg Klinik Helmstedt. At high temperatures you are not as efficient and should at least reduce your workload.
Attention, danger of burns!
Claim: Sunburn “hardens” the skin.
Facts: Exactly the opposite is true. According to the Cancer Aid, unprotected skin is immediately and profoundly damaged by UV rays. The body can compensate for this to a certain extent. However, there is a risk that damaged cells remain in the skin, increasing the risk of skin cancer. A sunburn is an inflammation of the skin that resembles a first-degree burn or more, says dermatologist Reinhard Mrotzek, who is a member of the professional association of German dermatologists.
Claim: You can’t get sunburned when the sky is cloudy.
Facts: Even without a blue sky, there is a risk of sunburn, because UV rays also make their way through clouds. “In general, clouds reduce the UV radiation intensity by just 10 to 50 percent,” warns the German Cancer Aid. Sand and buildings can also reflect the rays. Particular caution is also required on and in the water: like a mirror, the water surface increases UV radiation by 50 percent. Medical institutes such as the British National Health Service (NHS) warn of the dangerous combination of sun and water: Due to the cooling effect, one often does not notice when the skin is burning. Mrotzek advises applying sunscreen intensively, and wearing a hat is “a good idea”.
Technology in the blazing sun
Claim: Heat damages laptops and smartphones.
Facts: Smartphones and other technical devices don’t like it hot at all. According to the Graz University of Technology, her favorite temperature is between 15 and 25 degrees. Higher temperatures can stress the battery. It becomes particularly critical at 50 degrees, which is easily reached when the cell phone is lying in the blazing sun.