Summer is upon us! As I helped to ready the garden this weekend, I actually started to feel warm. When I went inside, I immediately grabbed a glass of ice-cold water. I was craving some herbal tea but didn’t feel like making any because it was so warm. But, as it turns out, hot tea is beneficial even when the weather is warmer! You can also enjoy teas made with some of your favorite summer flowers and fruits like calming chamomile tea, peach-citrus tea, hibiscus tea, or even a berry citrus tea.
Hot tea has a natural calming effect on the body and can actually help you cool down! I know, I was surprised too. I’m a big fan of most teas and it’s rare to find one I don’t like. It turns out, that according to research and the international food practices of people living in many hot countries, drinking hot tea in summer has a greater cooling effect on our bodies than an ice-cold brew. Who knew?
“In Morocco, where temperatures get as high as 49.6 degrees Celsius in some parts in summer, people tend to drink piping hot glasses of mint tea,” says Anika Rouf, an Accredited Practising Dietitian. Hot tea is also commonly enjoyed in warm conditions throughout India, Malaysia, Turkey, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa.
“This practice may seem really strange to some of us living in Australia because if it’s already hot, why would anyone want to drink a hot beverage? But in some countries, there’s a belief that in the heat, you fight fire with fire,” said Rouf. “So in summer, they drink hot tea to cool down. As a result, sweat is produced and your body loses heat.”
In one study, research conducted by the Scandinavian Physiological Society, and published in the journal Acta Physiologica in 2012 tested whether or not drinking hot fluids in summer helps you to cool down. The researchers examined the body heat storage of nine men after physical activity and measured by their physical reaction to drinking fluids of varying temperatures. The study’s results showed that the participants lost more bodily heat – and cooled down overall – when they drank hot fluids compared to when they drank cold fluids.
The authors’ said that the reason hot drinks cool us down is that they will stimulate the body’s thermo-sensors, which makes us sweat, lose body heat, and cool down.
“…Body heat storage is lower with warm water ingestion, likely because of disproportionate modulations in sweat output arising from warm-sensitive thermosensors in the esophagus/stomach,” the study reads.
If you don’t feel like drinking hot tea to cool off, I understand! It seems strange, but it can work. So if you are craving a cup of tea, just enjoy it instead of worrying about whether it’s the “appropriate” beverage for the occasion or temperature. I know I will from now on!
Tea has so many therapeutic benefits for both the body and or minds that it’s hard to say no a cup. We’ve written extensively on tea and its positive effect on us.
Find a tea that you love, and brew it whenever you feel like it! Our physiology was made for warm drinks! If you would like to create your own tea blends, read the article below on ways to begin growing your own herbs:
If you lack the space to grow your own herbs for tea, consider trying some of Ready Nutrition’s tea blends. You cannot go wrong with the “deepest sleep” tea!
Drinking tea will also help you stay hydrated this summer when the temperatures really start to soar. If you just cannot get on board with drinking hot tea in the summer, try brewing your favorite tea, then putting it in the refrigerator to cool off. Then you can still drink it cold.
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