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Should You Drink Hot Beverages in Cold Weather?

It's well known that hydration plays a crucial role in regulating your body temperature. But does drinking hot beverages actually generate body heat in cold weather?

The short answer: it won't warm up your whole body, but drinking a hot beverage is a good way to encourage yourself to stay hydrated in cold climates.

Unfortunately, drinking that piping hot cup of tea won't do much to raise your core body temperature in cold weather. Drinking a hot beverage will briefly warm up your hands, mouth and stomach, but it won't have much of an effect on the rest of your body.

However, sipping a steaming beverage can be a smart way to counteract the dehydrating effects of exercising in the cold. As your body reacts to the chill, you're less likely to feel thirsty, even when you need water—that's why it can be deceptively easy to get dehydrated in frigid environments. That effect is even more pronounced if you're exercising at high altitudes, where the elevation can further blunt your appetite for food and water.

It sounds like common sense, but studies show that you'll drink more of something you enjoy—so keeping tea, coffee or cocoa handy can be a good way to ensure that you're staying hydrated in the cold.

Backpacker looks over snowy mountain cliff holding hot drink in travel mug.

Hot in cold?

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