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  #1  
Old 04 June 2010, 03:51 AM
genericdave
 
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Japan Hot weather calls for hot drinks?

I lived in Japan for a few years, and one of the rumors that got tossed around whenever it got hot was that you shouldn't drink cold beverages as a remedy. This confused the heck out of me the first time I heard it, so I was naturally curious as to why. While nobody could ever give me specifics, the general idea is that drinking something cold when your body is hot creates an imbalance in temperatures that lead to blood moving in some unnatural way or something and being bad for you somehow. The worst I can possibly see it doing is giving you a bit of an upset stomach, but I've definitely never had that problem. I've met people who will swear up and down that drinking hot tea when it's hot is way better for you than drinking anything cold.

I've always been dubious of this claim, but I haven't been able to find any good evidence one way or the other. There's a similar rumor on snopes that's already been debunked that has to do with drinking cold water after eating, but this is different enough that I still wonder if there's any sort of truth to it. Anyone else ever heard of this? What do you guys think?
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  #2  
Old 04 June 2010, 05:26 AM
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I have to remember this when I want to have some ice-cream in the middle of winter

Purely anecdotal evidence:- I have noticed that drinking warm chai on a hot day tends to make me sweat faster which helps me cool down faster
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Old 04 June 2010, 05:40 AM
genericdave
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Jay View Post
I have noticed that drinking warm chai on a hot day tends to make me sweat faster which helps me cool down faster.
Ah, I've heard that one too. Never really understood it. Just sweating more doesn't help cool me down, air movement + sweating does. Regardless, helping your body sweat isn't gonna do much for you in terms of health. Not in the way I've always heard this rumor implied.
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Old 05 June 2010, 12:02 AM
Jim18655 Jim18655 is offline
 
 
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The story was cold drinks lowered your core tempurature which then caused your body to send extra blood to warm it up. This was supposed to take blood away from your skin reducing the cooling effect of sweating.
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Old 06 June 2010, 01:52 AM
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In addition to what Jim18655 posted, the claim of hot drinks helping is directly linked to sweating - in that sweating is the body's natural cooling mechanism and so promoting it helps you cool faster.

Personally, I don't think I "feel cooler" when I drink a hot drink on a hot day. It might make me sweat more, but it doesn't feel any cooler, doesn't feel any more comfortable. But a cool refreshing cold drink? That feels cooler.

In Mythbusters Jamie and Adam looked at drinking brandy when you're freezing and found they "felt wamer" although their core temperatures had decreased. This may be the same. I suspect the difference it makes either way is minimal, but perhaps drinking hot drinks on a hot day has a greater cooling effect, yet feels hotter.

In which case, the result I'm seeking - to feel cooler - doesn't occur. So I still wouldn't be recommending it.
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Old 06 June 2010, 03:03 AM
genericdave
 
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Yeah, what I've been told has probably been that mixed with a couple old wives tales. Thanks guys.
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Old 06 June 2010, 10:02 AM
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I was told the same thing by a friend a few years ago.
I replied "Oh yeah, I heard that. You know what else? Fire. That cools you down too." (I can be a sarcy git at times)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Jay View Post
Purely anecdotal evidence:- I have noticed that drinking warm chai on a hot day tends to make me sweat faster which helps me cool down faster
Quote:
Originally Posted by One-Fang View Post
In addition to what Jim18655 posted, the claim of hot drinks helping is directly linked to sweating - in that sweating is the body's natural cooling mechanism and so promoting it helps you cool faster.
As genericdave puts it, just sweating more won't cool you down. If that was the case, then sitting in front of a fire or putting on a jacket would cool you down too.
As sweating works by evaporation, I can see some edge cases where a minimal rise in body or ambient temperature would help this process and cool you down in the long run. Not very many though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by One-Fang View Post
Personally, I don't think I "feel cooler" when I drink a hot drink on a hot day. It might make me sweat more, but it doesn't feel any cooler, doesn't feel any more comfortable. But a cool refreshing cold drink? That feels cooler.
Yep. Your body is sweating in these cases because it's too hot and trying to lose some of that heat. Cold things are going to help that process, hot things are mostly not.
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Old 07 June 2010, 01:43 AM
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The idea that taking hot liquid into your body will cool you down is so absurd I'm not surprised you're having difficulty finding cites to debunk it. I bet you'd have a hard time finding a website that unequivocally states that the moon is not made of green cheese, too.

The beautiful thing about these kinds of ULs is you can test them out yourself. Have two people take their temperatures on a hot day before and after consuming a large quantity of tea; have one person drink hot tea and the other iced. This is similar to the experiment I propose to any idiot who tries to tell me you lose 50% of your body heat through your head and neck. OK, next February, we'll both go outside; I'll leave my head and neck bare, and you can strip to your skivvies but bundle up your head and neck as much as you like. We'll see who cries uncle first.
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Old 07 June 2010, 03:09 AM
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Is the amount of thermal energy you put into your body by drinking a cup of tea significant when compared to the amount of thermal energy your body generates anyway?

It's not just about sweating it's about vasodilation - blood flows more freely through vessels nearer the skin surface when they expand in response to a heat stimulus. More vasodilation means more efficient use of the evaporative sweat. Without knowing maybe there are heat detecting nerves in the gut and putting a hot liquid into the gut stimulates vasodilation.

The alcohol makes you feel warm thing mentioned above has been explained. Alcohol causes vasodilation (through a different mechanism than hot tea or a sunny day) and the nerves that sense temperature are concentrated in the skin surface. Since there is more blood flowing near the surface you feel warm after some alcohol, but you are actually losing heat faster than if you hadn't had the alcohol.

A jacket or coat is merely an insulating device which resists the transfer of heat. On a cold day it stops your natural body heat from escaping to the outside - on a very hot day it stops heat coming from the warmer outside air - basically the second law of thermodynamics. Ask a Bedhouin.

Last edited by Eddylizard; 07 June 2010 at 03:20 AM.
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Old 07 June 2010, 03:10 AM
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i always thought that the hot drink increases your body temp, and due to it being higher relative to the external air temp, you felt the heat less..
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