Should one really drink hot water when it is hot?

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While intense heat has swept across France in recent days, above 40 ° C in some places, tips for the best support for these burning periods remain. Wet laundry on the fan, repeated naps and … drinking hot water?

The idea that drinking hot water quenches thirst much more than drinking cold water is widespread. Often the person entrusting you with this trick supports his point by revealing the case of the Tuaregs who quench their thirst with hot tea in the middle of the desert. Spoiler: you’re not a tuareg. And if this technique has any benefits to combat high heat, it must be taken with a great deal of tweezers.

hot vs cold

The first thing to know is that in the event of a heat wave, water is by far our best ally. You have to drink, drink and drink again. And regardless of the temperature of your drink, water goes out in the same way and is good for the body in all cases. With some side effects anyway.

Drinking hot water, especially in the middle of a heat episode, is actually not without consequences: it will directly increase body temperature. A small increase in mercury and so is it? Not so fast. Humans are homeothermic, that is, their internal temperature remains constant. And all means are good at keeping it at 37 ° C, even if it means sweating like an ox.

Faced with the rise in body temperature due to the hot beverage, our body will actually start sweating profusely. A phenomenon which in a heat wave context has good and bad. On the one hand, sweat will make it possible to lower the body temperature as a whole (a real luxury when it is hot), on the other hand, it exposes us to the risk of dehydration. “Drink hot water when it is hot” is therefore clearly not to be placed in the category of grandmother’s tips (you know, those infallible tips).

At the risk of surprising you, it is generally no longer beneficial to drink very cold water, even ice cold. If a sense of freshness invades you right away, the benefit stops there. It’s fleeting. Because while your body cools down, the body again gives everything to stay at 37 ° C. The boiler is then restarted, the sweat idles and the heat stored in the body is hardly eliminated. The opposite effect that hot water can somehow have.

At this speed we would almost completely stop the water. This is obviously the worst thing you can do! To choose between hot and cold water in summer, it would be best to drink … lukewarm water. With water around 13 ° C, your body does not have to struggle to regulate your internal temperature. Something to quench your thirst while you moisturize effectively.

Do not wait to be thirsty

When it is hot, our body eliminates a lot, especially to lower the body temperature. A constant loss of water that forces us to drink in large quantities and above all all day. Waiting to be thirsty to rush for a glass of water is not to wait for the last minute: it already exposes yourself to risks.

When the body lacks water, the body becomes dehydrated and the blood pressure drops, leading to a kind of reaction from your body that makes you want to drink. Feeling thirsty is therefore already dehydrated. That is why it is important to drink without thirst, as the doctor Alain Ducardonnet explains to BFMTV. To be thirsty is actually already having a 20% water “debt”. No one likes debt, let alone your organization.

It is therefore best to drink small amounts regularly throughout the day, rather than throwing away a bottle of water at once when your mouth is as dry as the Sahara.

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