A hot summer day calls for a chilly drink at your side. The scorching summer sun drains all your body fluids. You approach a counter after profusely sweating and waiting to catch your breath. You ask for a drink to cool you down. To your surprise, you are offered a cup of warm tea.
Probably not the best of scenarios you wish to imagine, right? But what if tea can help genuinely you beat the heat? According to research, a warm cup of tea can actually help you cool down. Although it sounds ironic, it is true.
Can tea cool you down? Yes, drinking hot tea can actually cool you down although that sounds quite unbelievable. The key to this is profuse sweating. A hot cup of tea increases the overall body temperature and thereby increase the process of sweating. Sweat evaporates and ultimately reduce the overall body temperature.
People tend to think that hot tea when sipped in, goes inside and produces more heat in the body, so how does it cool you down? The fun fact is that it is the only reason why and how it cools down the human body.
The idea behind this is simple when a cup of tea goes inside the body during hot weather, it produces more heat which results in making sweat, and eventually, if the sweat evaporates, it cools you down.
When we drink something hot during hot days, the receptors in our tongue and throat perceive the heat. Then this causes the body to overreact with a lot of sweat, thus resulting in the cooling down of the body.
Sweating cools you down because as the moisture evaporates, it takes away some of the heat of your body.
Drinking hot beverages like tea is actually something that people are reluctant to have, but this is the second-best drink after some cooling drink to have during hot summer days.
The increased rate of perspiration is the key. Although sweat may seem like a nuisance, the body perspires for an excellent reason. When sweat evaporates from the skin, energy is absorbed into the air as part of the reaction, thereby cooling the body.
A larger amount of sweat means more cooling, which more than counteracts the small amount of heat contained in a hot beverage relative to the entire body.
Why Do We Sweat?
Before getting into the science behind the cooling effect, let us understand why a human body sweats?
During summer days, when the temperature becomes unbearable, our body tends to sweat more than the usual rate. The reason behind this is very simple, the summer brings hot weather, and depending on where someone lives, the heat they are exposed to can be significant, this keeps on varying from place to place though.
Now, this reason is not strong enough, so let’s dive more into it and get to know the science behind this. The human body is designed to maintain a body temperature of 91.76 F to 100.76 F. When we are exposed to temperature higher than our body’s standard temperature, our body undergoes a process to cool down and maintain the normal body temperature, and this is done by producing sweat from the body, this process is termed as thermoregulation.
When a person is exposed to high temperatures, the brain senses that a person’s initial body temperature is beginning to rise in response to the environment outside; thus it activates the sympathetic nervous systems responsible for starting automatic bodily functions. Eccrine sweat glands are located all over the body, and they are where sweat is produced and pumped onto the surface of the skin.
There is another type of sweat gland, called apocrine sweat glands. Still, they are not thought to be used in thermoregulatory processes. When sweating takes place, it comes up to the surface of the skin; it is quickly evaporated into the environment as water vapor.
Thus, when sweat leaves the skin, it carries heat energy in it which was actually inside our body and giving us a cooling effect. Soon after the body starts cooling down, the brain sends signals to the sweat glands to stop producing sweat further.
Very few people know this, but the fact is that sweating also responds to our emotional state. When we are nervous, anxious, or afraid, there is an increase in sympathetic nerve activity in our body as well as an increase in epinephrine secretion from your adrenal gland.
How Does The Sweat Cool Down The Body?
Sweating is also known as perspiration, helps regulate body temperature. There are two types of sweat glands in the body, namely eccrine glands and apocrine glands. The eccrine glands are all over the body and release clear liquids directly through the ducts on the skin surface.
Apocrine glands are located deep in the layers of the skin and are driven by adrenaline. Eccrine glands react to temperature in an effort to cool the body. This can leave a white residue behind, especially on clothing, due to the sodium this contains.
Sweat only evaporates in an environment where there isn’t much water in the air. In a place with high humidity, there are already lots of water molecules in the air, so the sweat won’t evaporate much because the humid air can’t hold more water molecules.
But in a drier environment, like Davis, your sweat has a better chance of evaporating quickly and taking away your body heat. As more sweat evaporates from your body, the air close to you becomes more humid, making it harder for your sweat to evaporate.
One important thing to keep in mind about sweat is hydration. Suppose an individual sweats more during hot weather. In that case, this means his/her body is releasing water at a faster rate than usual to cool down the body. If that water is not replaced in the body, then it can lead to dehydration.
Dehydration means that our body has not much water to function properly, and if there is a shortage of water for longer, then an individual might fall sick. So when you sweat, make sure to replenish the body’s water level.
If the situation is such that an individual is putting on a lot of clothing, which result in sweating badly then drinking hot tea is a bad decision as it will add more heat to the body resulting in more sweat but doesn’t evaporate from the surface of the skin due to layers of clothing. In such cases, doctors from the globe recommend going for cold drinks to give a sense of relief to the body amidst the heat.
Ice Tea, a herbal drink that is believed to have a cooling effect on the body that can be enjoyed on hot summer days, can also help reduce body temperature. This is directly related to the cooler temperature of the drink, which ultimately reduces the body temperature.
Either way, through a cup of chilled ice tea or a warm cup of tea, you can reduce your overall body temperature and get cooled! So next time you feel the heat, you know which cup you need to pick for yourself!