Here’s The Proper Temperature You Should Be Drinking Your Water At
When you’re thirsty, what is your beverage of choice? Do you go for a soda? While those are delicious, the excess sugar content is terrible for you. Even if you stick to the diet varieties, the artificial sweeteners are doing nothing to enhance your health. And if you’re interested in your health, you might stick to fruit juices and smoothies. However, even those can be loaded with way more sugar than is necessary, causing you more nutritional woes. If you want to stay hydrated and healthy, H2O is the way to go.
We all know that drinking water is important. Our bodies are 60 percent water, so replenishing it with that life-giving liquid is essential. However, when you do gulp down a glass of water, what’s the best way to do it? And we don’t mean with or without a straw (although those plastic straws wind up in the ocean, which is unhealthy for water in an entirely different way). We mean what temperature do you drink your water at, because there is apparently recommendations for that by experts…
Is there anything more refreshing than a nice tall glass of ice cold water on a blistering hot summer day?
It quenches your thirst, keeps you hydrated and that cooling sensation is super good for you, isn’t it?
Well, because we apparently can’t have nice things, it turns out that isn’t the case. Researchers have a way of finding out things we should know but don’t want to know, and now their gaze has turned to cold water and why it’s not the best for us.
Cold Water Risks
A small study from 1978 involving 15 people found that drinking cold water had some adverse effects on your body.
For one, it made nasal mucous thicker and more difficult to pass through the respiratory tract.
So if you have a cold, staying away from cold water is the proper course of action. And if you have nasal issues to begin with, then ice cold water can make it much worse and give you breathing difficulties.
If you have a headache, you may be dehydrated and should drink some cold water. That’s what we’ve been told, but is that right?
Nope, it’s very wrong. If you have certain health conditions, drinking cold water can make them much worse. One of these conditions is migraines.
Drinking cold water was linked in 2001 to triggering migraines in people that already experience them. So if this is a reoccurring issue, then try taking cold water out of the equation and look for improvement.
Migraines are not the only condition that can be exacerbated by regularly drinking cold water, so you may want to rethink serving it with meals.
The pain related to achalasia, a condition that limits your body’s ability to pass food through your esophagus is another.
Achalasia can also get worse when you drink cold water with a meal. Again, try switching to less ice cold water and see if you feel any better. You may want to remove ice water from all meals…
Cold Water In Other Cultures
Several cultures don’t serve cold water with their meals for very specific purposes, and we may be able to learn from their example.
In ancient Chinese medicine, drinking cold water with hot food is seen as creating an imbalance, so it’s often avoided in meals.
Typically, meals in the Chinese culture are served with warm water or hot tea instead. They aren’t the only ones that do this, either. This belief is actually mirrored in several other cultures around the world.
Okay, so we shouldn’t drink cold water with meals or if we have certain health conditions.
But what about on hot days? Please don’t tell us that’s a bad idea. At the very least it can help us cool down, right?
Wrong again, unfortunately. But luckily, you’re only wrong because you’re not necessarily correct. There isn’t enough research one way or the other on this issue, so feel free to enjoy some cold water in that instance. And it’s not all bad. There are benefits to the frosty version of this beverage as well…
Benefits Of Cold Water
Drinking cold water during exercise can help keep your body from overheating and make your workout session more successful.
Drinking cold water makes it easier for your body to maintain a lower core temperature, so if you’re doing a heavy workout, this can be good for your health and safety.
And drinking water, no matter the temperature, has been proven to give your body more energy throughout the day, so don’t get too shy to hydrate.
Cold water may also help slightly when it comes to losing weight. First of all, it’s way healthier than sugary drinks.
Secondly, water in general is good for your digestion and maintaining a healthy weight, and drinking cold water may actually help you burn a couple of extra calories.
It’s because as you digest your body has to work harder to maintain its core temperature. But don’t get too excited. It’s more of an aid than a solution, because it’s not likely a powerful tool for weight loss on its own.
Okay, so now that we’ve seen the few pros and many cons of drinking cold water, what’s the alternative?
Obviously warmer water seems to be the way to go, but just how warm, and what are the benefits of it?
Drinking warm water has tons of benefits to it. For starters, it can aid in digestion, help your circulation and overall assist your body in getting rid of toxins faster. So maybe you should think again before adding those ice cubes.
Another positive of drinking warmer water is that it has actually been found to make you less thirsty.
So on warm days if you find that no amount of cold water will suffice, then drink water that’s less frigid and it will help immensely.
It’s also great for your safety, because on these hot days where you’re dripping sweat, it means you’re losing water, and this will aid in keeping you hydrated. However, drink more often, because you might not get thirsty as often as you should when drinking warmer water.
Relieves Nasal Congestion
Remember earlier when we mentioned that cold water can make your colds much worse? Well, the opposite is true.
The warmth of hot water creates steam, and inhaling this vapor while holding a cup of hot water can help loosen clogged sinuses and even relieve a sinus headache.
Furthermore, you have mucous membranes throughout your neck and upper torso, so drinking hot water can actually help warm that area and soothe a sore throat caused by mucous buildup.
Calms Central Nervous System
Think we’re done listing the benefits of drinking hot water? Not even close! It can also calm your central nervous system and lubricate your entire body.
This is especially helpful and important because it helps keep your nervous system primed for healthy and controlled reactions.
When your nervous system is in this state you feel fewer aches and pains, as well as less panicked throughout your day. And by calming the central nervous system, is can also help those with arthritis.
Helps Relieve Constipation
Hot water won’t just aid in digestion, but it can also save you when you’re suffering from digestive issues.
Constipation is awful and embarrassing, and hot water is here to rescue you from it because drinking hot water helps your intestines to contract.
When that happens, old waste trapped in your intestines is able to pass out of your body. So drink some when you need it, or better yet, drink it regularly to stay more regular all the time.
Do you find yourself full of anxiety over the stresses in your life? It seems too good to be true, but hot water can help.
You might wind up feeling less anxious if you drink it because as we mentioned earlier, it helps improve central nervous system functions.
Better yet, drink some warm milk. We’ve heard our grandparents recommend that when we need soothing, and according to one study, it does work (even better than warm water!).
So cold water, warm water and hot water all have their benefits (some way more than others).
So what should we do? Honestly, make it your own. If you like cold water, have it with exercise and try switching to warm water with meals and hot water at other times.
The variety will help keep you hydrated, which is the most important part. As sports dietitian Marie Spano, MS, RD puts it, “Drink whatever temperature you like. It doesn’t matter that much unless it encourages you to drink more.”