Coffee and body temperaturePrint this page
Last updated July 2019
Can drinking a cup of coffee make you warmer? Or help to cool you down? News reports have suggested both, but how does coffee affect body temperature?
While the topic of coffee and body temperature is frequently of media interest, particularly in the warmer months, there is limited scientific research on this subject. One study considered the effect of coffee on both body temperature and alertness by looking at a group of healthy shift workers.
Coffee is often a beverage of choice for shift workers as it can help to encourage alertness, particularly during a night shift. The study that looked at a sample group of shift workers suggested that lower core body temperature is associated with improved sleep1. Prior to sleep, caffeine ingestion was associated with an increased core body temperature1. The authors of this research suggest that a widening of the spectrum of temperature between the skin and core body temperature may be part of the effect that caffeine ingestion has on increasing alertness.
Needless to say, more research is required to better understand how coffee can affect your body temperature, and the effect this has on alertness.
To learn more about coffee and mental performance, read here.
- McHill A.W. et al (2014) Effects of caffeine on skin and core temperatures, alertness, and recovery sleep during circadian misalignment. J Biol Rhythms, 29(2):131-43.
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