Three Simple Cooling Drinks

recipes Jun 27, 2024

by Karen Wang

As the sun beats down and temperatures soar during this sweltering summer, one of the worst things you can do to quench your thirst is drink a glass of water filled with ice—or any beverage chilled with ice. Why?

From a Western scientific standpoint, drinking icy cold beverages causes blood vessels to contract. This tightening of vessels physically hinders our ability to absorb nutrients and allow water to enter our cells for proper hydration. If we don’t get enough hydration, our blood vessels constrict, leading to high blood pressure. In addition, ice-filled drinks wear away tooth enamel and also cause excess mucus in our bodies.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is taught that cold beverages and foods weaken the spleen and stomach. The spleen plays a vital role in the transformation of nutrients, which then support the formation of Qi and blood.

We can also consider that research done by neurobiologists has proven that warm beverages help you cool down more effectively than cold ones. According to Peter McNaughton of Cambridge University, "The hot drink somehow has an effect on your systemic cooling mechanisms, which exceeds its actual effect in terms of heating your body."

There are nerve cells, or receptors, on our tongue and digestive tract that will signal our brain, which then sends a cue to our internal cooling system to dissipate heat (by sweating) when the receptors sense warm or hot drinks entering the body. This is also traditional empirical knowledge in places like Morocco, where drinking hot mint tea in the heat of the day is known to have a cooling effect.

Here are a few benefits to drinking warm or room temperature water or herbal teas:

  • Faster and more efficient hydration on a cellular level
  • Digestive enzymes are stimulated, which enhances digestion
  • Food breaks down more easily
  • Your bowels move better


Three Thirst-Quenching and Nourishing Recipes:

Chrysanthemum Tea

Chrysanthemum flowers may help reduce hypertension and contain minerals and antioxidants.

  • 2 Tablespoons flower
  • 8 – 10 oz. filtered water

Bring water to a boil and pour over the flowers. Steep for 10 minutes.  Strain and sip slowly.  You can get Chrysanthemum Flowers from Etsy or Star West Botanicals.

Lemon and Sea Salt Water

The lemon will provide a good dose of vitamin C, while the sea salt helps to replenish electrolytes lost in excessive sweating during hot days.

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 8 oz. filter water, room temperature
  • Pinch (1/16 teaspoon) of sea salt (we recommend Celtic Sea Salt)

Mix well and enjoy the flavor as it hydrates your body.

Cucumber Water

Cucumber is 95% water and is high in potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

  • 4 – 5 slices of cucumber
  • 8 – 10 oz. filtered water, room temperature

Allow the cucumber slices to steep for about 10 minutes, then drink.  You can also eat the cucumber slices.




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