It’s officially summer and you know what that means: It’s about to get hot. Or, as was the case here in Chicago, it is already very hot.
Like someone waiting for the absolute last minute to give in to turn on the air conditioningI’m looking for heat relief in other ways: I keep my apartment dark and sunless, keep an eye mask in the freezer, and stock up on foods that not only don’t need the oven or stove, but they too might just chill me. But is it all in my head when I’m munching on frozen grapes and sipping ice pops? Or is there science to help us properly pack our fridge for heat waves?
Do certain foods and drinks actually refresh you?
We’ve already debunked a hot weather myth: drinking hot drinks doesn’t actually cool your body. “It’s a very inaccurate old wives’ tale,” thermoregulation expert Douglas Casa told the former Go out editor-in-chief Kate Bernot. “Drinking hot beverages will warm up your body temperature. Conversely, drinking cold drinks will help you cool down, which is very appreciable during intense efforts in the heat.
But as Peter Poortvilet, postdoctoral researcher in neuroscience at the University of Queensland, written for The Conversationthese cold drinks will only cool your body for a short period of time – the cold liquid will be rapidly heated by surrounding organs. According to the way our digestive system works, the simple act of eating and processing food creates heat in our body, so in this sense, no food can effectively cool you down. However, there are a few exceptions.
The Best Hot Weather Foods and Drinks
According to Healthline, one of the main ways to combat overheating is to stay hydrated. Drinking water should always be your first priority when you feel the heat, and if you get peckish, focus on your diet. water-rich fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, cucumbers, strawberries and celery.
Spicy foods can also provide some relief, in a way.. When you sweat, your body cools down. It’s this same logic that probably led to the theory that hot drinks are better in hot weather, although it takes a lot more tea to make you sweat than a bite of, say, a ghost pepper.
And there’s a lot to be said for the placebo effect. Of course, if you pick up a bowl of ice cream or snacking on popsicles all summer makes you think you’re cooling off, so this does the trick. Just make sure you drink plenty of water alongside your Ben & Jerry’s pints and pop bombs, and you’ll survive until the fall chill hits the air, no problem.