Hot Tubs And Alcohol: The Dangers of Soaking Under The Influence

Hot Tub Time Machine-4 buddies drinking in the hot tubDon’t Drink and Tub

The cautionary tale of Max George highlights the dangers of mixing alcohol and hot tubs.

This time, the story had a happy ending: Max George almost drowned drunk when he jumped into a hot tub and sank during a party in Los Angeles a week ago.  A cameraman on his “The Wanted Life” reality show crew saved his life by jumping in the tub and pulling him out.

But George’s near-death experience is a warning to everyone: Don’t drink and tub. Your body wasn’t made to handle both.

Here’s why:


Sweating in a hot tub dehydrates your body. So does alcohol. Both at the same time is too much. That can lead to light-headedness, dizziness, nausea, heart palpitations, confusion, weakness and even coma or death.


The high temperatures of a heart tub can lower your blood pressure. If you’ve also been drinking, that can lead to dizziness that will make you stumble or fall – never a good thing near water.

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Sleeping or unconsciousness.

The hot tub is great for relaxing your mind and body, so much that you could easily drift to sleep. Alcohol also relaxes your muscles and your mind. The combination could make you pass out and sink, as George did.

Heat Exhaustion.

Hot tub heat expands your blood vessels and increases your body temperature. So does alcohol. This can lead to heat exhaustion that can trigger unconsciousness, or even a stroke or heart attack. Symptoms include confusion and dizziness, fainting or fatigue, headache, nausea, extreme sweating and rapid heartbeat and elevated body temperature.


Alcohol can lead you to lose your inhibitions and take foolish chances, like Max George did, that can be life-threatening near water.

A Plea.

If your plans include hot tubbing and drinking, soak first.  Staying sober for that relaxing 20 minutes or so is well worth the enjoyment and peace of mind.  Don’t put yourself in a position where someone else has to save your life. Don’t tub while impaired.

If you have a story about the dangers of mixing alcohol and tubbing, please share it to help others stay safe.

SANUM PER AQUA. As the Romans said it “Health through Water”.

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Author: Don Riling

Don Riling is the President of Olympic Hot Tub and has been an active member of the hot tub industry for over 27 years. As the company’s owner since 2016, he has continued Olympic’s legacy of promoting health & wellness through water.

10 responses to “Hot Tubs And Alcohol: The Dangers of Soaking Under The Influence

  1. My long time friend was waiting for his neighbor to come join him in the hot tub, when he did it was too late…My friend had been drinking and passed out due to the heat and alcohol combination..And he drowned….Just a very sad way to leave this earth, especially since most of the human population has no idea that this happens to people….

  2. Hello Linda:
    What a sad sorry-for you to lose a friend and the friend to lose his life.
    Thank you for sharing your story that hot tubbing and alcohol are a bad combination.

    Best wishes,

  3. I am reading on the web stories and the dangers regarding drinking and tubbing. fortunately my husband was one of the ignorant but very lucky in this situation. Last weekend in Aspen we sat in the hot tub late at night after having drinks. not realizing our decision was such a careless mistake when neither one of us were aware or at least have not ever given thought to the possibility of such a traumatic and very scary thing such as this happening. Only just seconds before passing out, seemed normal, coherent and having conversation. This could happen to anyone and it happens quickly with no warning to those around( if you’re lucky enough to have someone around. For us, there happened to be someone other than me. a sweet 19 year old young man (same age as my two older boys and who I call my angel) we met this boy that night on the way down to pool. He was on vacation with his family. He asked if he could come to the hot tub with us that night. I thank God he was there as he helped me save my husband when he fell into the hot tub unconscious. My husband was fine and I think he came to with all my screaming :). I Just feel blessed it happened the way it did and our little angel from Australia strangely enough decided to come with us at 1:00 am to the hot tub. In our conversation before my husband passed out , our stranger friend said “i am not sure why but he just felt like he needed to come” Thank God!

  4. Hello Kim:
    That’s quite a story. Thanks for sharing. You were indeed fortunate. Hope your story will warn others
    that hot tubbing and drinking are a potentially lethal combination. Save the drinks for after the tub.

    Take care,

  5. My little brother drowned in hot tub april 11, 2011. You can find story under google if you google firefighter drowns in hot tub. He was 27 yrs old. Broke my families hearts and I hope people understand its DANGEROUS and you CAN die from drinking in hot tub.

  6. I’m 21 year old male. And this one weekend I woke up to a really bad hangover from drinking the night before. I threw up in the morning and I couldn’t keep anything down, including water. I didn’t know it then but I was severely dehydrated. I felt miserable. So I read that a shower is a nice refresher if you threw up, so I decided to take a really hot bath.

    I was really cold so I soaked for about 30 minutes in the nice hot steam. And I didn’t really feel any different until I got out. Suddenly I noticed how much I was sweating. And I began to feel dizzy. I stumbled to get my clothes on all the while breathing really hard. My vision blurred and suddenly my chest felt a sharp pain-a sharp pain in the middle. And, it wouldn’t stop. I tried laying down and sitting, but it made it worse. And then, I couldn’t breathe. I was literally gasping for air. I was in agony. And I was all alone because my roommate left for the day.

    So I tried to call my friend. And when he picked up I couldn’t even make out words. It was an intense struggle just to say help me. All of this while still sweating and feeling nauseous and feeling the stabbing pain in my chest and I began to feel my left arm going numb. The worst part? My friend thought it was a joke. He thought I was kidding.

    So I leaned against the wall after opening my apartment door. Hoping that someone would find me if I passed out. I thought I was going to die. But after 5 minutes(a really long time) of yelling at him and swearing to god that this wasn’t a joke, he came over. A minute before he arrived , the attack stopped. And I was breathing really hard. And everything was quiet. And then he drove me to the clinic. I didn’t know exactly what happened to me, until I began looking at this website.

    But yeah, alcohol and hot tubs don’t mix.

  7. I wasn’t in a “hot tub.” I was in my bathtub at home, with a nice steamy bath drawn, a bottle of wine, a bowl of pineapple, Pandora playing, and 7 or 8 candles burning. It was all very pleasant and relaxing until suddenly it wasn’t.

    My husband came in to tell me dinner was ready just as I was slipping into unconsciousness. I knew he was there and I could hear him talking to me, but I was physically unable to respond: I couldn’t move or speak or even make a sound to acknowledge my husband. My entire world was a hazy fog of confusion. I knew something was wrong; I could barely breathe and was gasping for air. My husband moved around some and came back to hold my head up. I tried and tried and finally forced out moans and groans of panic and discomfort. The fog was very slow to lift but i was aware that my head lay in my husband’s hand when I still could not move a muscle in my body.

    I finally moved my arm and got a death grip on my husband’s leg and fought my mind to convince myself everything would be ok in a few minutes despite having so little control over my body as I held onto him. He wanted to leave and get me some water, but i couldn’t let him go. After a few more minutes I was finally able to force my legs to move and my other arm, but i was still having trouble holding my head up.

    My husband disappeared and came back with water, icy cold. It was too cold and felt like I’d swallowed ice cubes whole. I slowly managed a few words “too cold” as he turned the water on to a comfortable temp, then the shower. That felt good and seemed to help me regain my senses and control of myself. He forced me to drink more water and assured me that I’d be okay.

    I felt very far from ok. I slowly managed to talk, to respond to him, then to pull myself up and out of the tub and into his towel ready hug, where i just broke down and bawled my eyes out! I didn’t completely feel like myself again until the next day.

    Steamy bath, candles, heat, alcohol, sweating… Ugh… It was a terrible combination and by far the scariest experience of my life. My husband was a bartender and immediately realized what I’d done. He said i blacked out, but I don’t think blacking out fits what I’ve experienced, nor can I completely relate it to anyone else for them to understand.

    I do know that it was a terrifying experience that I will be careful to never have happen again.

  8. Hello Peter:
    Thanks for sharing your experience-as awful as it was.
    I hope other readers benefit from reading about your experience with alcohol and hot water.
    A bad and potentially life threatening mix.
    Alcohol is for AFTER hot tubing-not before or during your soak!

    Best wishes,

  9. Hello RJ:
    Thanks for sharing your experience~so terrifying for you.
    I hope other readers understand the dangers of hot water & alcohol after reading what happened to you.
    Alcohol-even wine-is for AFTER soaking.
    All the best & Be well,

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