Coffee for hydration
Drinking hot coffee in the summer?! While many of us love coffee so much it’s how we start the day, regardless of the temperature, it does feel slightly counter-intuitive to make a hot drink when it’s steaming outside. Is there something that coffee lovers should be aware of?
In fact, there’s actually some evidence that drinking hot drinks when it’s hot outside can actually cool you down, and maybe even more effectively than cold drinks. So, before you reach for that iced coffee or add those ice cubes in your Americano, read on to find out more about hot coffee and heatwaves.
Can hot coffee keep you cool in summer?
Coffee just might give you a helping hand to stay cool in the heat. In exactly the same way that a good workout can help you cool off—sweat. According to University of Cambridge neuroscientist Peter McNaughton, coffee and other hot drinks cool the body in a roundabout way. Consuming hot beverages will increase your core temperature, which then cues the body’s natural response to increase perspiration. As the sweat evaporates from your skin, it “acts as a coolant.”
That liquid on your skin effectively draws out heat and cools your body, and those same sweat glands are also stimulated by drinking hot coffee, so drinking the stuff can actually cool you off.
But does coffee dehydrate you?
You may have heard that coffee is a diuretic, which will cause you to lose water, meaning you will dehydrate more easily in the summer. True in some ways, because caffeine is, but it has now been disproven as an accepted theory that coffee as a drink is.
First, studies have actually shown that while some individuals may experience a diuretic effect from caffeine, not all people do. In fact, more active people are less likely to experience this diuretic effect.
But it’s also important to keep in mind that there is a lot of water with the caffeine in a cup of coffee. So you are replacing a good amount of the water you might lose and our bodies are quick to compensate, taking in what we need and expelling the rest. So coffee still has a net hydrating affect on the body.
What about exercising in the heat?
When looking into the relationship between exercising in the heat and coffee, studies have shown that moderate caffeine intake does not have a negative impact on the ability to exercise in heat, it might even help you stay cool.
What’s the final word on coffee in a heatwave?
So to summarise, don’t automatically think you need to jump for the iced coffees in summer. A good ol’ fashioned hot coffee could actually cool you down in the heat, and they won’t dehydrate you like the old wives tale suggested.