Whether you’re a summertime weekend warrior doing garden work, hiking up a steep mountain path, running a marathon or playing a game of basketball. It is natural to want an ice cold refreshing drink. You’re hot and have pushed yourself. Your heart is pounding from the challenging cardio-vascular exertion.

What happens then when you have an ice tea, cold lemonade, smoothie or beer? The cold drink going down your esophagus chills the esophagus. The chilled esophagus, however, is right next to the arteries of the heart which is expanding and beating fast. The coldness can cause the arteries to contract while they in an expanding mode. This is not healthy for the cardio-vascular system and can lead to heart attack.

Sports and exercise medicine would do well to heed this simple precaution to support cardiac health; choose room temperature or warm drinks during and after hot workouts. If your drink is cold, please hold it in your mouth until it warms up before swallowing and avoid eating the ice.

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has a long history evolving over several thousand years. The Acupuncture and Wellness Clinic of Jonathan Breslow is passionate about sharing this practical lifestyle medicine insight.