So many associate hot chocolate as a winter drink but here at 80NU HQ we are here to share with you the reasons why it is truly an all year round cuppa! Like the hot tea and hot coffee you see all the time, hot chocolate is no different.
How drinking hot drinks in summer helps our internal systems
A hot chocolate may be the last thing on your mind on a warm summers day, but a daily dose of hot chocolate can improve our internal systems in the hot weather. Remember a counterintuitive cooling technique that many of us had heard of but doubted? In many countries around the world, conventional wisdom says that you can cool down on a hot day by drinking a hot beverage.
Sweating is vital for our bodies to function, "because if you didn't sweat in a hot environment, then your central temperature would rise and it only takes a rise of a couple of degrees for that to cause brain damage and death," says McNaughton.
When we drink cold water in summer, our bodies have to compensate for the difference in temperature by heating up more, which leads to even more overheating and related conditions like sunstroke and dizziness. Drinking warm drinks allows the body to relax, calm down, and cool itself down to a normal homeostatic temperature (equilibrium) without needing to compensate for the difference in temperature.
Drinking a hot drink does result in a lower amount of heat stored inside your body, provided the additional sweat that’s produced when you drink the hot drink can evaporate. The increased rate of perspiration is the key. Although sweat may seem like a nuisance, the body perspires for a very good reason. When sweat evaporates from the skin, energy is absorbed into the air as part of the reaction, thereby cooling the body. A larger amount of sweat means more cooling, which more than counteracts the small amount of heat contained in a hot beverage relative to the entire body.
The caveat is that your sweat must fully evaporate in order to produce the desired cooling effect. If you’re exercising hard, or wearing too many clothes, or in a very humid environment, you may produce sweat more quickly than it can evaporate, in which case it is no longer desirable to ramp up your sweat rate further.
In hot, humid, summer weather, our bodies can accumulate too much internal ‘heat’ and ‘damp’ energy that can become pathogenic and cause illness. The digestive organs are particularly vulnerable to this.
Drinking ice water or cold water hampers the process of digesting food as it causes your blood vessels to shrink. This restricts blood flow to the digestive system, in effect weakening our digestive function. Sipping warm tea during and after meals helps to keep your digestive organs fully functional.
Moreover, as the food is not digested properly, the nutrients are lost or not absorbed by the body.
Warm beverages promote circulation and nutrient absorption in the body. Consuming cold drinks speed up the gastrointestinal tract, so organs cannot properly absorb nutrition. Over time, if the body isn’t receiving sufficient nutrients needed for growth and repair, organs become more vulnerable to coldness and related illnesses.
Yes, a warmer body means healthier lungs. Lung disease is not just related to smoking and genetics. Long term accumulation of cold in the body can really weaken lung function to the point of developing chronic dis-eases like sinus infections, allergies, hay fever and asthma. The stomach is the ‘mother’ of the lung; a strong stomach is needed for healthy lung function. On a more immediate level, excessive cold entering the body also causes blood vessels in the throat to constrict. This is caused by the buildup of respiratory mucosa, which is a protective layer of the respiratory tract. When this layer gets congested, the respiratory tract is exposed and becomes vulnerable to various infections and hence the chances of your throat turning sore are raised.
Drinking warm beverages promotes healthy blood flow. Excessive consumption of cold water can negatively affect the reproductive system, causing menstrual disorders, cramps and eventually impaired physiological functions like infertility. Over-accumulation of cold also creates moisture and dampness: the perfect conditions for things like bacteria, Candida, and parasites.
Ok, so here’s why. The stomach is a ‘yang’ organ, meaning it has hot and active properties. It’s like the stove of the body; our internal fire that must be kept burning in order to maintain our metabolism and energy. We need that fire to digest and assimilate food into nutrients for the entire bodily system.
Water is ‘yin’, or cold, by nature. So the more we pour cold water into our bodies, the weaker that internal fire gets.
Because the body is a mini universe, if one thing is out of order, eventually everything else falls out of place. Here are some reasons according to Traditional Chinese Medicine why replacing your ice water with a cup of chocolate is the ultimate act of self love:
Drinking hot chocolate promotes healthy blood flow. Excessive consumption of cold water can negatively affect the reproductive system, causing menstrual disorders, cramps and eventually impaired physiological functions like infertility. Over-accumulation of cold also creates moisture and dampness: the perfect conditions for things like bacteria, Candida, and parasites.
One of the silliest things I heard growing up was that ice water speeds up your metabolism. Not only does ice literally extinguish the internal heat that is your metabolism, cold environments literally help to solidify fat within your body. Think of how the fat goes hard when you put sautéed food in the fridge. No need to do that to your stomach too. Warm liquids can help to ensure that fat stores are used for energy, which is why teas are considered a major aid in weight loss. And if portion control is your issue, ditching the ice can help you get back into touch with your body’s fullness signals: putting ice on your stomach is going to reduce sensations and swelling in the same way as when you ice a bruise.
If that isn't enough to keep drinking this sacred nectar then i don't know what is, but i am sure as heck going to try find out to inspire you to keep drinking hot chocolate all year round!