Cool down with a hot Rooibos tea this summer
Drinking hot tea on a hot summer’s day might not sound like the most refreshing thing to do but experts believe it is one of the healthiest ways to cool down.
Research Director for the SA Rooibos Council, Joe Swart says that 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 the exercise for 75 minutes at a relatively low intensity, in 24 ºC at 23% relative humidity, while consuming water at different temperatures.
"It was only after participants had consumed the warm drink when their overall body temperature dropped."
“However, it is important to keep in mind that because conditions, such as airflow and humidity were controlled during the trials, the results could be different in an environment where sweat evaporation is limited, such as in hot, humid weather where one is dripping with sweat.
"In these circumstances, the cooling effect of hot drinks is likely to be less effective, in which case colder drinks should be taken,” says Swart.
He adds that tea contains no caffeine, it is low in tannins and you can drink as much of it as you want, unlike other hot beverages that may have a diuretic effect.
“Rooibos tea can also be enjoyed hot or cold and comes in a variety of fruit and spiced-infused flavours.
"On a hot, dry summer day, cool down with a warm cup, while in hot, humid weather, it can be turned into a delicious iced tea, to help regulate your body temperature in a healthy, natural way. It also won’t add any additional calories as it contains no fats or carbohydrates and is naturally sweet, which eliminates the need for sugar,” says Swart.
Here are some Rooibos iced tea recipes to help quench your thirst.
Rooibos, Lemon and Mint Iced Tea
6 bags of Rooibos tea
1 lemon, sliced
20 mint leaves
Place tea bags, lemon and mint leaves in a large pot pour boiling water onto it and leave to steep for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove tea bags when the tea is cold and refrigerate. Add honey for a sweeter taste.
Rooibos and Berry Iced Tea
3 Rooibos tea bags
3 cups water, 1 boiling, 2 cold
1.5 cups raspberries
3-4 tbsp sugar (or to taste)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or use a Rooibos-Vanilla tea infusion instead
8 mint leaves
Ice cubes, fresh raspberries and lemon wedges for serving.
Make the tea using 1 cup of boiling water and three tea bags. Set aside for a few minutes to steep. Then remove the tea bags and add the remaining cold water. Set aside to cool. Heat the raspberries, sugar, and vanilla in a saucepan for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Put the mixture through a sieve by squashing the fruit to help separate the pulp and juice from the seeds. Once the tea has cooled completely, add the raspberry mixture, lemon juice, and mint leaves. Drop-in fresh raspberries and a couple of lemon wedges and serve with ice cubes. Keep refrigerated.