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How To Keep Cool With Hot Drinks

Monday, July 14, 2014

We’re very reliably informed that the Great British Summertime is here (although we’ve only seen fleeting glances so far, and we’d very much like some more reliable proof). When the weather is good though (and we have had some really lovely days recently) you’re probably more like to reach for a long cool drink or an ice cream than your usual latte.

Studies have actually shown that your favourite hot drinks can actually help cool you down in the heat. Weird, isn’t it?

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The assumption is that hot drinks will warm you up, and cool drinks will cool you down, so it’s espresso in the winter and ice cold soft drinks in the summer months. However, as our mobile coffee franchises make such good espressos, we’re very pleased to hear that you can (and should) be drinking them all year round to help your body adjust. Summer doesn’t mean you need to rule out your favourite coffees!

If you’ve been to Morocco or Egypt you’ll find locals drink a lot of hot tea (peppermint and hibiscus usually in these particular regions). This is because they’re very much aware of the beneficial properties of drinking hot drinks on steamy days. Okay, so it might not be quite as hot as North Africa even on our warmest days, but we do get some quite warm weather.

While a hot drink from a mobile coffee franchise will add heat up your body, it will also help to kick your natural cooling mechanisms into gear. Your body temperature will rise, and your sweat glands will start working hard to try and dispel some of this heat. The sweat will evaporate on your skin, and the result is you’ll feel cooler. The issue is if you’re sweating at a higher rate than it can evaporate. This will negate the purpose, and you might as well go for a cold drink. So on a hot day when you’re sitting around, a cup of coffee from your local mobile coffee franchise might not be a bad idea, but if you’ve been exercising or it’s really humid, you might be better off steering clear of coffee.

Ollie Jay, a researcher at the University of Ottawa, explained the phenomenon:

“If you drink a hot drink, it does result in a lower amount of heat stored inside your body, provided the additional sweat that’s produced when you drink the hot drink can evaporate,” Jay says.

How does this work? “What we found is that when you ingest a hot drink, you actually have a disproportionate increase in the amount that you sweat,” Jay says. “Yes, the hot drink is hotter than your body temperature, so you are adding heat to the body, but the amount that you increase your sweating by—if that can all evaporate—more than compensates for the added heat to the body from the fluid.”

Cool drinks can actually have the opposite effect. While they’re refreshing, the heat sensors in your mouth will send ‘Corr, it’s actually a bit chilly’ messages to the brain, and your sweat production will be decreased. The sweat produced by the hot drink more than cancels out the internal temperature rise, but by stopping sweating, the cooling power of the drink is more or less whipped out.

We’re happy to hear it. There’s nothing we like better than making the drinks you all know and love, and we know we make them pretty well (the awards prove it!). So, if you’re feeling a bit warm, don’t necessarily head for the fridge. Surprisingly your local mobile coffee franchise might provide all the answers.

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