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It's 35 degrees Celsius and oppressively humid. You pull yourself up from your sweat-drenched chair and head to the kitchen… to brew yourself a steaming hot mug of tea. Most of us would be more likely to reach into the fridge for a cold drink, but plenty of people in India and elsewhere sip hot tea in warmer months.
In some circumstances it might, scientists say, because it could trigger a level of sweating that compensates for the added heat of the drink. But it would depend on a lot of things, including the temperature of your drink, how much you consume, and the temperature and humidity of your immediate environment. In all likelihood, a hot drink on a hot day will cause only a very tiny blip in your core body temperature, says Robin McAllen, from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in Victoria.
That's because the amount of fluid in a cup of tea is relatively small compared to the amount of fluid in an adult's body, Professor McAllen says. However, drinking hot tea still activates temperature sensors that trigger sweating, and sweating is a key mechanism your body uses to cool you down.
The University of Sydney's Ollie Jay, who researches how the human body responds to heat, says a hot drink can indeed trigger a net cooling effect through excess sweating. But there is a crucial caveat: to produce that cooling effect, the sweat needs to be able to evaporate. In other words, if you're exercising hard or in a very hot and humid environment where you're sweating more quickly than it can evaporate, it wouldn't be wise to increase your sweat-rate further, and you'd be better off sticking with cold drinks.
It turns out that when you consume a hot drink, you produce much more sweat relative to the small amount of heat added to your body. InDr Jay and his colleagues published a study that looked at the thermal impact of slushies — drinks made of finely crushed ice. Interestingly, they found an icy drink can make you hotter than a drink that's 37C our normal body temperature. This is because the icy drink is so cold it may shut down your body's sweating mechanism to the extent your body ends up storing more heat.
Get our newsletter for the best of ABC Everyday each week. But the best advice, he says, is to drink fluids at a temperature that's most palatable to you. That's because most of us don't drink enough when it's hot but we need to to avoid dehydration and ultimately, the onset of heat-related illness or an increase in cardiovascular strain. This is general information only. For detailed personal advice, you should see a qualified medical practitioner who knows your medical history. ABC Everyday helps you navigate life's challenges and choices so you can stay on top of the things that matter to you.
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Print content Print with images and other media. Print text only. Print Cancel. Sounds a bit wrong, doesn't it? So can a hot drink actually cool you down? Cool theory behind hot drinks In all likelihood, a hot drink on a hot day will cause only a very tiny blip in your core body temperature, says Robin McAllen, from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in Victoria.
This means the same goes for the cooling effect of a cold drink. If it doesn't, then you're no better off. Icy cold can make us hotter InDr Jay and his colleagues published a study that looked at the thermal impact of slushies — drinks made of finely crushed ice.
address. Posted 21 Nov 21 Nov Thu 21 Nov at am. How many cups of coffee can you have a day before it dehydrates you? Fruit juices can be worse for your teeth than soft drinks. Good news — 'Everyone's favourite psychoactive drug' has health benefits. So you've got a hangover. Will a sports drink fix it?
Hot tips to reduce your summer power bills. Back to top.Something hot and warm
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