Do you start your day with a hot brewing cup of coffee? We all tend to reach out for the quintessential hot ‘chai’ or coffee, especially during the winter season. But is it safe? While drinking your beverages at a normal temperature is not so bad for you, drinking them piping hot can increase your chances of several diseases. In fact, studies have found that drinking very hot drinks can be a cause of cancer. It might seem like every little dietary mistake has been linked to cancer, so we asked an expert to clear the air.
HealthShots reached out to Daljit Kumar, the head clinical nutritionist at Fortis Escorts, Okhla Road, New Delhi.
Drinking very hot drinks can cause cancer
Consuming very hot drinks and beverages can cause numerous problems for our bodies. Oesophageal cancer is closely linked to the consumption of hot tea and hot beverages. Drinking hot beverages or eating very hot food repeatedly can cause thermal injuries to our throat and oesophagus, which can lead to inflammation and the formation of cancer cells.
A 2019 study published in the International Journal of Cancer also found that drinking piping hot drinks can increase the risk of esophageal cancer. Oesophagus is a lengthy tube through which ingested foods and liquids pass through and reach the stomach. The International Agency for Research on Cancer reports that oesophageal cancer is the eighth most prevalent cancer in the world and that it frequently results in death, taking the lives of almost 400,000 individuals annually. It is typically brought on by frequent esophageal damage by smoke, alcohol, acid reflux, and – maybe – hot drinks.
Drinking very hot drinks can lead to other problems too
Consuming too many hot beverages can also affect your taste buds as they are very sensitive around the tongue. They can get damaged like any other cells when exposed to hot beverages. However, drinking hot drinks on a regular basis and scalding the tongue severely and repeatedly is what permanently damages the taste buds.
Consumption of hot beverages may also affect lips too, in many cases lips get burnt and cause physical darkening too. Continuous consumption of very hot beverages can also cause heartburn.
Who should avoid drinking hot drinks?
People with ulcers should avoid hot beverages which can cause thermal injury to cells. Drinking hot beverages regularly can also damage the lining of your stomach. Drinking very hot tea or coffee dilutes gastric juices and hinders our digestion.
People should avoid drinking hot beverages with meals as they disrupt the absorption of minerals and vitamins. It can also hinder the absorption of iron in the body.
How hot is too hot for beverages?
Any beverage that is warmer than 60 degrees celsius classifies as too hot. When your drinks are too hot, you end up damaging the cells by burning them and causing inflammation. How frequently and the quantity of hot drinks one determines if the situation is concerning or not. When you consume hot beverages and food also matters. For instance, it is important for people to eat warm food in general. Also, it is essential to drink warm drinks and eat warm food during winter to maintain the heat in the body.
So, make sure you are not drinking very hot beverages as they can lead to some severe consequences. It is best to drink beverages and food at normal temperatures to avoid complications.