From drinking hot tea to licking your wrists: strange measures to help keep you cool as a heatwave hits the UK

If you live in the UK, it’s time to dig out your sunscreen as we’re in for a heat wave this weekend and next week.

With temperatures as high as 91°F (33°C) expected in some parts of the UK, you may be worried about staying cool.

Quick Google searching for “how to stay cool in the heat” will turn up a number of weird and wonderful measures, including drinking hot tea, eating spicy food, and even licking your wrists.

But do any of these methods really work?

Ahead of the heat wave, MailOnline delved into the science behind these wacky cooling methods to help separate fact from fiction.

While you might be tempted to drink a cold drink to cool off, unexpectedly hot drinks like tea and coffee can actually be more effective.

With Office Raises Heat Wave Temperature Thresholds

The Met Office announced that the temperature needed to officially declare a heatwave has been raised in eight English counties.

Heatwaves are called when an area has at least three consecutive days of daily highs reaching or exceeding a certain temperature threshold.

The levels are designed to suit the current climate, but how global warming raises temperatures in the UK, thresholds have now been raised for eight UK districts ahead of the summer months.

Eight counties: Surrey, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Read more

1. Drink hot tea

While you might be tempted to drink a cold drink to cool off, unexpectedly hot drinks like tea and coffee can actually be more effective.

A 2012 study by researchers at the University of Ottawa looked at the effect drinking hot drinks had on body temperature.

The results showed that a hot drink can cool you down, but only in dry weather.

Speaking to Smithsonian magazineDr. Ollie Jay, one of the study’s authors, explained: “If you drink a hot drink, it results in less heat being stored in your body, provided that the extra sweat that is released when you drink the hot drink can help.” evaporate.

When you drink a hot drink, you start to sweat more. If sweat can evaporate, it cools you down—more than offsetting the extra body heat from the fluid.

While sweating can be embarrassing, it is an important bodily function that helps us stay cool.

As sweat evaporates from the surface of your skin, it removes excess heat, turning water from a liquid into vapor.

However, in humid conditions this cooling effect is less effective, so drinking hot drinks will not help you cool down.

Dr. Jay explained: “On a very hot and humid day, if you wear a lot of clothes or if you have so much sweat that it starts to drip onto the ground and does not evaporate from the surface of the skin, then drinking a hot drink is not good.

“A hot drink still warms the body a bit, so if sweat doesn’t help you evaporate, drink a cold drink.”

2. Eat spicy food

This week you can opt for spicy curry instead of ice cream.

The “burning” that you feel in your mouth from spicy food is caused by capsaicin, a chemical found in chili peppers.

This is usually followed by a similar feeling of warmth throughout the rest of the body, causing you to sweat.

Recording in Scientific AmericanYale University professor Barry Green explained: “Spicy foods excite skin receptors that normally respond to heat.

The “burning” that you feel in your mouth from spicy food is caused by capsaicin, a chemical found in chili peppers.  This is usually followed by a similar feeling of warmth throughout the rest of the body, causing you to sweat.

The “burning” that you feel in your mouth from spicy food is caused by capsaicin, a chemical found in chili peppers. This is usually followed by a similar feeling of warmth throughout the rest of the body, causing you to sweat.

Breathing technique sheetali pranayama

The idea of ​​breathing cooler may seem ridiculous, but seasoned yoga practitioners swear by a technique called sheetali pranayama.

Speaking with living scienceMira Watts, the founder of Siddhi Yoga, explained how this technique can cool your body down in minutes.

“It all starts with you sitting in a comfortable position with your back straight and your hands on your knees,” she explained.

“Pull out the tongue and fold it to the sides in a U shape. In this position of the tube, you will have to inhale through the tongue and exhale through the nostrils.

To feel the sensation of coolness, repeat this 5-8 times, which should not take more than a few minutes.

“The central nervous system responds to everything that the sensory system tells it.

“Therefore, the pattern of activity from pain and warm nerve fibers elicits both sensations and physical responses to heat, including vasodilation, sweating, and flushing.”

As we saw with hot drinks, sweating is one of the key methods of helping regulate your temperature—so it’s tea and curry!

3. Lick your wrists

This is a tactic used by several creatures in the animal kingdom, including kangaroos and monkeys.

And as disgusting as it sounds, licking your wrists also helps keep people cool.

There are pulse points on your wrists, areas where you can feel your pulse because your blood vessels are close to the surface of your skin.

When you lick your wrists, you use saliva to mimic the effect of sweat, cooling the surface of your skin.

This slows down blood flow, preventing the body from overheating.

If you don’t like the idea of ​​licking your wrists, you can also pour water on your wrists for a similar effect.

4. Unplug chargers.

While most of us know that large, powerful electronics such as televisions and computers generate a lot of heat, you might not consider unplugging small devices.

Lamps, kettles, irons, and even chargers can generate a lot of heat when used heavily.

In 2020, researchers from ZDNet test the wireless charger using a thermal imaging camera to see how hot it gets, both during and without use.

They found that when the iPhone 11 Pro Max was placed on a wireless charger, the temperature of the device reached 32°C and the ambient temperature reached 20°C.

“If you want cooler charging, remove all cases, don’t charge your phone in direct sunlight, and keep your pillow on a hard surface (not blankets or anything else that might block the vents),” they advised.

While most of us know that large, powerful electronics like TVs and computers generate a lot of heat, you might not consider unplugging smaller devices like chargers.

While most of us know that large, powerful electronics like TVs and computers generate a lot of heat, you might not consider unplugging smaller devices like chargers.

Quit drinking

You might be tempted to head to the nearest pub during the heat wave, but if you do, try to cut down on the booze.

Alcohol is a diuretic that makes you urinate more and can lead to severe dehydration.

“Alcohol makes us urinate more and more often, and the fluid leaving our body at such a rate can lead to dehydration if not replenished.” Drink in the know explains.

“It is important to replace the lost fluid with drinking water if we choose alcohol.

“Effects of dehydration include feeling thirsty, dizzy, dizzy and tired, dry mouth and lips, dark yellow urine with a strong odor.”

Alcohol also causes the blood vessels in your skin to dilate, making you feel hotter.

It may seem counterintuitive, but studies show that you shouldn't open all the windows to keep your home cool.

It may seem counterintuitive, but studies show that you shouldn’t open all the windows to keep your home cool.

6. Don’t open all windows

It may seem counterintuitive, but studies show that you shouldn’t open all the windows to keep your house cool.

Hot air rises, which means sunny rooms upstairs will be warmer than those downstairs in the shade—creating a pressure drop.

By opening the windows in these rooms, you can create a strategic breeze that draws cool air in from below and pushes warm air out of the house through sunny rooms above.

The idea of ​​breathing cooler may seem ridiculous, but seasoned yoga practitioners swear by a technique called sheetali pranayama.

The idea of ​​breathing cooler may seem ridiculous, but seasoned yoga practitioners swear by a technique called sheetali pranayama.

7. Roll your tongue and breathe

The idea of ​​breathing cooler may seem ridiculous, but seasoned yoga practitioners swear by a technique called sheetali pranayama.

Speaking with living scienceMira Watts, the founder of Siddhi Yoga, explained how this technique can cool your body down in minutes.

“It all starts with you sitting in a comfortable position with your back straight and your hands on your knees,” she explained.

“Pull out the tongue and fold it to the sides in a U shape. In this position of the tube, you will have to inhale through the tongue and exhale through the nostrils.

To feel the sensation of coolness, repeat this 5-8 times, which should not take more than a few minutes.

WHAT WAYS TO KEEP COOL DURING THE HEAT?

The NHS has some tips for staying cool during unusually hot weather.

– Drink plenty of fluids

– Open windows or other vents in the house

– Shade or cover windows that are exposed to direct sunlight.

– Grow plants indoors and outdoors to provide shade and cool the air

– Turn off lights and electrical equipment that is not in use.

– Take a break if your house gets too hot: go to the nearest air-conditioned building, such as a library or a supermarket.