5 unconventional ways to cool your body in the summer, from using menthol to drinking hot tea

5 unconventional ways to cool your body in the summer, from using menthol to drinking hot tea

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  • Global temperatures recently set record highs for three days in a row, and more hot days are coming.

  • Air conditioning is great, but scientists have also identified unconventional ways to stay cool.

  • Here are 5 counterintuitive tricks to help beat the summer heat.

Last week saw three consecutive days of record global temperatures. In the southern United States, temperatures are expected to soon rise above 103 degrees.

Staying cool in high temperatures is essential to prevent heatstroke and other heat-related illnesses.

Insider previously reported on some cheap and effective ways to beat the heat, including running cold water on areas like the wrists and ankles, and wearing loose, breathable clothing.

But there are other science-backed ways to stay cool too, although some of them may seem strange or counterintuitive. Here are 5 cool tricks that can help you stay cooler throughout the day and night.

1. Use menthol

Menthol, a natural processing chemical found in peppermint oil, has been shown to reduce our perception of heat. Researchers believe that menthol activates specialized receptors in skin cells and in our mouths designed to sense cold temperatures, making us feel cooler.

Athletes desperate to calm their nerves have turned to menthol products, such as peppermint tea, Vicks VapoRub, and Hall’s mint cough drops, The Washington Post reported. This trick only works for short periods of time — about 15 minutes — but it’s an affordable way to get a quick dose of coolness.

2. Avoid sugary and heavy meals

Who doesn’t like ice cream on a hot day? Unfortunately, it may be one of the foods that can make you hotter.

“Sugar increases your metabolism and you start to feel warmer inside, so a cold dessert may be good, but extra sugar may not,” Wendell Porter, lecturer emeritus in agricultural and biological engineering at the University of Florida, told CNN.

The CDC also recommends avoiding hot and heavy meals, which can add heat to your body.

3. Drink hAfter that tEssam

If you live where the weather is hot and dry, drinking hot tea may help you keep cool. The reason this counterintuitive idea works is because drinking hot tea can help you sweat, allowing your body to cool itself, according to a 2012 study.

This works if the amount of sweat you’re sweating is greater than the temperature rise from drinking tea, according to Smithsonian Magazine. The caveat, however, is that the sweat must actually evaporate to have a cooling effect. If you live in a humid environment, drinking hot tea will not help you because sweat will not evaporate effectively in the humid air.

4. Take carearm Bath or shower before bed

A warm shower or bath on a hot day may help you sleep more soundly, even on a hot day. Warm water can trigger physical changes that lower your core temperature, making you feel cooler and helping you sleep.

5. Sleep under a separate blanket from your bedmate

Although this is more common in Europe than in the United States, sleeping with a blanket separate from your partner may help Sleep better, especially on hot summer nights. Having separate blankets or even separate sheets helps keep your partner’s body heat away from you, and can help keep you cool.

Although it can be fun to try some alternative cooling methods, it’s important to know when heat discomfort is escalating. A body temperature higher than 103 degrees Fahrenheit, a strong, rapid pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, or loss of consciousness are all symptoms of heat stroke, which is a medical emergency.

Read the original article on Insider

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