Why does warm food and beverage feel more comfortable than just something in room temperature, even though we can burn our palate occasionally with that?

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Why does warm food and beverage feel more comfortable than just something in room temperature, even though we can burn our palate occasionally with that?

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Maybe something genetic since heating would have killed bacteria? Absolute spitball here—we should wait for the Reddit scientists

It may be somewhat learned, as well. I worked with some sushi chefs from Myanmar and they said it was much more common to eat food at room temperature. Cold and hot foods weren’t what they were used to.

Your core body temp is not room temp. Your body has to expend energy to heat your food once you eat it if it’s colder than core body temp.
This effect actually lead to some starvation deaths by US soldiers during the winter of the korean war, according to some reports. This is why most military rations either come with a small single use stove or a plastic bag and heating element that is activated by water.

There are many reasons why:

Warm food and beverage have more palatable texture usually. They are softer and due to the heat, create more aroma. This plays an important role because the sense of taste is highly dependent on smell. The warmer something is, the more it emits the aroma, better the sense of taste.

Warm food and beverage is relaxing to the body. The muscles in your body relax in the warmth. When warm beverage goes down our digestive system, it relaxes those muscles. This is one of the reasons why some people have a bowel movement trigger when they have something warm to drink.

Warm food and beverages were safer to consume and signified security in an evolutionary sense. Warm food kills bacteria and removes impurities. It also meant you were near a fire, which meant security. This is an evolutionary reason we prefer warm food.

Warm food and beverage are easier to digest mostly. This is one of the reasons why cooking is important. It makes the food easier to digest. It’s also less energy consuming to digest warm food. Cold food absorbs body heat and hence body needs more energy to maintain its temperature.

Warm beverage are usually vasodilators. Which is a fancy way of saying, they increase the blood flow. This makes you feel fresh because more the blood flow, more oxygen and nutrients to the cells, more waste is carried away from them. Usually, muscles have waste products that accumulate when they feel fatigued, increased blood flow helps remove those wastes and make the fatigued muscle relax. Another effect is, due to increased blood flow, the blood pressure reduces. This is why you feel your headache reduce when you have a warm tea.