Remember feeling the blistering summer heat in South Africa?
Jonesing for an ice cold drink because you are feeling incredibly hot?
Truth is, a hot drink is better for you!
You don’t believe it? Believe in the science.
According to a research paper published by the University of Ottawa’s School of Human Kinetics, drinking hot drinks on hot, dry days can cool you down. Indeed, under specific circumstances, a warm drink can reduce your body temperature.
An experiment run by British scientists, gave a group of test subjects iced tea to drink, and then observed the change in body temperature: The temperature of their skin fell from 0.5℃ to 0.8℃ after 9 minutes of ingestion of the cold beverage.
Another test group was given the same amount of hot tea to drink, and amazingly their skin temperature decreased to an amazing 1.5℃~2℃, a decrease 3 times more significant than the first group.
Interesting. “How come”, you may be asking?
It has to do with two key conditions:
The physical reaction of sweating, and
The environmental conditions.
Drinking hot drinks makes us sweat disproportionately more. This means that our body is putting out a lot more sweat than it should be given the rise in temperature involved.
This overreaction can cool us down more than enough to offset the heat of the drink, if the sweat can evaporate off your body. This is where the environment comes into play: The high temperature has to be from a dry heat (it cannot be from a humid climate as the sweat would not able to evaporate).
So next time you are about to reach for an ice cold drink to cool off, try something different, like a nice hot cup of Rooibos!