Cold drinks are out while hot drinks are in! Experts are now telling us that hot or warm drinks are much more beneficial for us than was once thought. Here are 8 amazing things that will happen when you reach for the hot drink, rather than a cold one. Just hot water on its own has loads of benefits.

1. You’ll feel the benefits of sweating

On a hot day, you need to sweat. It is your body’s way of keeping cool. Researchers at University of Ottawa’s School of Human Kinetics found that evidence is pointing towards the benefits of a hot drink. They found that cold drinks did not make their athletes sweat enough and you need to sweat to really keep the body cool. Hot drinks can make you sweat and that more than compensates for the actual temperature of the drink.

The Indians travelling on their trains have known about this all along. They have always served warm meals which are always accompanied by strong, hot and sweet tea. Temperatures both inside and outside the train are frequently about 45° C (113°F)!

“I’m Indian, I’m British. A billion Indians can’t be wrong. They drink hot tea in hot weather.” – Madhulika Sikka, producer, Morning Edition.

2. You’ll cut your risk of getting diabetes

A study by the American Diabetes Association says that if you have one can of cold drink in a day, it will spike your sugar consumption as all these drinks have too many carbs. For example, one can of either fruit drink, soda, iced tea, energy drink, or sports drink will probably contain 150 calories and 40 grams of carbohydrate. That is the equivalent of carbs containing 10 teaspoons of sugar so naturally, your blood glucose will rocket.

Follow the advice here on Rethink Your Drink so that you can go for unsweetened hot tea or coffee. Fresh fruit will also help you to keep your water intake at the right level, even when it gets hot.

3. You’ll become friendlier

Strange but true, according to the researchers at University of Colorado Boulder. They asked participants to judge a person while holding a hot cup of coffee in their hands and when holding a can of iced coffee. Participants did not know that holding the drink was part of the test. The results showed that when people held a hot drink, they tended to have more positive perceptions of other people’s generosity and empathy. It is a pity you cannot offer hot tea or coffee to members of an interview panels when you are interviewed for your dream job!

4. You’ll get more relief for your coughs and colds

We all know there is nothing like a hot drink of tea or coffee, when we have a cold or cough. You will get no relief at all from a can of iced tea! But is there any scientific explanation for this?

Some researchers at the Common Cold Center at the University of Cardiff (UK) were determined to find out. They tried a well known brand of apple and blackcurrant cordial. They offered participants a hot or room temperature drink. Both were effective in relieving symptoms but the hot version was by far the most beneficial.

There may be psychological reasons but the researchers homed in on the physical effects. They found that the hot sweet taste was releasing compounds similar to morphine in the brain and thus easing pain and discomfort. The other inescapable fact is that heat almost always enhances taste.

5. You’ll boost your metabolism

Many dieticians recommend drinking hot water with your meals when you are on a diet. The Chinese do this all the time and marvel at our custom of always serving cold water at mealtimes!

Now I know that hot water is not that attractive taste wise, but it does stimulate the pleasure centers in the brain and that could help you to enjoy losing weight even more. There is nothing wrong with adding your favourite flavoring such as lemon juice. Also its effects can be really beneficial as it can increase your metabolism, so you are more likely to burn calories between meals. Dr. Michael B. Wald, Director of Nutritional Services at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco is one expert who is convinced that hot water will be beneficial.

6. You’ll be better protected against infections

Any hot drink which has used boiled water as its base will be healthier. Here’s why. Boiling sterilizes, so any bacteria in the water will be eliminated once boiled. There is another great advantage too. You can help to reduce the amount of mucous in your sinuses and stomach, thereby reducing the potential damage that might be caused by bacteria or fungi.

7. You’ll have better digestion

There is a lot of debate about whether cold water or other drinks can slow down digestion. Ayurvedic medicine certainly advocates the use of hot water with meals as the solution to bad digestion and nausea. But there is no scientific evidence for this at all. But if you drink hot ginger tea with your meals, it may well help your digestion as the University of Maryland site claims.

“Years ago, I used to recommend ginger tea to my hospitalized cardiac patients to help them with digestive or nausea problems.” – Dr. Sinatra, cardiologist

8. You’ll avoid harming your teeth

All those cold cans of soda and iced tea are full of sugars which interact with the plaque on and around your teeth. What is produced is a sort of acid which can destroy your tooth enamel. By avoiding all those cold drinks in a can, you can forget about flossing or brushing your teeth every time you have one of them!

As you can see, it is much better to avoid cold drinks when possible and go for the healthier hot drinks we have mentioned above.

Featured photo credit: Tea in Gold/Tweetspeak Poetry via flickr.com

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