As winter season drops both temperatures and motivation to get outside, hot beverages might just be the one missing ingredient from your warmup routine.
Our FLOW pre-workout drink mix doubles great as a delicious hot beverage. In fact, FLOW’s botanicals and key actives have have a long history of being served hot: Guayusa is traditionally consumed as a hot tea, Galangal is an essential spice in Thai coconut chicken soup, Maca is often mixed into hot porridge and Cacao is the hero of just about everyone’s favorite holiday winter drink.
But what are the benefits behind drinking hot beverages before your cold weather adventures? Besides the physical pleasure of holding a hot cup in your hands, which is known to stimulate warm, positive feelings, drinking a hot beverage before heading out for cold weather exercise is an excellent strategy for staying hydrated.
While we may sweat more when exercising in warm weather, science shows that body fluid losses can be as high in cold temperatures as they are in hot ones, meaning the risk of dehydration can be just as high. One of the reasons for this increased body fluid loss, is that as a response to cold, the body increases urine production. And, in cold weather, we simply lose more fluid through respiration. That puff of breath you see in cold air, it’s actually water vapor that your body is continuously losing. The tendency to wear warm clothing in the cold also contributes to body fluid loss, through an increased rate of sweating. To top it off, our thirst sensation is blunted by up to 40% in cold weather, thus setting the perfect stage for dehydration.
Dehydration has a strong negative influence on physical and cognitive performance, making it a major barrier to the flow state and your ability to thrive in the moment. Whether it’s climbing up an icy summit, paddling into frigid winter swells or maneuvering down the snow-covered backcountry, science shows that even as little as 2% body weight dehydration can hinder athletic performance. By negatively affecting blood volume, skin blood flow, sweat rate/heat dissipation, core body temperature and the amount of muscle glycogen use, dehydration plays a critical role in your physical capabilities.
Given the choice of hydrating with cold or warm/hot beverages, the latter is often a better choice during the colder seasons. When you drink cold beverages, your body has to expend energy to warm them up and divert blood flow to the abdomen. This means less energy for your muscles and less blood flow to your skin and extremities. Conversely, warm beverages help preserve your precious energy, allowing your muscles to do their thing while keeping your core body temperature stable, allowing your body to find comfort in the cold. Whether you are preparing for a strenuous adventure or simply hoping to stop your teeth from chattering, hot beverages don’t just make you feel warmer, they are actually proven to raise body temperature by 2-3 degrees.
Photo Credit: Ray J. Gadd
A hot cup of our FLOW pre-workout drink makes for the perfect ritual to prepare your body and mind for any cold weather adventure. In addition to boosting up your fluids from the water alone, FLOW contains electrolytes from coconut water and Himalayan sea salt that supports hydration. Beyond hydration, there is preclinical evidence that ingredients in FLOW, namely Cacao and Guayusa, contain chemistries that work to stimulate circulation which may also help keep your muscles warm and your brain firing strong. So do yourself a favor, and before heading out on your next chilly endeavor, kick off your warmup with a nice hot cup of FLOW.
By Taryn Forrelli
Co-Founder of Flume and naturopathic physician.