Hey tea lovers, can you handle a bit of counterintuitive advice on a hot summer day?
The next time it's really hot outside and you want to cool down, brew yourself a hot cuppa' tea.
And then drink it.
Then — and only then — are you allowed to ask yourself if you feel any better. Any cooler. Any more refreshed.
We're not going to hand you an answer to this one; we simply want to point out that in lots of places around the world where people live in hot weather, tea is not routinely served over ice just because it's more than 80 degrees outside, like it is here in the United States. And we obviously have nothing against iced tea — in fact, we love it! We've created several delicious flavors, in fact.
But did you know that studies have been done on how drinking warm beverages can help keep you cool? We found out about one of those studies at Smithsonian.com. It all seems pretty logical: you increase your body heat when you drink warm beverages, but that also helps you produce more sweat. As you might remember from your 7th grade health class, the entire purpose of sweat is to evaporate in the air, thus cooling the body. It turns out that researchers have found that if all of the extra sweat you produce by drinking that hot beverage can, in fact, evaporate, you'll more than compensate for the added heat to the body that comes from the hot liquid in the first place. Of course, first you have to be willing to sweat. That means you have to be wearing clothes that allow your skin to breathe (aka tank tops and shorts - HELLO, SUMMER WEAR!) and then you have to be in a climate where that sweat is likely to evaporate. So, if it's super humid outside and your sweat isn't likely to evaporate efficiently, too bad for you. Sorry, East coasters.
Up here in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, we compare this effect to hiking up a steep hill in the full sun. You know you're going to sweat all the way up, but you also know when you reach the top and head downhill, boy is that breeze going to feel fantastic.
And look, we've found we never have to work too hard to get a bunch of tea lovers to drink more tea, hot or iced. So give this a shot the next time you really need to cool off, and let us know if it works for you, okay? Cheers to summer!
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