Most divers after a full day of scuba diving, having done multiple dives, the moment they clear their equipment, they will walk over to the nearest bar and grab a beer. Big Mistake! If you are diver who knows your nitrogen absorption and elimination theory (which you should otherwise, you would not have got your dive certification) anyway, many tend to forget that the nitrogen gases you have absorbed into your body needs a bit of time for it to leave. In addition, the worst thing is that before it can actually out-gas itself, the worst mistake one can do is to introduce some substance to accelerate it into bubble form.

Alcohol can do that to you. Beginner divers, take note, in the 1st place, do you remember your instructor informing you or cautioning you on the dangers of going scuba diving with alcohol in your system Don’t drink and dive!

Well, at the same token, it is also not a good idea to drink alcohol after diving. Do not drink immediately after diving!

That is not to say you should not drink at all. Actually it shouldn’t be a problem if you have a drink or two or three if you put in a period of about a minimum of 3 – 4 hours before you hit the booze. You wanna tank up, that’s fine but it will be more prudent to let more of the nitrogen gases out of your system first. If you remember your dive theory, then you will recall the decompression sickness warning. How divers can get DCS, but the manual doesn’t cover the topic of boozing after scuba diving.

The thing is, if you have been doing multiple dives in one day, your body would have absorbed some residue nitrogen during the dives. Remember your dive theory when you learn about the 21% / 79% mix of the atmospheric air us humans breathe. And how that is compressed into the scuba tank. So essentially scuba tank air is the same air we breathe to live.

21% being oxygen which is not a problem but the other 79% being nitrogen gas which is a problem, especially when we breathe it in a pressurized environment, namely underwater. Well, to make a long story short, divers absorbed the excess N2O in their bodies and need time to let it out-gas when they are back on land. If managed properly, no problem at all, but if there is insufficient knowledge to minimize the risk, it is very likely risking DCS. (Decompression sickness) in mild cases, can be excruciatingly painful like dislocated joints, and in extreme cases can be fatal causing heart attacks or brain embolism.

In addition, drinking alcohol immediately after diving, especially if the amount of absorbed N2o is substantial, can cause DCS.

Alcohol increases your heart rate. Thus making your blood (full of N2O) pump faster. Acceleration of blood circulation risk the N2O come out of solution and become gaseous instead of the soluble state it was in prior to that. Becoming gaseous means changing into a foamy state or bubbles that might block circulation to your extremities or worst the vital organs. That’s dangerous, can cause pain or paralysis or death in extreme cases.

And so simple to avoid this DCS condition. Among the other stuff beginners learn in the dive theory about this and how to minimize the risks, another element here is don’t drink immediately after diving. Also not a good idea to do any strenuous activity after diving. Common sense will tell you that that will speed up your circulation rate and again accelerate the absorbed N2O. Hot showers are a big NO! Warm is OK but really immersing yourself in a tub full of really hot water, that’s just asking for trouble! Common sense again! Hot water! That’s heat on you body, especially steaming hot, on your body, the gas may evaporate into bubbles. DCS! It is all so simple to avoid, just give yourselves a decent time interval of at least 3 hours or more and then you can do what you like. Except flying in a plane. That needs at least 18 hours of rest time before you can be fairly certain there is no more N2O in your system before you can board a flight with a lower pressure environment. Well, you should know that already during your dive course.

Just remember immediately after diving. No Booze! No heavy sports, no hot baths or hot showers and hhmmmm, should I mention NO SEX! (Heck this is strenuous activity, isn’t it? Or maybe if you insist, then go slow and easy, that is probably a prudent idea)

The point is, just anything that makes your blood pump faster and heats up your body, try not to do it, especially if you have been doing a lot of scuba diving in that day.These is just a bit of trivia for beginner scuba divers to ponder on!

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