We've heard the old wives tales about how to best beat the heat. So with our recent spate of days with highs topping 100, Tulsa's Channel 8 Chief Meteorologist Frank Mitchell answers your questions as to which ways are useful and which ways not so much.
Question 1: "Does drinking tea really lower your body temperature?"
Answer: While you May have heard that sipping on a hot beverage can cool you down, it actually won't do you much good to lower your body temperature from what it was. The fact is, a cup of hot tea will raise your body temperature which will cause you to sweat. The sweat evaporates, and will cool you back down to where you were before. So, short answer, no.. Besides, water will satisfy that parched feeling a lot better!
Question 2: "I've heard putting on sunscreen reduces the risk of heat stroke, is that true?"
Answer: Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. Staying hydrated and keeping cool are essential for prevention. If you are outdoors, make sure you lather on plenty of this and get one that has at least an SPF of 30. A sunburn will cause your body temperature to rise and in some cases you can even develop a fever. Putting on the sunscreen greatly reduces your risk of heat stroke and skin cancers.
Question 3: "Is it true that wearing fewer clothes helps you keep cool?"
Answer: Keeping cool in the summer means wearing fewer layers of loose fitting clothing, so yes. The color matters too. Lighter colors such as yellow or white help reflect the sun's energy, which of course, helps you to stay cooler.
Question 4: "Hey, a friend once told me that if you eat spicy foods in the summer, it'll help you stay cool. I don't believe her."
Answer: Hey guess what? you're friend is right. Spicy foods such as pepper and curry actually make you sweat, which evaporates and keeps you cool. It also stimulates your taste buds and helps you retain strength on a humid and hot summer day which is different than just drinking a hot beverage. Try eating foods that create heat from the inside out like cumin, clove and coriander.
Question 5: "OK, which one is better? Sports drinks or water?"
Answer: Well, here's a little hydration 101: water is always going to be your best bet. While sports drinks may be good for athletes who need extra electrolyte sodium for hard workouts, most of us get enough from a balanced diet. Any extra additives in drinks such as sodium, sugar or caffeine take away from staying completely hydrated. If you do want to enjoy some Gatorade, try drinking some water along with it. Simple is always better in this case, drink as much water as you can during the heat and you'll feel better and stay safer as the temperatures rise.