Should You Drink Cold Water?

Water is an essential element for life to exist. Approximately 55% of our body is composed of water. We must continually fill the supply, as it is used constantly in bodily function.

Contamination now-a-days are to its peak and keeping water pure and drinkable is a matter of concern. Choosing the right temperature of the water to drink should also be taken care of.

When the summer heat soars, people usually prefer cold water. Where as experts recommend to drink warm water as it is loaded with polyphenols which reduces free radicals that are harmful for the body as mentioned in medical daily. 

So, which to drink cold or warm water? Different health experts suggests the right time when you should drink cold water and when to drink warm water. If you follow the experts recommendation even cold water can present several health benefits.

When to drink cold water

During exercise

people exercising

According to the research published in International Society of Sports Nutrition, participants who drank cold water while exercising were capable to maintain their body temperature than those who consumed water with room temperature.

While having fever

Particularly, while suffering from fever, you need to keep your body hydrated as the body constantly fights with unfamiliar contaminations during that time. In this situation, drinking cold water can give you a relief.

If your body is dehydrated

According to Columbia University, cold water is absorbed speedily into the body as compared to warm water and it helps your body rehydrate more quickly.

While going for a walk

Drinking cold water and going for a walk helps you minimize more calories.

Why to drink Cold Water

Rehydrate your body

woman drinking water

Drinking cold water assists to rehydrate after you exercise. Re-hydrating your body, it also helps in burning more calories while exercising. Cold water balances your body temperature which escalates while doing physical activities. According to Columbia Health, your stomach absorbs cold water sooner than warm water. A research published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition mentions that cold water participants were capable to hold onto their basic temperature down 50% more than those who drank room temperature water.

Loose Weight

According to a research on Obesity published  in 2008, drinking cold water boosts up metabolism and aid in burning an extra 70 calories a day. Researchers also found that increased amount of water consumption was associated with weight loss amongst women. Researchers also shares that cold water may be a greater choice to lose weight.

To maintain the body temperature

digital thermometer

When you have fever, drinking cold water will help your body cool down and maintain the body temperature. Drinking cold water while suffering from fever aids in keeping your body hydrated. During this period your body works hard to fight with several foreign attackers that can harm you.

Fights with scorching heat

According to Dr Neha Sanwalka, nutritionist and dietician, drinking cold water during hot summer days is beneficial. Our body absorbs cold water faster than hot or warm water. While walking during the boiling heat, drinking a glass of cold water will help you get rid of heat stroke.

Amount to drink

The universal recommendation of water needed for our body is 8 to 9 cups every day.  However, the total amount of water required by a body might differ from person to person. According to the Baylor College of Medicine to be hydrated, you may drink a glass of cold or warm water before or after meal.

Side Effects of Drinking Cold Water

Digestion Problems

Drinking cold water may contract your blood vessels which delays the digestion process. When the food is not digested properly, the essential nutrients may be lost or not absorbed by your body. According to Susan E. Brown, PhD drinking cold water while taking your meal can have opposing effects on the digestive procedure. It calls for extra energy from the body to warm cool fluids and foods which takes more time to digest your food.

Increases your chances of getting a sore throat

man with sore throat

When you drink cold water, it may cause congestion of respiratory mucosa (a shielding layer of the breathing tract). As the respiratory tract get congested, you may also become vulnerable to several other infections including a sore throat.

Requires more energy to digest food

The normal body temperature is 37 degree Celsius and if you drink cold water lower than your body temperature, the body will need to spend energy to maintain the temperature. In doing so, your body will be left without enough nutrition, else, the energy is used to digest food and get nutrition.

Reduces your heart rate

Research has shown that drinking cold water reduces your heart rate. Drinking cold water may also stimulate the vagus nerve (a nerve that controls reflex actions of the body and minimizes lowering of the heart rate).

Unfavorable for your brain

Neurologists have conducted a research involving 5,000 participants for five years and discovered that cold water is not god for some parts of the brain. They have actually found that drinking cold water suddenly increases blood flow to a main vein in the brain causing headache.

According to Beth Kitchin, Ph.D., R.D., at The University of Alabama at Birmingham, if you add ice cubes to your drinking water to lose more weight, your labors may essentially be ineffective. Kitchin also shares that while you can burn additional calories by drinking cold water as an alternative to warm, the difference is very negligible to notice.

When to drink warm water

After meal

after meal plate

A glass of warm water after meal aids in proper digestion, according to Stella Metsovas - media health expert and clinical nutritionist in Food and Nutrition Sciences.

To cleanse and cure constipation

To gain cleansing benefits, you need to drink warm water. Actually it helps to wipe out pollutants from your body, according to Dr. Mark Hyman, MD.

 The major reason for constipation is dehydration. Therefore, you need to drink liquids. Especially, warm water helps to increase blood flow and has a more calming effect for the bowels than cold water.

During menstrual cramps

woman having menstrual cramp

Drinking warm water during menstrual cramps gives a relief from the pain. Warm water increases blood flow and may help cramped muscles to calm down.

If you have throat congestion

 Warm water is best remedy to cure nasal as well as throat congestion. It works as a natural treatment by aiding in the removal of phlegm (substance discharged by the mucous membranes) from the respiratory tract.

Which is better - warm water or cold water?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) doctors have been suggesting not to drink cold water as it can have effect of contracting and slowing down the body function. For them, warm water assists in keeping everything in the state of fluid, look after the internal organs and maintain healthy blood circulation. Yet, these are the conventional practices when people were not concerned about their body weight but rather to preserve energy.  

People in todays world are more concerned about their health. They are conscious about everything they take in. Knowing the benefits and side effects of anything they are about to use, has been set as a trend. Similar trend is applied here, showing you the benefits and side effects of using cold water. So that you can identify yourself whether or not to drink cold water.

So, choice is all yours, in the chilling cold days you might want to drink warm water but during the scorching hot days you might love to drink cold.