In the heat of the summer, one of the most frustrating things that can happen is to lose your air conditioning. But you don't have to lose your cool. You've probably already got the sprinkler ready to run through with every fan in the house blowing. However, there are some great alternative ways to stay cool that you may not be aware of. Here's what you can do to bring on the chill until the AC repairman like A Bailey Plumbing can fix the problem.
Spice Things Up
It's no coincidence that certain cultures in hot climates eat spicy foods. Those who live in Mexico, South America, India, and the Caribbean know the secret to remaining cool.
You know how when you're running a fever, you get chills? That's because your body temperature is higher which changes the temperature gradient between your internal temp and the temperature around you. In other words the air around you, at least indoors, feels colder because your body is hotter. Inversely, have you ever walked outside on a hot summer day when you were running a fever? It probably felt good, didn't it? It's the same concept with eating spicy foods. To clarify, eating hot foods will not make you run a fever, but certain foods like peppers and other spices actually raise your core temperature, increase circulation, and almost instantly, you're sweating and feel colder. But it's the moisture that actually cools you down as it evaporates from your skin. So in order to be effective, you need to be in a somewhat dry environment or have plenty of fans running so that the sweat can evaporate from your skin.
Check out this list of ten spicy snacks sure to keep you cool in the heat.
Hot Drinks to Cool You Down
It's instinct to want to pour a tall glass of iced tea or lemonade when you're overheated. While this does make you feel good temporarily, according to this latest research, a nice, steaming cup of, well, pretty much anything hot can cool you down when the conditions are just right.
What are the conditions?
Again, a hot, dry climate. The researchers found that sucking down a hot beverage does make you sweat, but it's not for the same reason that spicy foods do. What they believe is that these tiny little receptors in the mouth detect the extreme change in temperature and make the body respond by sweating. They also hold that those who are in an extremely humid environment may not see the benefits here unless you're able to wear loose fitted clothing that can breathe exceptionally well.
Mint for Cooling
Although it won't effectively alter your body temperature, mint contains menthol which tricks your brain into thinking you're cool. It works by binding to and triggering the cold receptors in your skin and mucus membranes. You've probably noticed this phenomenon when you've chewed mint gum or sucked on a piece of hard candy, noting how cold your mouth feels when you inhale.
There are several ways you can cool yourself down with mint, starting with adding some fresh leaves to your favorite beverage. For hot tea, simply steep a few fresh sprigs in hot water until it reaches the desired strength. Conversely, you can make a mint smoothie. Just pick your favorite fruit and add some yogurt, ice, several teaspoons of honey, some fresh mint leaves, and blend away.
If you don't like the flavor of mint, consider using some peppermint lotion to instantly cool the skin. A side benefit to this is that mint additionally serves as a natural mosquito repellant. So you don't have to worry about those summertime pests bugging you as you cool down.
There are a number of herbs, some of them that can be made into a tea, that cool the body down naturally. One of them is sage which just happens to belong to the mint family. When sage is made into a hot beverage, it causes sweating, which as you previously learned helps to cool you down. Another benefit to drinking sage tea is that it works to strengthen the nervous system, a particular benefit if your nerves are blown out along with your cooling system.
No matter how you choose to cool down, be sure to always keep yourself plenty hydrated, particularly if you're sweating a lot after all those spicy foods and hot drinks!