With temperatures set to soar once again, finding ways to help keep one cool during a heatwave is paramount. Water will always be strongly advised particularly during sweltering days, but could a warm beverage also help keep you cool?
It might seem counterintuitive, but experts advise putting on the kettle and making yourself a cup of coffee when feeling overheated.
Dr J. W. Langer, a Danish physician, nutritional expert and lecturer in medical pharmacology at the University of Copenhagen said: “It is a common belief that drinking caffeinated coffee can lead to dehydration.
“The mild, short-term diuretic effect of caffeine has been described an “unproven myth”.
“Scientific evidence looking at the effects of caffeine on fluid balance does not support this commonly held belief.”
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Black coffee contains more than 95 percent water and, according to research, when consumed in moderation, does not lead to dehydration.
It is therefore implied that a cup of coffee can help contribute to a person’s daily fluid balance.
Moderate coffee consumption is typically defined as three to five cups per day, based on the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) review of caffeine.
A critical review found that a daily intake of 300mg of caffeine (the amount found in approximately 3 regular cups of coffee) induces only a mild, short-term diuretic effect, similar to that of water, with no significant effect on overall fluid balance.
Additionally, there is no evidence that caffeine is detrimental during exercise in hot climates when fluid losses occur.
More research suggests that moderate caffeine consumption does not alter total body water and fluid distribution and drinking a variety of caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, can contribute to meeting the body’s requirement for fluids.
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Enhance exercise performance
Exercising in hot or humid weather is hard work, but there is evidence which shows that drinking coffee can enhance exercise performance.
The caffeine in coffee can help improve muscular endurance, movement velocity and muscular strength, sprinting, jumping and throwing performance, as well as a wide range of aerobic and anaerobic sport-specific activity.
The high levels of caffeine in coffee significantly improve the ability to burn fat during exercise too.
Whilst caffeine itself may have a mild diuretic effect, the contribution to overall fluid intake from a cup of coffee is notable.
A study found no significant differences in measures of hydration status between those who drank coffee or those who drank water, concluding that coffee consumed in moderation by regular male coffee drinkers had similar hydrating qualities to water.
Zain Peer, Co-Founder of London Nootropics London Nootropics – Find Your Flow with our Mushroom Coffee added: “Coffee is a diuretic – it can dehydrate us, and you need lots of water during a heatwave.
“Our body is under stress during a heatwave and our adrenals can be taxed and tired, adaptogens can help balance our adrenals and help us feel less fatigued.”
Other foods to help keep you cool in a heatwave include:
- Green peppers