It’s hot outside, really, really hot, but you still want an excuse to drink hot coffee. Well try this tasty lick on for size: drinking hot coffee may actually help you cool down.
As reported by Tasting Table, hot drinks—coffee, tea, any liquid really that is above body temperature—have a bit of a paradoxical cooling effect. Hot drinks will add extra heat to your body, but that kicks off the body’s cooling response: sweating. As sweat on the skin begins to evaporate, it cools you down, and in fact helps remove more heat than is added by the initial coffee beverage. The net result is a cooling effect.
And in fact, per Tasting Table, cold drinks were shown to have the opposite effect. In a study performed by researchers at the University of Sydney, exercisers were given “non-alcoholic drinks make of crushed ice.” After comparing body temperatures of the exercises before and after—as well as for those who were served drinks at “normal temperatures”—researchers found that cold drinks can make your body hotter than drinks served at warmer temperatures.
This is presumably due to the lack of additional sweat production from the cooler drinks. And the sweat is the key. The more sweat, the more evaporation, the more cooling.
So the next time you’re looking to cool down on a triple-digit summer day, leave those icy cocktails at home and grab a nice hot pour-over. And don’t worry about the extra perspiration. It’s hot, sweaty is cute. Staying dry in the summer is weird and unnatural.