Why You Should Consider Drinking Hot Coffee To Beat The Heat

The last beverage you may want to reach for during a sweltering summer's day is something hot. If you're anything like us, you want to leave coffee mugs inside and pack the cooler with extra ice. But research has shown that those steaming cups of coffee and tea may, in fact, help cool you off.

"In Morocco, where temperatures get as high as 49.6 degrees Celsius [121.28 Fahrenheit] in some parts in summer, people tend to drink piping hot glasses of mint tea," says Anika Rouf, an Accredited Practicing Dietitian to SBS. There's a reason for that.

"The hot drink somehow has an effect on your systemic cooling mechanisms, which exceeds its actual effect in terms of heating your body," University of Cambridge neuroscientist Peter McNaughton told NPR. Can drinking hot beverages actually make you feel cool? Read on if, like us, you're looking for ways to combat escalating temperatures. We can assure you that it isn't some kind of mind trick.

Get ready to get your sweat on

Professor Ollie Jay from The University of Sydney told ABC that, yes, hot beverages can result in an overall cooling effect, but this is due to an increase of sweat; for the cooling experience to work, your sweat needs to evaporate. In one of Jay's studies, exercisers were given non-alcoholic drinks made of crushed ice. The results showed that colder drinks can actually make you hotter than ones served at normal temperatures.

"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," Jay explained to Smithsonian Magazine. Okay, so the body cools when sweat evaporates, and more sweat means more cooling. This might take us a while to embrace, but we're willing to try. Two lattes for the beach, please!