A refreshing drink – ice cold or lukewarm?


When the thermometer rises, many people instinctively opt for an ice cold drink, believing it will cool them down. At times like these, few are tempted by the idea of drinking something lukewarm.

But what is really good for the body on hot days?

To start with, most people find a glass of cold water more refreshing than a hot cup of tea. However, the actual effect of a cooled drink on the body is sobering: the blood vessels contract and the body must first warm the icy liquid to body temperature before the liquid can enter the blood. This requires physical effort.

Hydration during sport

For this reason, it’s also a good idea to avoid ice cold drinks when doing sports. In high temperatures in particular, it’s best to drink your liquids lukewarm – including isotonic drinks – or at least not ice cold, especially since the cooling effect after a cold drink is relatively small. Half a litre of cold water can only cool the body down by about 0.5 degrees.

So it's actually a good idea to drink warm liquids on hot days, as they succeed in cooling you down.

Recipe for a refreshing drink

  • 1 litre warm water
  • 3cm fresh ginger, cut into pieces
  • 2-3 slices of lemon
  • 1 tsp. honey

Warm drinks are more effective and easier on the body

Warm drinks are better at cooling the body. By causing the blood vessels to dilate, the fluid is better absorbed by the blood. This helps the body to compensate more quickly for the fluid lost in summer temperatures.

Of course, hot tea can also make you sweat – but less so than iced lemonade. The intake of the warm drink causes the body to sweat a little. This leads to evaporative cooling on the skin, which protects your circulation and cools the body down.

So it's actually a good idea to drink warm liquids on hot days, as they succeed in cooling you down.

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