As summer approaches and the temperature continues to rise, many coffee drinkers are eschewing hot coffee and instead opting fun iced coffee cocktails to keep cool. Not me. I’ll drink hot coffee while standing next to an open flame cooking burgers during 100°+ (F or C, I don’t care) Texas summers. But if keeping cool is your end game, according to Science, then you shouldn’t be switching from hot coffee.
A recent article in LAD Bible breaks down the paradox. According to University of Cambridge neuroscientist Peter McNaughton, coffee and other hot drinks cool the body in a roundabout way. Consuming hot beverages will increase your core temperature, which then cues the body’s natural response to increase perspiration. As the sweat evaporates from your skin, it “acts as a coolant.”
This cooling effect has a greater impact than just consuming a cold beverage, mind you. Professor McNaughton adds, “Cool drinks only cool you momentarily, because the volume of the cold drink is relatively small when compared to your body, so the cooling effect gets diluted quite quickly.” And you can’t just drink a ton of cold ones to have a similar effect. The article notes that drinking too many extremely cold things “can cause blood vessels to tighten, making you feel much hotter,” with Professor McNaughton adding that “there is a limit as to how much you can drink because this will overload your kidneys.”
So while beer, cocktails, cold brew, jello shots, etc are all cool—I want all those things both when it is hot and when it isn’t—if you are looking to actually cool down, then hot coffee is the way to go.