I am continually amazed by the new things I learn about tea. Now, in the dog days of summer, this one seemed particularly compelling.
Did you know that drinking hot beverages like tea, creates a cooling effect on the body? The increased heat load from drinking a warm beverage actually causes the body to sweat more. It outweighs the internal heat gained from the drink. We have sensors in our abdominal cavity that influence sweat response and regulate our body temperature and they are triggered when we drink hot beverages. A recent study confirmed that drinking a hot drink after exercise in warm conditions (24°C/75°F) increases body temperature and subsequently lowers the body's heat storage significantly more than drinking a cooler one.
In Death Valley, Calif., there is a quaint place called Teakettle Junction. The hottest temperature ever recorded there was 134°F/57°C in 1913. It has become a shrine for tea and some people who drink their tea there leave behind the kettle, often inscribing notes on them. No one knows for sure how the Teakettle Junction's tradition of hanging teakettles started. But it is more proof that drinking hot tea on a scorching day does cool you down. Who knew!
Now I understand why tea is such a popular drink in some of the world's hottest locations like the Caribbean, North Africa and of course Death Valley, California.
So for all those who continue to drink hot tea during the summer - you knew what was good for you all along. For the rest, abandon your iced tea - pour yourself a cuppa - it will cool you down!