Here’s Why You Should Be Drinking Hot Coffee Instead of Iced Coffee This Summer

Jun 12 2018

Logically, drinking something cold when you’re steaming hot will cool you down, right? Wrong. Sometimes logic and science aren’t interchangeable. It turns out, drinking hot coffee in the summertime is better for your body than drinking iced coffee or cold brew; here’s why.

Peter McNaughton, a neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge, told NPR that the hot drink does make you hotter, but it also alerts the brain to do something about it.

"The hot drink somehow has an effect on your systemic cooling mechanisms, which exceeds its actual effect in terms of heating your body," McNaughton explained.

Once that hot beverage hits our tongue, there are nerves called receptors that respond to heat. The receptors tell the nerves to alert the brain that your body is heating up and as a result, the body will sweat to cool itself down.

Although it seems more logical to drink something cold to offset the heat, “the volume of the cold drink is relatively small when compared to your body, so the cooling effect gets diluted quite quickly,” McNaughton said. The cold beverage will “cause blood vessels to tighten, making you feel much hotter.”

What ends up happening is the cold beverage stimulates the heat because of its stark comparison.

“Most feelings are based on comparisons — ratios, if you will,” Dr. György Buzsáki, professor of neuroscience at New York University School of Medicine told The Daily Meal. Holding a test tube on its own will feel neutral, but holding that same temperature test tube next to a frozen test tube will make it feel blazing hot. “In fact, there is a condition called allodynia, in which a normal temperature is perceived as feeling freezing,” he said.

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