Posted in Kafevend Blog

Did you enjoy the spell of hot humid weather last week? The more likely response for most of us was to do the British thing and moan about it instead. Given the cool spring we had, it really was a  little too sudden for comfort, wasn't it? Chances are we were all feeling somewhat thirstier than usual, but what are the best choices for a hot summer's day?

Some people turn to ice cold bottles of pop or squash. Given the combination of hot weather and the prevalence of Robinson's Barley Water at Wimbledon, we'd wager the company are reaping the benefit right now! More puritanical folk will simply up their intake of water. For those who find good old h2o boring and still crave their caffeine intake, coffee shops do a tempting line in iced coffees. Starbucks do a roaring trade in Frappuccinos, the name of the drink an amalgamation of frappé and cappuccino. While the Frappuccino has a luxurious creaminess and sweetness, a frappé is the original iced coffee drink with a lower calorie mix of coffee, water and ice.

Do you have a bottle of Camp Coffee lurking at the back of the larder waiting patiently for the next time you decide to have a go at baking coffee cake? Forget the stress of weighing and mixing and simply stir a couple of teaspoons into a nice cold glass of milk. Camp Coffee might contain a lot more chicory than coffee, but as a cold milkshake on a hot afternoon it tastes delicious!

Downing an ice cold drink to help cool down sounds the obvious thing to do. Pour cold liquid down our throats and lower the body's core temperature – easy. Nevertheless, there are plenty of individuals who shun the idea in favour of a cup of hot tea. So which is the best path to follow? Does the science back up the hot tea sippers, or the iced tea quaffers?

Firstly, it has to be said that those who drink something hot to cool them down are being neither contrary nor obtuse! A hot drink raises the body's core temperature a little which, in a hot weather scenario, causes an increase in perspiration and as that sweat evaporates the drinker experiences a cooling sensation. In the case of an ice cold drink, the body's core temperature is lowered a little, so again job done.

Perhaps we might wonder then why players at Wimbledon aren't opting for a hot cup of tea between ends instead of a cold drink? It turns out that it all boils down to the function of sweat. Although it's designed to cool us down, it also has a dehydrating effect. So, if you're not doing terribly much on a hot day, having a hot drink will cause you to sweat a little more with the accompanying benefits already described. If however, you're tearing around a tennis court your body will already be using its maximum evaporative powers and you'll be rapidly dehydrating into the bargain; we've all seen the dripping shirts! Therefore, there's nothing to gain from hot tea, whereas those bottles of Robinson's Barley Water will rehydrate and cool the body!

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