Many mountain hikers recommend drinking hot fluids, because they provide a lot of energy. According to the discussion "Does eating snow help dehydration?", the actual calorie gain is minimal, however there are calories available practically immediately.

However, how hot can water/fluid be to be able to safely drink it (how many degrees)? Too hot water would burn your lips, but if the water is not hot enough to burn the lips, is it safe to swallow? Does the large amount of hot fluid in the stomach pose any threat to the body, or I can assume that anything I can swallow without getting burned is safe for me?

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    I find this a strange question. Pragmatically speaking don't you already have experience with this? People regularly drink hot tea, coffee, chocolate, etc. that is as hot as comfortable without ill effect. When you say "burn" do you mean more than uncomfortably hot? – Mr.Wizard Aug 11 '13 at 10:06
  • @Mr.Wizard I've made a misswording, I'm asking about temperature in degrees, 'hot' is a vague term. For someone hot is 40 degrees, for someone else 60... – Danubian Sailor Aug 11 '13 at 16:24
  • @DanubianSailor I think there you answered your own question, the "hotness" of the drink will be based on your experiences with hot drinks. So to try and get a fixed temperature would not work. – AquaAlex Jan 26 '16 at 10:51
  • (It is similar to asking what temperature is a hot shower.) – AquaAlex Jan 26 '16 at 10:52

I think the answer is highly personal, as an avid coffee-drinker, hot is for me what scalding might be for someone else. But if I am to give some kind of benchmark, I would say 45°C is a pretty good temperature to aim for.

Not as hot as to scald your mouth, but hot enough to give you some warmth if drank in sufficient quantities. But if you want to carry "optimal"-heating potential, I suggest you try to keep your water boiling hot, and mix it with colder water when drinking. Since you don't have to carry around 4 litres of lukewarm water.

Hopefully this will shed some light on your question.

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