It’s getting hot this weekend and summer has not even begun yet. With the first major heat wave, the question arises of how to deal with it. We have a few answers.
Extremely hot and dry air masses are coming from Spain via France to the southwest and south this weekend. Temperatures are expected just below 40 degrees in the Rheingraben – and that is before the actual start of summer.
This puts a huge strain on the human body, and animals also suffer on such days. Our BNN editors Alexei Makartsev and Martin Ferber answer some key heat-related questions.
Can you fry a fried egg on the bonnet or car roof in the heat?
It’s a myth: A dark-painted car only needs to stand in the scorching sun for a long time for the metal to get so hot that you can fry an egg on it. In fact, various attempts at YouTube show that this is not possible. Temperatures above 80 degrees are necessary for the egg white and yolk to coagulate and become firm and the fried egg to become really crispy. A car roof painted black can get so hot on a hot summer day, but it does not go with the egg. Because the moment the egg is broken up and placed on the car, the temperature of the metal drops significantly – and stays down. Because unlike the frying pan, there is no permanent heat supply from below. At the same time, the egg acts as an umbrella – no direct sunlight falls on the car at this point. The egg white cannot coagulate. There are also very practical problems: Motor helmets or roofs are usually curved – the egg slides down before the egg white can even start to coagulate.
Does ice water help quench your thirst?
Another myth: It is believed that the higher the temperature, the cooler the drink must be to cool the body from the inside. But the medical association in Baden-Württemberg warns. “The drinks must not be too cold,” says patient information on the subject of heat. Good thirst quenches are water, juice sprays or herbal teas. You should avoid high sugar drinks, alcohol and coffee as these deprive the body of fluid and strain the circulation. And why are cold drinks bad? Quite simply: the cold causes the blood vessels to constrict, and the body must first heat up the fluid that has been ingested. The result: You sweat even more and your body suddenly loses some of the fluid it has absorbed. A look at the hot countries in the South shows how to do it right – people drink hot tea by the liter. This causes the blood vessels to dilate and the fluid to be better absorbed.
And what about the food?
The Federal Center for Health Education recommends eating several small meals rather than three large ones on hot days. You should also avoid heavy food. Light, cool, fresh and above all easily digestible foods such as fruits, salads, vegetables, low-fat soups or dairy products are ideal. Since the body also flushes out important minerals, such as sodium, when you sweat, it is important to make sure you get enough salt. According to the Baden-Württemberg Association of General Practices, broth or pretzel sticks are ideal.
Window open or window closed?
Anyone who has vacationed in the South knows this: The houses look like fortresses. All doors and windows are locked, the shutters are closed all day. It keeps the heat away. Accordingly, the recommendation for patients from the General Practitioners’ Association states: “Blinds, roller shutters or awnings remain down during the day.” To ensure that the apartment does not get hot, only ventilate in the morning and evening when it is coolest, by opening all windows and doors at the same time, thus ensuring a passage of cool air.
Do birds also sweat like humans do, or how do they cool down?
Only mammals have sweat glands, but not all and not all have sweat glands. For example, cats only have them on their paws, which makes them very sensitive to heat. Birds can not sweat. However, because their body temperature is generally slightly higher than in mammals, they also do not need to dissipate as much heat. If a pigeon or sunbird gets too hot, they can raise their downy feathers so more air can circulate around the body. Or they go to the bathroom.
On hot days, some people envy the fish in the cool water. At least they’re never thirsty, are they?
Not quite. In fact, freshwater fish never “thirst” because they still constantly absorb water through their bodies, diluting their blood. If there is too much water in the fish, it must be excreted. The fish in salt water, on the other hand, “drink” from time to time because they constantly lose water and have to compensate for this loss. Since the salt content in your body is significantly lower than in the environment, the excess salt must also be excreted.
If sweat protects us from overheating, then maybe we can even train ourselves to sweat faster and harder?
In a way, you can, yes. Many people do it unknowingly on holiday in hot countries: In the beginning, the heat makes you feel much more exhausted than after two to three weeks – even if the temperatures remain the same. Why is it like that? For our “cooling system” adapts: The body actually sweats more and at the same time reduces the proportion of electrolytes in the sweat. So he loses less sodium, potassium and calcium.
Sometimes you see children with bright red faces on hot days: a signal of impending danger?
At least. In children, the body’s own cooling usually works less well than in adults. You can sweat worse. Another factor is particularly important for infants and toddlers (up to about four years). less favorable The ratio of body mass to surface area. Their bodies have to work harder to get rid of the heat, but it is difficult because their cardiovascular systems are not fully developed. Therefore, babies and toddlers should never be left alone in the car during the summer.
Am I definitely protected from sunburn if I use a cream with a high sun protection factor (50+)?
If the (light) skin blushes after five minutes in the sun without sunscreen, the cream can be used with one Sun protection factor (SPF) 20 extends the protection time by about 20 times, ie to about 100 minutes. If you have a self-protection time of 10 minutes, you can increase it to about 300 minutes thanks to SPF 30. This is how the individual protection factor can be calculated. Nevertheless, one must be careful. Regular refilling is a must, and at the latest after two-thirds of the estimated sunshine time, it is advisable to go in the shade.
Suppose I want to drink a cool lemonade or a refreshing beer. There is no one in the fridge, how can I get my drink ice cold in a few minutes?
At least not in a freezer. It goes much faster with the self-made “Super Freezer”: You fill a bowl with ice cubes, put the drinks in it, pour a lot of salt over and mix it with the ice cream. Stir a few times with a wooden spoon – done. The trick is that the salt greatly accelerates the melting process of the cubes, and the ice salt sludge creates a larger contact surface with the bottles. This increases the cooling effect.