Imagine the sun is really shining down on you. You’re perspiring and panting and feeling like you’ve been downed in boiling water. Most people in this situation will probably reach out for a cool, refreshing drink. Maybe something along the lines of lemonade or coca cola. That’s exactly what you need to cool down, right?
What if one were to suggest that you should have a hot drink on a torrid day? It would probably provoke ridicule or anger. Maybe someone would even tell them that they’ve been drinking too many other kinds of drinks. But It looks like they are actually correct!
We’re here to tell you that they have a point- a hot drink on a hot day can actually cool you down!
According to researchers at the University of Ottawa, a hot drink can result in a lower amount of heat stored in your body, provided that the perspiration it causes can evaporate fast enough.
The science behind this is that when you have a hot drink, the body reacts by expelling sweat at an increased, disproportionate rate. You are adding to your body heat by consuming the beverage, but then you’re more than making up for it by sweating it out. This results in an overall lower body temperature.
This has everything to do with how perspiration plays a major role in maintaining body temperature. Energy is absorbed into the air whenever your sweat evaporates, thus, helping your body temperature drop. This is why sweating is considered to be a healthy phenomenon in tropical regions.
However, even though we know what sweating more can do to your body, researchers are yet to conclusively prove why drinking something hot causes us to sweat more. One hypothesis is that there are more thermosensors lining the mouth that can sense the heat emanating from the drink.
Whatever the case is, we hope that this inspires you to reach for a piping hot cup of tea or coffee the next time you’re feeling the heat.
There is one catch though. This trick only works in particular climatic conditions. If you’re in a dry, hot region where humidity is low, then a hot drink can work its magic. However, if you’re already sweating a lot, then that drink is probably not going to do much for you. In which case, we’d suggest lemonade. Cheers!