It's summer, it's hot, and the heat wave is coming... So, how can we prepare ourselves for the heat wave that our body is undergoing? By drinking! And because drinking 2 liters of water per day may seem boring, here is a list of alternative thirst-quenching drinks to be favored and false friends to be banished from your fridge.

What are the best and worst drinks for heat waves?

If it is true that water is irreplaceable, we often think wrongly that it is the only thirst-quenching drink in case of strong heat. However, there are many beverages that can quench your thirst in summer. On the contrary, some drinks, by their diuretic effect, make us lose water, a dangerous phenomenon that can lead to dehydration, to be avoided at all costs.

Heat wave: why should you drink more than usual when it is hot?

Anticipating the sensation of thirst by drinking regularly during the day is essential to best withstand the heat. Normally, the body needs at least 1.5 to 2 liters of water to reabsorb the volume of liquid and mineral salts lost in sweat. Water-rich foods such as cucumbers, tomatoes, melons and watermelon also help to hydrate the body. However, in hot weather, it is advisable to drink an extra 1/2 liter of water.

Otherwise, your metabolism will be harmed and symptoms of dehydration may appear: headaches, fatigue ...

A word of advice: it is useless to fill your drinks with ice cubes, you risk having stomach cramps and a sore throat a few hours later. But since it is important to vary the pleasures, here is a list of the best and worst drinks to consume to hydrate yourself and fight against the heat.

What refreshing drinks are suitable for hot weather?

Water, the cool drink par excellence

Because we haven't yet found a single drink that can replace it! Water is vital for our body because it regenerates our cells and allows the blood to circulate. But if the idea of drinking only water bores you deeply, don't hesitate to flavor it with a slice of lemon or cucumber, a few mint leaves or chopped fruit. Another tip: opt for coconut water. This drink is very refreshing, low in sugar, and rich in nutrients such as potassium.

Fruit juice, full of vitamins

To fight against heat wave fatigue, there is nothing better than a freshly squeezed fruit juice. Prepare it yourself, it's better to take advantage of all its nutritional qualities. As for fruit blended into smoothies, often with milk, be careful about their composition and the amount of sugar in these drinks.

Cold chocolate milk, for athletes

After an effort, a big glass of cocoa milk would allow you to fill up on proteins, carbohydrates and calcium and to recover well. But this drink is still quite sweet, so it should not be overdone.

Tea and coffee, in reasonable quantities

Although the Ministry of Health recommends avoiding drinks with a high caffeine content (tea, coffee, colas) in hot weather (source 1) because they are diuretic, many studies believe that this is just a preconceived idea. Their diuretic effect which makes us evacuate liquids would be important only from high doses. It is therefore essential not to abuse them, but there is no need to deprive oneself of them in limited quantities, and by avoiding sugar.

Soup, a hydrating and fibre-filled drink

A warm or cold vegetable soup will allow you to easily integrate a large quantity of liquids and fibres. This will rehydrate you, while fighting constipation and bloating. If you buy a ready-made soup, just make sure the amount of salt is not too high or it will have the opposite effect.

What are the worst drinks to avoid during a heat wave?

All alcohol-based drinks

 Whether it's beer, wine, pastis or rosé, no alcohol helps you stay hydrated, on the contrary. Its diuretic effect makes us lose water. If you can't help but drink a little alcohol at the aperitif, always remember to drink water after a few sips of alcohol!

Sodas, false friends filled with sugar

The appearance of cool sodas with little drops of water dripping from the can can be misleading. Sweetened soft drinks are not good thirst-quenchers, nor are they refreshing. On the contrary, the bubbles can give us stomach cramps.

Can a hot drink cool us down when it's hot?

A study conducted by a team from the University of Ottawa has established that hot drinks can help us cool down, but under certain conditions.

Because it's all about perspiration, explains the Popular Science website (source 2). For the study, nine cyclists rode an indoor bike for 75 minutes in front of a running fan. The volunteers drank water that ranged in temperature from freezing to very hot. While the most logical idea would be that a cold liquid would cool our body, the researchers noticed a lack of effectiveness because this type of drink reduces sweating. Drinking hot beverages makes us sweat more and lose more heat. Should we drink boiling tea when it is very hot outside? Probably not, say the experts.

In fact, the heat lost through evaporation of sweat is not really significant. Another mechanism to consider is the thermoreceptors in the abdomen, which are also sensitive to body temperature and influence sweating. The same team from the first study focused their research on this area. In work published in 2014, they explain that cold drinks injected directly into the belly decrease sweating, while hot drinks increase it.

But there are a multitude of receptors placed in different areas of the body, such as behind the neck or on the feet. That's why a cool towel around the neck is a relief after a workout, and getting your feet out of the comforter when you're hot helps lower your body temperature. Drinking a hot or cold drink can slightly modify this temperature, but the real solution to protect yourself from the heat is to avoid direct exposure to the sun and to stay indoors.

3 ideas for cool, thirst-quenching hot weather drink recipes


Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Resting time: 1 hour

Ingredients for 6 people:

  •     1L still water
  •     1L sparkling water
  •     6 yellow lemons
  •     6 tablespoons of honey
  •     Mint
  •     Ice cubes


Melt the honey in 30 cl of hot water. Pour into a pitcher and add the rest of the water, the juice of 4 lemons, 2 sliced lemons and the mint leaves. Let stand for 2 hours in the refrigerator. Serve with ice cubes.

A melonnade

Preparation time : 5 minutes
Resting time: 1 hour

Ingredients for 6 persons :

  •     1.5 L of sparkling water
  •     3 ripe melons
  •     A few sprigs of currants
  •     Mint
  •     Ice cubes


Cut the melon in half and remove the seeds. Take the flesh of the melons and put them in a blender. Add some ice cubes and mint leaves. Blend again. Pour into a pitcher and add sparkling water. Keep at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. Serve chilled with a sprig of redcurrant as a garnish on each glass.

Coconut Watermelon Cocktail

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Resting time: 1 hour

Ingredients for 6 people:

  •     ½ watermelon
  •     40cl of coconut watermelon milk
  •     2 tbsp of agave syrup


Cut the watermelon into slices. Keep one aside and cut the flesh of the rest of the watermelon and remove the seeds. Place in a blender and add coconut milk and agave syrup. Blend. Let stand for 1 hour in the refrigerator. Serve chilled with ice cubes and a watermelon wedge on the rim of each glass. 


Source 1: "Heat wave recommendations," Ministry of Solidarity and Health, 2010.

Source 2: "Does drinking hot liquids on a hot day actually cool you off?", Marissa Shieh, Popular science, 10 August 2017.