NEW ORLEANS -- On a sweltering day like today, you probably have your go-to ways of cooling off, but we found a study that went against conventional wisdom and that baffled us.
A Canadian study states that in the heat, if you drink hot drinks, your body will sweat more and that will cool your body temperature and cool you down. And then we started thinking what about hot, spicy local food.
Well, it all sounded counter intuitive to common sense, so we decided to verify.
On a sweltering, hot day you wouldn't think people would turn to sweltering, hot food, but in Chalmette, it was packed at Today's Ketch Seafood.
"It's so good, I pass up like 100 places to get here, all on the ferry, all in the traffic, just to get here to get this seafood," said Marguerite Johnson, a patron from Avondale.
The owner even says he knows someone who loves hot coffee on a hot day.
"He says because it makes him sweat and when he sweats he's cooler with his clothes and feels cooler," said Jeff Pohlmann, who owns the restaurant with his wife.
Dr. Jim Diaz of the LSU School of Public Health, who is Program Director of Environmental / Occupational Health Sciences, says that the good Louisiana food is going to make you sweat more for two separate reasons.
First, the hot temperature of the food will warm up your stomach and core and blood, causing the brain to tell your body to sweat to cool down. And second, the hot peppers in the boil mix will work on heat receptors in the skin to trigger even more sweating. So hot, spicy food is a double sweat whammy.
But will the extra sweating cool you off? Well, we can verify that here in southeast Louisiana, this is false. Why? Because the humidity is so high, the sweat can't evaporate like it's supposed to in order to cool you down. It just drips off.
Meanwhile, at Today's Ketch Seafood, patrons had their own unscientific theories about their own extra sweating.
"Well you just kind of sweatin' all day anyways, so at least you going to enjoy your good food," said Amanda Amie, who made sure to put extra hot sauce on her shrimp.
And heat wave or not, some will not give up the hot, spicy food.
"No. No way at all," said Calvin Wood.
"I don't care. It's so good, you don't worry about that heat when its, when it's good, you not worrying about that heat," said Johnson.
Dr. Diaz says doctors don't ordinarily give hot liquids in the heat. They use cool liquids like water and sports drinks, or cool fruits, and cool popsicles to cool people down and never alcohol because it dehydrates you.