When it’s cold outside, it feels like the perfect time to drink some warm beverages, be that hot coffee, hot tea, or hot cider to warm up. However, reports from the Wall Street Journal claim that the exact opposite is actually true. It turns out that that hot cup of coffee could be working against you. The reason is actually quite simple, according to the Reader’s Digest.
That shivering which happens when you’re outside in the cold, as it turns out, is actually what’s keeping your core warm and drinking a hot cup of coffee on a cold day will be counteractive to staying warm, believe it or not. Alan Hedge, the director of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory at Cornell University, has spoken out about this, bringing up the fact that caffeine is a diuretic. So that hot coffee on a cold day will actually cause you to urinate, which is just another way to lose heat.
Some people also believe that alcohol is a good way to warm up if it happens to be especially cold outside, and this is also untrue, says Hedge. Alcohol is yet another diuretic that will cause the body’s blood vessels to dilate. Actually, drinking alcohol in cold temperatures can place a person into a state of hypothermia.
By now, many may be confused and wondering what one can actually drink to warm up. Hedge has an answer for that which may be slightly unexpected — warm milk. According to Hedge, in Mongolia during the reign of Genghis Kahn, people drank yak buttered and warm mare’s milk. This beverage aided them in being able to sustain the cold and keep warm thanks to the high amount of calories.
There are also some other ways to trick one’s body into feeling warmer if warmed up mare’s milk doesn’t suit one’s fancy. Reader’s Digest cites in another article that eating something fatty is one sure way to stay warm. A professor and food scientist at Washington State University, Barry Swanson, told reporters that consuming fat will help a person stay warm. Butter works well, and Swanson even claims that he puts butter in his hot chocolate.
“When your body starts to digest, you feel warm because your body has to provide energy to digest that food product. Fat is notorious for moving slowly through the digestive system.”