Does the body lose or gain energy when drinking or eating hot things compared to more neutral temperature things?

On the one hand, The body could somehow convert the heat energy into human usable energy, And on the other hand, The body heats up and needs to be cooled down, and this way it loses energy.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Depends on the definition of "energy". Energy in physics does not correspond to colloquial word "energy"... $\endgroup$
    – Memming
    Oct 11, 2013 at 14:28

1 Answer 1


Gains heat; humans are not particularly well-adapted to make use of heat as an energy source. In a simple matter, if something you eat is hot when it goes in then the average temperature of the body has increased. More relevantly (and to get this more on-topic for biology), eating anything will generally increase your body temperature, as in order to digest the food your rate of metabolism will rise. Metabolism produces a lot of heat, and that's what you feel after eating, especially a big meal.

Something like cold water, however, that doesn't require a whole lot of metabolism, will cool you down. In fact, even drinking hot water might cool you down. The paper cited there claims that drinking a hot drink on a hot day will disproportionally increase your sweat response such that you actually cool down.


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