Fact Check: Lust for Sex and a Cold Shower: Heat Myths Tested – Germany and the World

Berlin – When the temperature rises above 30 degrees, most people wear only rare clothes; the outdoor pool is in a bikini or swimsuit. Some people’s libido increases. But is it related to the weather? And is it true that it is hottest at noon? It’s time to check the facts.

CLAIM: Hot weather increases sexual desire.

EVALUATION: That’s right.

FACTS: Heat actually affects the sex life. “Because our libido increases with temperature,” explains gynecologist Sheila de Liz. According to the expert, sunlight and heat are extremely important for our sense of pleasure, as this is how the body produces more vitamin D. It increases mood and ensures relaxation. According to de Liz, less clothing and more bare skin are of course additional visual stimuli that activate hormones.

CLAIM: Heat damages laptop and smartphone.

EVALUATION: That’s right.

FACTS: Write something on your laptop for college or work in the park or make funny videos with your cell phone? Yes, but in the shade please! Because electronics should be kept cool, advises Alexander Spier of the computer magazine “c’t”. The heat and the sun can sometimes cause damage: the devices then work more slowly, there are display problems on the screen or the life is shortened. It’s not for nothing that modern smartphones turn off on their own when the heat is too hot to prevent damage.

CLAIM: Hot weather causes rash.

CLAIM: That’s right.

FACTS: Enjoy some quiet time in the sun and little blisters can form on your body – known as heat rash. “They happen because of blocked sweat glands, caused by a build-up of heat,” says dermatologist Uta Schlossberger. The fault is generally too tight clothing, waterproof in summer. But they also often occur in heavily perspiring areas such as the back, under the armpits or on the décolleté. As soon as the body cools down, the rash usually goes away again, according to the doctor.

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CLAIM: When watering flowers in summer, do not put water on the leaves.

EVALUATION: That’s right.

FACTS: Water drops on plants are believed to act like searing glasses in summer. So don’t water the plants from above? “In fact, it is better not to do it,” advises Isabelle van Groeningen of the Royal Garden Academy in Berlin. However, the reason is not that the leaves could burn. “Instead, the humidity promotes the formation of harmful fungi,” explains the gardening specialist.

CLAIM: It is hottest around noon.


FACTS: “Heat after work” would be more appropriate. “Because the temperature is highest on a summer day between 4 pm and 5 pm,” says Andreas Friedrich of the German Meteorological Service (DWD). The degree of heat does not reach its maximum at the same time as the highest level of the sun, but only after a delay. Then when the floor is heated to the maximum and the streets or roofs also give off heat. In addition, due to summer, the maximum sunshine in Germany is not at noon, but in the early afternoon.

CLAIM: A cold shower helps reduce sweating.

EVALUATION: Better not.

FACTS: It’s tempting to shower on an overheated, freezing body – but ultimately it’s counterproductive. Due to the cold water, the body temperature drops first. But then you sweat more. “Because the body increases the temperature again,” explains Ingo Froböse of the German Sports University in Cologne. Especially after an intensive workout, a cold cool down is just stress for the body. He advises relaxing with the temperature and showering with lukewarm water first. You can then make it cooler step by step.

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CLAIM: A frozen drink is the best refreshment.


FACTS: Similar to a cool shower, it’s also with water, soda and the like. “Cold and iced drinks put a lot more pressure on the body than well-tempered or hot drinks, because they have to generate a lot of energy to regulate the temperature,” says Jan -Christoph Lewejohann of the Asklepios Wandsbek clinic. Cold drinks can also lead to stomach problems and discomfort. So have a hot mint tea. This too can be refreshing.

CLAIM: Bedouins wear dark clothing to protect themselves from the heat.

EVALUATION: True, although the reduction is greater.

FACTS: Desert dwellers in North Africa and the Middle East often wear dark robes. And that, unlike white clothes, it absorbs sunlight – why? Israeli researchers looked into the question in 1980. Their result: the color of the dresses changed little, but the fit did. Because Bedouin wear their robes loosely around their body – so air can circulate between the layers, releasing heat and cooling the skin.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200811-99-132454 / 2

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