Does Drinking Ice-Cold Water on a Hot Day Cool You Down?

08 May 2018

Category: Educational

Try Drinking a Hot Drink Next Time You’re Hot

When it’s hot outside, all you want to do is gulp down ice cold water. Cold water will keep you cool, right? Well… that might actually be wrong. All this time, we thought that drinking cold water was best to keep you cold, but some research suggests you might actually be better off drinking a hot drink. Here’s why…

Drinking a hot drink when it’s hot outside might seem crazy, but there’s science behind it. Hot drinks can actually make you cool down. This is because when you drink a hot drink, there is often a big increase in the amount you sweat. Sweat may seem like a pain – but it’s actually the body’s primary method of cooling you down.

If you drink a hot drink, less heat is stored inside your body, providing that the sweat produced as a result can evaporate. If you drink something hot, and you’re wearing lots of layers, the sweat will be trapped. However, if the sweat can evaporate – for example, if you’re drinking the hot drink at a park in a t-shirt and shorts, you should, as a result, get cooler!

Yes, the drink will be hotter than your body temperature. Technically, you will be adding heat to your body, but if all that heat can evaporate through sweat, your body will be cooler. This is because when sweat evaporates from the skin, it takes body heat away. The heat energy that keeps your body warm is removed by evaporation, leaving you cooler. Not only this, but sweat also has a cooling effect because it is cold and wet.

Hot drinks will still add heat to your body. So, if you don’t think your sweat will be able to evaporate, choose a cold drink. On a hot, dry day when you’re wearing minimal clothing, try choosing a hot drink. However, if you’re stuck somewhere humid, and won’t be able to sweat it out – go for cold.

Interestingly, if you’re really struggling to stay cool, try this. Put cold water on both of your pressure points on your wrist. Try cold water on each arm for around 30 seconds. This will actively lower the temperature of the blood within your arms and then recirculate into your bloodstream. Cool blood will then recirculate around the larger bloodstream and keep your body cool for up to an hour.