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Does Hot Stuff (tea, coffee, soup) Cool You Off?

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13 replies to this topic

#1 weinoo

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 04:47 AM

Is there some sort of conventional wisdom that ingesting hot liquids cools one off? I think I've read/seen/heard something to that effect. It's why people in hot climates drink hot tea, or why people in hot climates drink hot soup, no?

I don't know if I believe it. Every time I have a hot cup of something in the summer, I want to stand in front of the air conditioner. And isn't the heat the reason we make iced tea, iced coffee, gazpacho, etc...?
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#2 Mjx

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 05:11 AM

I tried consuming hot things my first few summers back in NYC, and felt miserable.

I'd love to hear that someone does this successfully.

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#3 sparrowgrass

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 05:13 AM

The only reason I can see for this belief is that drinking something hot might make you sweat--if you sweat and happen to find a breeze, the sweat cools you as it evaporates.

I don't think there has been a breeze here for a week. I am sticking with cold drinks.

#4 kaszeta

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 05:21 AM

I find it hard to believe that the increased cooling you get from the sweat would offset the increase in body temperature you get from the hot beverage.

Myself, I usually switch to iced coffee in the summer when I'm outside.

#5 nikkib

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 05:45 AM

I dont know but i can't do it - i want frozen/iced drinks and gazpacho, maybe some cold fruit too... I do like spicy things in high temperatures (well admittedly i like spicy food anytime) but tahts not really the same thing now is it?!
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#6 Jenni

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 05:48 AM

It's always worked for me. Hot cup of tea always make me feel better in hot weather.

#7 gfweb

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 06:00 AM

Makes no sense. You add heat to a system it gets hotter. It might provoke sweating which would cool, but only in proportion to how much the drink warmed.

On the other hand spicy food would provoke sweating with no added heat, so conceivably that might cool a little. But I usually feel hotter when eating spicy stuff, so even if it cooled a little I don't feel it.

#8 Mjx

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 06:10 AM

Perhaps, when it is perceived as effective, it's a matter of perception: If your body perceives what is inside as very warm, what is outside might perceived as relatively cooler. As I said, it's not worked for me, but I hear this convention mentioned so frequently, there must be a basis for at least believing it.

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#9 dcarch

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 06:33 AM

There is one way perhaps has some scientific basis:

It is not advisable to drink alcohol to keep warm because it increases circulation and sweating and actually cools you down.

Hot alcohol increases body's absorption of alcohol.

Therefore drinking hot alcohol can in fact cools you down.

It's hot here in NY. I think I am going to heat up my bottle of 1995 Opus One. :laugh:


#10 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 09:06 AM

It's always worked for me as well - the first thing I crave when it gets really hot is soup.
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#11 TheNoodleIncident

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 01:01 PM

A friend of mine swears by hot coffee in the summer heat. He says that the coffee heats him up, and the outdoor temperature therefore feels relatively cooler. I tell him that makes no sense.

#12 lesliec

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 06:45 PM

We've just had Wellington's coldest day in at least 16 years - possibly ever - so I'm jealous of all you overheated northern hemisphere types out there.

I believe the science behind the 'hot drinks cool you down' theory is that a hot drink, being inside you, (slightly) raises your core temperature. The body likes to keep the core within a very narrow range, so your nice cuppa tea prompts it to do something about that. Hence (possibly) increased perspiration. Feeling hot on a hot day is more to do with your outside (skin) temp than your core.

Enough. I'm going back to keeping my hands warm. Maybe something icy might help ...

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#13 Ashen

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 12:28 AM

I have known people who drink hot drinks, but their reasoning was that it was absorbed faster than cold drinks , thus hydrating faster. I think they misunderstood the concept at some point though, body temp liquids will be absorbed faster but hot has to cool down and cold has to warm up before it can be absorbed.
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#14 Beebs

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 09:42 AM

Hot drinks don't cool me down, but also don't make me any warmer when I'm already warm. But very cold, icy drinks tend to give me cramps when I'm overheated. So since I generally prefer hot drinks like tea & coffee over most cold drinks, like juice and soda, I will still consume hot drinks - and avoid the cramps.