Iced Teas May Be Better Than Hot

Medically reviewed in February 2020

If you take your tea cool in the summertime, you may be doing your throat a favor.

Research shows that temperature could matter when it comes to the health of your esophagus. Drinking piping hot beverages may increase the risk of esophageal cancer.

Putting the Chill on Cancer
In a study of an Iranian province that has one of the highest rates of esophageal cancer in the world, researchers found that subjects who regularly drank extremely hot tea had a higher risk of the cancer -- much higher than people who drank their tea just warm or lukewarm. 

See You in 4
The theory is that regularly drinking very hot drinks could chronically irritate and inflame the esophagus, making it susceptible to carcinogens. To help reduce your risk, all you may need to do is wait a few minutes for your tea to cool. People in the study who drank their tea less than 2 minutes after it was poured from the piping-hot kettle had a greater risk of esophageal cancer than the people who waited 4 or more minutes (enough to get it below 149 degrees Fahrenheit).

Here's another way to make drinking tea healthier.

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