Do you drink hot or cold drinks when you want to cool off?

On hot summer days, most people grab a cold beverage like lemonade or ice tea to cool off.

In a study in a Thermal Ergonomics Lab, Ollie Jay from University of Ottawa’s School of Human Kinetics wanted to test to see if drinking a hot beverage is just as quenching or will it feel warmer. It was discovered that a hot drink can actually cool you down!

This study was performed on cyclists in a lab. Each cyclist wore skin temperature sensors and was given a mouthpiece to measure the amount of oxygen consumed and carbon dioxide produced. This shows how much heat is being given off and measures metabolism. Air temperature and humidity were also monitored. The researchers then came to the conclusion that “It’s commonly thought that the hot drinks raise your core temperature, but we found that that isn’t the case,” Jay says. “What we think is that it’s the thermo-sensors that line the throat and mouth that elicit the additional sweating response.”

So, when you ingest a beverage that is hotter than your actual body temperature, heat increases and makes your body increase sweat and evaporate the fluid afterward.

So basically you perspirate more. I know we all see commercials about sweating and how unattractive it is but it is essential for getting heat and toxins out of the body. If you are worried about the smell of sweating, use deodorant which will allow you to sweat but keep the odor to a minimum. When you sweat, that energy goes into the air and is absorbed, cooling the body. More sweat means more cooling which is what you want.

One thing you don’t want to do is drink a hot drink and have clothes on that will not allow the body to evaporate the heat. In those cases, drink a cold beverage.
It really makes a difference of where you are and what the humidity is as to whether or not you drink a hot or cold beverage. The heat must evaporate from the body. If you are somewhere with high humidity do not drink a hot beverage. If you are somewhere with a dry or desert heat, then something hot may do the trick!

Here in the Bay Area, it is not very humid so on most occasions drinking hot tea may just be the trick to staying cool..