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Can a warm drink cool your body on a hot day? VERIFY

Can drinking warm fluids cool down your body temperature? A Charlotte doctor says yes, but it's a bit of a trick question.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With hot temperatures across the Carolinas last week, many people were probably trying to cool off with a nice cold drink. But can warm beverages actually do a better job of lowering your body temperature? 

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Can drinking warm fluids cool down your body temperature?



In dry, hot weather, it's true that hot drinks can cool you down. However, in very hot, humid weather (like we have in the Carolinas during summer), where your sweat can't evaporate, drinking a hot liquid will not cool your body down. 

This needs context.


When VERIFY took this to Reed, he said it's a trick question because whether it works or not really depends on the type of climate you're in. 

"In a very low humidity environment, you will go ahead and drink something hot, and that will be able to evaporate that sweat. It actually does cool you down," Reed said. 

Reed explained that's because hot liquids stimulate receptors in your throat and mouth that trigger sweat, and the evaporation of that sweat is what cools your body down. However, in humid weather, it's a much different story. 

"A highly humid environment like the East Coast of the United States is probably not going to allow you to evaporate as much sweat as the heat you are taking in, so it's probably not true," Reed said. 

This study backs him up. It shows that even if that hot drink triggers perspiration, that won't cool you down unless evaporation occurs. 

Reed told WCNC Charlotte when in doubt, opt for a cold drink and get out of the heat, especially if you feel your body overheating.

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit VERIFY.  

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