Here's A Cool Trick: Drinking Hot Drinks Can Cool You Down

There's nothing quite like a long run on a sweltering summer day to make you thirst for a big ole' mug of hot tea. Huh? Believe it or not, a 2012 study found that (under the right conditions) a hot drink after exercise can actually cool you down better than a cold one.

Don't Knock It 'Til You Try It

It sounds like something Snopes would shoot down. How could chugging some chai post-run possibly cool your body? There's scientific evidence, promise.

Dr. Ollie Jay from the University of Sydney examined the effectiveness of drinking both hot and cold drinks when it comes to lowering the amount of heat stored by your body. First, volunteers were asked to ride bikes for 75 minutes at 75°F (24°C) with 23 percent relative humidity. They drank water at four different temperatures, ranging from 34°F (1.5°C) to 122°F (50˚C).

The results? The Conversation explains: "Following the ingestion of the warm drink, overall body heat storage was actually lower following exercise than with cooler drinks." It has to do with your sweat and how it's influenced by drink temperature. Sweat (or, more importantly—the evaporation of sweat) is key in reaching your homeostasis after exercise. And when you drink a hot drink, your body bumps up its sweat production. You might think that wouldn't be enough to counteract the hot drink, but the sweat output actually outweighs any internal heating.

But Hold The Humidity

But here's the slight catch—this study was performed under conditions where the volunteers' sweat was able to evaporate completely. If you were to try the hot drink trick somewhere with poor airflow and/or high humidity, the results would likely be much different (i.e., cold drinks would probably win out). Would you ever reach for a post-workout hot chai?

Watch And Learn: Our Favorite Content About The Effects Of Beverages On Your Body

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Written by Curiosity Staff July 5, 2017

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