Well, here we are again, with the longest day of the year just a few days behind us, and the Fourth of July just spittin’ distance away… We’re in Full Swing Texas Summer. Yee Haw! And like every year, Power Vac America is particularly interested in providing you with ways to protect yourself from that hot Texas heat. Why? It’s simple! We are in the business of staying cool!

Today, I’d like to revisit a couple of hot weather tips that a very wise member of the Power Vac family introduced to us many moons ago regarding the cold truth of whether the stalwart summer staples: ice cream and beer, really do help us chill-out.  Read on to find out! And remember, it’s better to be in the know, than experience an over-heated oh, no!

Well, here we are again, with the longest day of the year just a few days behind us, and the Fourth of July just spittin’ distance away… We’re in Full Swing Texas Summer. Yee Haw! And like every year, Power Vac America is particularly interested in providing you with ways to protect yourself from that hot Texas heat. Why? It’s simple! We are in the business of staying cool!

Today, I’d like to revisit a couple of hot weather tips that a very wise member of the Power Vac family introduced to us many moons ago regarding the cold truth of whether the stalwart summer staples: ice cream and beer, really do help us chill-out.  Read on to find out! And remember, it’s better to be in the know, than experience an over-heated oh, no!

Squirrel tries to cool down with some ice cream.

Squirrel tries to cool down with some ice cream.
©David Harley/Rex Features
Photo source: huanqui.com

Ice Cream

 

Even though ice cream doesn’t really have to have a cooling effect for you to enjoy it, I guess it would be nice to know there is some benefit besides taste. “Anything ingested that is lower than actual body temperature will initially produce a cooling effect systemically,” says Gerard E. Mullin, M.D., M.H.S., the director of gastroenterology at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

But don’t reach for your ice cream scoop just yet. About 15 to 20 minutes after you eat it, ice cream has the opposite effect. “This is because the parts of the body that are in contact with the ice cream are physically cooled by the contact as heat is transferred to the ice cream. However, as the digestive process kicks in, body temperature increases as the body works to digest and absorb the nutrients in the ice cream, as well as to store the calories,” says Josephine Connolly-Schoonen, Ph.D., R.D., a professor of family medicine at Stony Brook University Medical Center. “The body will physiologically respond to energy (i.e., heat) loss by increasing blood flow to the ‘cool’ region and bring the temperature back up to a physiological ‘body temperature,’” (98.6 degrees), adds Barry G. Swanson, a professor and co-chair of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Washington State University. So, eating cold foods does not really change your overall body temperature.

Ice-Cold Beer

chill beer dog

Chili dog trying to catch a break.
Photo source: https://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/21038s/my_dog_loves_summertime/

Hmm…Despite the ice-cold container, beer may not be the best choice to keep you cool. Alcohol creates dehydration. “It does this by inhibiting the release of the hormone vasopressin. Vasopressin (also known as anti-diuretic hormone) is responsible for the re-absorption of water from the kidney tubules. Inhibition of the release of this hormone results in less water ‘re-absorption’ from the kidneys and hence more urine production, leading to dehydration,” says Stephen J. Pintauro, a food scientist at the University of Vermont. “Additionally, alcohol requires energy to metabolize, and during the metabolism of alcohol, water is used,” says Swanson. Which further adds to the issues of dehydration. And how does dehydration heat you up?

“Body temperature is affected by how well you hydrate your body, how much water you have in your muscles, blood and cells,” says Lona Sandon, M.Ed., R.D., a professor of nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Body fluids also serve other purposes. “The first purpose is to fill small blood vessels near the skin so blood can pass by the skin and lose heat to the environment. The second purpose is to generate sweat that wicks heat away as the sweat evaporates off the skin,” says Schoonen. Therefore, if you do not drink enough fluid, and/or you’re dehydrated, your body water levels will be low, and your body has a harder time staying at normal temperature. “Drinking plenty of fluids will help keep you cool,” adds Sandon.

Now I’m not saying you need to put down the cone or the koozie. While these tasty treats might not actually make you cooler they do make summer more enjoyable. From now on if you want to enjoy your ice cream and stay cool at the same time you should eat inside in an air conditioned room where you are guaranteed to escape from the hot summer sun

Stay cool and safe this summer!

And just in case you’re feeling sad after watching the hot-weather-armor melt away from those sweet summer comforts, here are a few laughs to help lighten the mood.

6 Signs of a Texas Summer:

  • You discover that you can get a sunburn through your car window.
  • Hot water comes out of both taps.
  • You learn that a seat belt makes a pretty good branding iron.
  • You discover that in July, it takes only 2 fingers to drive your car.
  • You break a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 a.m. before work.
  • The local news reporter actually fries an egg on the sidewalk.

And from our friends at Texas Monthly, here are a few linguistic gems to help you find just the right way to describe that 117 degree heat index:

  • Hot as Hades.
  • Hot as the hinges of hell.
  • Hot as a depot stove.
  • Hot as a two-dollar pistol.
  • Hot as a two-dollar whore on the Fourth of July.
  • Hot as a billy-goat in a pepper patch.
  • Hot as a summer revival.
  • Hot as a pot of neck bones.
  • Hotter than whoopee in woolens.
  • Hotter than a honeymoon hotel.
  • Hotter than a preacher’s knee.
  • Hotter than a burning stump.
  • Hotter than blue blazes.
  • Hotter than a fur coat in Marfa.
  • So hot the hens are laying hard-boiled eggs.

For more Texas-ism synonyms, click here.

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