Hot Drinks for Cold Days

Curl Up and Relax with Seasonal Beverages
a young woman holding a steaming mug with winter gloves

The weather may be keeping you indoors, so curl up and relax by enjoying traditional refreshments like tea, cocoa, chai, coffee, or cider. These cold-weather favorites are a tasty way to get some additional health benefits, too. Start sipping!

Warming Beverages

  • Apple Cider

    Tastes similar to apple juice, but with a more tart, robust, and concentrated flavor. Add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and heat for a true autumn treat.

    Benefits

    • retains many of the benefits of whole, fresh apples—including antioxidants
    • may protect arteries from harmful buildups of plaque
    • daily consumption can reduce heart disease risk
  • Chai Tea

    This Indian favorite is spicy, creamy, and sweet. Made from black tea, heated milk, and a combination of spices that can include cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger, and nutmeg.

    Benefits

    • black tea is linked to heart and bone health
    • black tea may reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol
    • black tea can help the body recover from stress
  • Cocoa

    Also known as hot chocolate, this childhood favorite is rich, sweet, and chocolaty. Typically made with milk. For a dairy-free version, use water.

    Benefits

    • cocoa consumption is associated with reduced cognitive decline in old age
    • cocoa possesses disease-fighting properties
    • cocoa may reduce risk of heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure
  • Coffee

    This popular morning pick-me-up can range from mild to bitter in taste. Some enjoy it black; others add cream, milk, or sweetener. Flavored coffees are a tasty option.

    Benefits

    • contains antioxidants and minerals that have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, making it helpful against diabetes
    • may help relieve a headache and enhance mood
    • a compound found in coffee may help fight tooth decay
    • drinking anywhere from a half cup of brewed coffee (regular or decaf) to three cups daily is associated with a 21% reduced risk of stroke compared to drinking no coffee
  • Green Tea

    Bright and refreshing in flavor. Depending on variety, can range from mild to acidic and astringent.

    Benefits

    • contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a powerful antioxidant shown to have antiviral effects that can protect against flu and upper respiratory tract infections
    • reduces heart disease risk and lowers cholesterol
    • helps control blood sugar
    • may aid in weight loss (drinking several cups daily)
    • contains polyphenols, which may protect the brain against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
Click to See Our Sources

“Cocoa flavanol consumption improves cognitive function, blood pressure control, and metabolic profile in elderly subjects . . .” by D. Mastroiacovo et al., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 3/15

"Effect of cocoa on blood pressure," Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews, 4/17

"Light to moderate coffee consumption is associated with lower risk of death . . ." by J. Simon et al., European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 1/20/22

"Mechanisms of body weight reduction and metabolic syndrome alleviation by tea" by C.S. Yang et al., Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 1/16

"Preventive effects of tea and tea catechins against influenza and acute upper respiratory tract infections . . ." by M. Umeda et al., European Journal of Nutrition, 2021

Contributor

Lisa Fabian

Contributing Editor

Taste For Life features articles and recipes by some of the best writers in all-natural wellness and nutrition. For more information, contact us.