National Rooibos Day: A hot cup of tea can help to keep you cool

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Jan 16, 2020

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Cape Town - The scorching temperatures experienced in large parts of South Africa, could put many at risk of heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Babies, children and the elderly are particularly sensitive to the heat.

Appropriate hydration is key to avoiding heat-related ailments and illnesses, but before you reach for something cold to cool you down, a warm cup of rooibos tea might be a better option, say some experts.

It sounds illogical that a hot drink could cool you down on a hot day, but appropriately enough on National Rooibos Day, there is now hard science behind this old wives’ tale that dates back hundreds of years.

Studies by the University of Ottawa found that having a hot drink on a summer day lowers the amount of heat stored by the body, provided that the sweat produced by the hot beverage can evaporate.

Research director for the SA Rooibos Council, Joe Swart, said: “Sweating is the body’s way of cooling us down. As sweat evaporates from the surface of the skin, it cools and removes excess heat to keep our body temperature in check. It’s interesting to note that during one of the studies, researchers also tested the effect of a warm drink on those participating in exercise for 75 minutes at a relatively low intensity, in 24ºC at 23% relative humidity, while consuming water at different temperatures. It was only after participants had consumed the warm drink that their overall body temperature dropped.”

Meanwhile, as parents become increasingly health conscious, questioning product ingredients and the potential negative effects on physical and mental development for children, one of the biggest concerns is the potential harm posed by colourants, preservatives and other additives found in many food and beverage options on the market.

Tea4Kidz marketing manager Candice Sessions said: “Parents are increasingly looking for more natural options without added sugar and preservatives, which is propelling the movement towards beverages such as rooibos tea that is specially geared towards kids.”


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Cape Argus

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