If you’re among the many millions who prefer a chilled glass of juice to a hot cup of tea on a scorching summer’s day, take a note: scientists say a hot drink will cool you down more than an ice-cold beverage.
So how does it work?
According to Professor Peter McNaughton, a neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge, consuming hot beverages, such as tea or hot water, will raise your core body temperature. Nerves in our mouths and in our upper digestive tract respond to the heat of the beverage, stimulating the brain to produce sweat.
A good cuppa
So, instead of reaching for an ice-cold soft drink or artificially sweetened juices when you’re feeling hot and bothered, McNaughton suggests “a good cup of hot tea, because it doesn’t have other effects” – like huge levels of caffeine.
So whilst many of us will opt for a cool refreshing drink on a hot day, drinking or eating too much of anything extremely cold can cause blood vessels to tighten, making you feel much hotter, rather than cooler.
“Cool drinks only cool you momentarily,” says McNaughton, “because the volume of the cold drink is relatively small when compared to your body, so the cooling effect gets diluted quite quickly.”