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Study on Using Hot Tea to Lower Body Temperature

When I was living in China, all my tea friends urged me to drink as much hot tea as possible in the summer, claiming that it lowered body temperature. They would say that unoxidized tea had a greater cooling effect.

Lo and behold the study released with some insight on this idea. It seems that hot beverages really do lower body temp. Here is the summarized version: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/07/11/156378713/cool-down-with-a-hot-drink-its-not-as-crazy-as-you-think

If you are into reading more rigorous scientific copy, here is the actual abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22574769

Does anyone have firsthand experience with hot drinks being more refreshing in the summer? I know I tend to naturally gravitate towards more unoxidized teas in hot wether in personal drinking habits.

14 Replies
Babble said

I’ve heard similar things that you should take a hot or luke warm shower to cool off instead of taking a cold one. I thought the study was interesting (and it was all the buzz on the tea-twitterverse)

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It’s interesting. I’ve noticed the reverse – when I’m cold, I never want to drink hot things. I warm up much better drinking cold drinks.

But huh. We don’t have air conditioning here… so next time we have a hot day, I’m trying this!

Very interesting. I know the study was linked mainly to heat sensors in the body and creating perspiration from the warm beverage, and its cooling effect, but I wonder what effect the caffeine has in dilating the blood vessels. It seems like it would be cooling in general in forcing the body to radiate more heat from the surface. I will have to pay attention next time I have cold tea to see if it has a warming effect.

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Kiaharii said

It makes sense, but I don’t know if I want to sweat even more than I’m probably already doing on a hot day. :)

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Epi Tea said

Great information! This is one of those things I had always wondered about. Glad to have some resolution.

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I have heard this before. I drink both hot and iced tea in the summer, but, I find that my drinking habits do change somewhat with me enjoying the hot teas in the morning and evening, and reserving iced tea for mid day. I do occasionally still brew the hot cup for mid-day, but, I haven’t really noticed that it is more refreshing or cooling to me.

Missy said

I have the same habits with the same results. I do wonder if I turn to iced because I can drink larger amounts faster though.

@Missy: I never really thought of that, but that is very likely the reason I turn to iced in the hotter months – because it’s easier to drink quickly to rehydrate. Hot tea is something I prefer to sip somewhat slowly, not just because of the temperature, but because I find myself exploring the tea more when it’s hot vs. when it’s cold.

Epi Tea said

@Missy & LiberTEAS – thats a good point. I will typically save my better quality teas to steep hot, because like LiberTEAS said, one can enjoy it more. I will steep the cheap/lower quality teas in a coldbrew, or sometimes a sun tea.

Batrachoid said

Cold liquids empty from the stomach faster so they hydrate one’s body faster than hot liquids. This is also why cocoa is usually less than 12oz but smoothies, often higher in calories, are usually 16-48 oz.
My Chinese acquaintances always told me not to drink tea if I felt cold too much. I never listened. Old knowledge, apparently.

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Bonnie said

Well all my Middle Easterm friends drink hot tea in hot weather and my brother went to a University in Egypt and everyone drank hot tea to stay cool..because perspiration cools the body. Hydration and perspiration. Most popular is mint tea with lots of sugar. Very refreshing and consumed in large quantities (many pots) throughout the day.

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chadao said

Green tea makes me sweat, hot or iced. After the sweating stops, I feel extremely refreshed.

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Pekoe said

I’ve heard this before! I mean, it explains why they drink it in china, my friend says you fry and egg on the hood of a car there… tea science win!

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A few years back, I traveled to India.
It was so hot and humid while I was there, and some of my Indian friends could tell I was suffering.
They kept urging me to drink hot tea.
I thought they were crazy, but one particularly miserable day, I caved and drank hot tea.
Shortly I felt calmer, I was hardly sweating and just overall I felt much cooler.
I now drink hot tea year around.
I figure after centuries of them living in that hot and humid climate they most know what they are talking about!

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