We have been enjoying some warm, sunny days here in the UK and it is important to keep hydrated. Many turn to water, (which is good) but being a nation of tea drinkers many are happy to enjoy a cuppa. I know my dear mum always used to say that a nice cup of tea cools her down, and as regular readers of this blog know I do enjoy a cup of tea! Yes, I do find it can be cooling, but there are many people who do ask “does tea really cool you down in hot weather?” Well, the article below asks questions and gives some answers to this age old debate! Does it settle the question though … please read on and see.
Does tea cool you down in hot weather?
On a scorching hot day, many may crave an icy cold drink rather than a hot cup of tea. But with some advocating hot drinks as a solution in sweaty weather, some may find themselves putting the kettle on. But is there any science justifying the claim that hot drinks can cool you down in hot weather?
Scientifically speaking, there is not an easy yes or no answer to this question.
In 2012, researchers at the University of Ottawa found that, in some circumstances, drinking a hot drink can help people to cool down.
Speaking to the Smithsonian Mag, Dr Ollie Jay, one of the authors of the study, explained: “If you drink a hot drink, it does result in a lower amount of heat stored inside your body, provided the additional sweat that’s produced when you drink the hot drink can evaporate.”
Therefore, the reason someone may cool down when they consume a hot drink is that drinking the beverage will make them sweat more.
When this sweat evaporates, it works to cool the person down.
Dr Jay added: “What we found is that when you ingest a hot drink, you actually have a disproportionate increase in the amount that you sweat.
“Yes, the hot drink is hotter than your body temperature, so you are adding heat to the body, but the amount that you increase your sweating by-if that can all evaporate-more than compensates for the added heat to the body from the fluid.”
However, the circumstances have to be right for someone to cool down after they drink a hot drink.
In humid heat, it may be that sweat cannot evaporate from the skin’s surface as well.
Dr Jay added: “On a very hot and humid day, if you’re wearing a lot of clothing, or if you’re having so much sweat that it starts to drip on the ground and doesn’t evaporate from the skin’s surface, then drinking a hot drink is a bad thing.
“The hot drink still does add a little heat to the body, so if the sweat’s not going to assist in evaporation, go for a cold drink.”
So based on the findings of this study, in some circumstances drinking a hot drink, such as tea, could help someone to cool down during a spell of hot weather.
But depending on the weather and circumstances, it may be better to drink a cold beverage instead.
Krisi Smith, industry-leading tea expert & co-founder of Bird & Blend Tea Co. said: “We get asked this age-old question all the time in our shops & on our website.
“The truth is, whether you find a hot drink cools you down or you prefer to reach for something cold, tea is a really versatile drink.
“Did you know that you can cold brew tea?
“Move over coffee… just add a few scoops of any kind of loose leaf tea to cold water, milk, lemonade or even alcohol & leave to steep for a few hours. Once brewed, pour over ice & enjoy!”
What other drinks keep you cool in hot weather?
During a heatwave, it’s important people drink enough to prevent dehydration and heatstroke.
The NHS website explains someone should drink plenty of water, or diluted squash and avoid excess alcohol during periods of hot weather.
It is also a good idea to keep water to hand when travelling.”
This blog is presented in a magazine style – we hope something for everyone. You will find a variety of articles, studies, thoughts, photographs, cartoons, music and recipes! However, not all the recipe suggestions featured in this blog may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.
All the best Jan