PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With the cold weather we’re seeing, it’s more important ever to know fact from fiction when it comes to staying warm.
Just cause your mom told you something or you read it online, doesn’t mean science necessarily backs it up.
We went to Dr. Timothy Muchnok at Forbes Regional Hospital with a list of advice to get his take on it.
For instance, is it true that we lose 80 percent of our body heat through our head?
Muchnok says statistics he’s seen rate it more like 40 to 50 percent. But he says you lose enough heat through your head that mom was right and that you should wear a hat.
We also asked if you should eat a little more in cold weather to help you keep warm?
“That’s true,” Muchnok said. “The more calories you consume, the easier your body is going to be able to respond to cold weather.”
Does drinking hot chocolate actually warm you up, or is it all in your mind?
Muchnok says it’s really just the temperature of the drink and that warm water would do the same thing.
He also said it’s not true that you should drink a cold, caffeinated beverage before you go outside to get your heart rate up.
Muchnok says caffeinated drinks make you lose fluids and that you need to stay well hydrated in cold weather just as you do in warm weather.
Is a cotton undershirt a bad idea because it soaks up sweat and keeps it next to your body?
Muchnok didn’t really have an opinion on the cotton question, but he says it’s incredibly important to dress in layers because the warm air trapped between layers helps keep you warm.
Should you put on your coat five minutes before you go outside to warm your body up?
He says this could be a good idea, but you should not allow yourself to begin sweating before you go out.
Muchnok also says it doesn’t matter if you wear gloves or mittens, just as long as your hands are covered.
He also warns that alcohol and blood pressure medicine can make people more susceptible to cold temperatures.