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Fitness & Health

26th Jun 2018

Busting the myths of hot drinks and cold showers in hot weather

It's too damned hot!

Rory Cashin

It’s too damned hot!

We’ve already given you some tips on how to get a cooler night’s sleep on a particularly hot night, but what about during the day when your core temperature is through the roof?

We all usually run for cold showers and ice-cold drinks in these times of sweaty pandemics, but this might not be the best course of action.

Let’s get the cold shower out of the way first:

Yes, they will make you feel better for the immediate future, but overall they may actually make you feel worse.

We are not aware of our core temperature, but it is what essentially dictates our body’s actions, and reactions, to external temperature. When it is cold out, less blood is sent near the skin, in order to keep as much heat in our bodies as possible, which is why we look paler in Winter.

The opposite of that happens during hot weather, with blood sent to the skin, opening the pores, sweat pumping out, getting evaporated, which is what ultimately cools us down.

Taking a cold shower snaps those pores shut, so while we feel cooler immediately, that internal core temperature has no release, so within a few minutes of taking the shower, you’ll actually feel hotter than you did before you took it.

You’re actually better off taking a warm shower, as while it might feel weird at the time, you will feel better for it in the long run.

Secondly, hot drinks on a hot day:

It is essentially the same mechanism as the hot shower, except it is working inside out, instead of outside in.

Drinking hot drinks will help raise your core temperature, which will faster affect the blood heading towards the skin, causing you to sweat faster and ultimately feel cooler faster.

It is why hot drinks (and spicy food) are so popular in warmer climates, because they have a quicker reaction on the body and help the consumer get cooler quicker and stay cooler for longer.

Which isn’t to say that drinking cold drinks and eating ice creams are a bad idea – because of course they’re both awesome and delicious and we love them – but they’re not having the positive effect that you may have thought.

So there you have it:

Hot drinks and hot showers are the best thing for you on a hot day.

We wonder how long it’ll be before we hear the first “Oooh, I’d love a spot of rain right now…” and then that’s it, our summer will be over for another year.