Is It Better to Drink Hot Coffee or Cold Coffee When You’re Cold?

The cold, dark days of winter can be a struggle for many of us here in the Twin Cities. The good news? We’ve officially made it through the shortest day of the year! You can expect to see more and more daylight moving forward. The bad news? The coldest days of the year are likely still to come.  

It doesn’t matter how many Minnesota winters you’ve been through. You never quite get used to the feeling of subzero temperatures. 

At our specialty coffee shop in Minneapolis, most of our customers are eager to get the hottest beverage we can serve during this time of the year. Sure, there are some diehards who drink cold brew year round, and we respect their commitment. But few things beat the warmth and comfort a hot cup of coffee brings on a cold winter day. 

Some, however, question whether a hot beverage actually warms you up. In fact, we’ve heard a few customers say that it’s better to drink cold beverages when you’re cold. The idea is, it forces your body to generate more heat, providing more warmth in the long run. 

Is there any truth to this? Let’s take a look. 

The Effects of Hot and Cold Coffee on a Cold Day 

Drinking a hot beverage when you’re cold sounds logical. You feel cold. The beverage is hot. By consuming it, the hot liquid will warm up your body. It certainly feels soothing as you drink it but does it actually do anything for your body temperature? 

A little, actually.  

According to one study, drinking a hot beverage elevated body temperature by an average of 2.6 degrees Fahrenheit. While this might sound minimal, on cold days, most of us will take what we can get. Additionally, holding a hot cup of coffee is bound to bring warmth to your hands. Just don’t expect the effects to last much longer than the beverage you’re consuming. 

As for cold beverages, the same study showed they lower body temperatures. That doesn’t mean you can’t drink them on cold days. You may just want to wear a thicker coat or mittens. 

Regardless of temperature, regular coffee may not be the best beverage to drink if you’re simply trying to stay warm. This is because caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it dehydrates you and makes you have to go to the bathroom more frequently, which ultimately lowers your body temperature. 

If you’re trying to stay as warm as possible, a hot, decaffeinated beverage may be the way to go. Alternatively, Genghis Khan and his Mongol army would drink fresh, warm mare’s milk to sustain them during the long, cold winters. Although … that may be hard to find in downtown Minneapolis.  

We have a better suggestion. 

At 7 Corners Coffee, we have a wide range of hot and cold beverages to suit your personal preference. In addition to coffee, we have hot chocolate, tea, kombucha and more! We’re confident you’ll find something to brighten your mood and warm your spirits on the coldest days of the year.  

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