Cold Water vs. Warm Water: Benefits and Risks

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Keeping hydrated is essential for our overall health and well-being. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't drink fluids, and this can have a negative effect on both the body and the brain.

There are a lot of benefits to drinking water. A few are obvious and commonly known, such as boosting the immune system, flushing out toxins, improving your complexion, and promoting weight loss. Other benefits are often overlooked, such as helping to prevent headaches, cramps, and sprains.

There's been a debate raging for years over what the right temperature for optimal hydration is, and in this article, we're going to take a look at which is the best option: cold water or warm water.

Cold Water

Nothing feels quite as good as quenching your thirst with a glass of cool water, and in this section, we're going to explore the benefits of drinking cold water in various situations.

Benefits of Drinking Cold Water

One of the main advantages of drinking cold water is that it helps to lower your core body temperature. This is extremely helpful for cooling down the body in the following situations:

  • When you're exercising: Water makes for a great post-workout drink.

  • When it's extremely hot outside: Water helps to effectively combat heat stroke during hot summer months.

  • When you're running a fever: Keeping hydrated and lowering the body temperature helps you get rid of foreign invaders in the body when you're running a fever.

  • When you're trying to lose weight: Water has been proven to boost metabolism. It helps to burn an extra 70 calories each day (which is about as much as you would burn if you walked for 15 minutes).

Cons of Drinking Cold Water

Cold water has an adverse effect on digestion. It contracts, shrinks, and slows which means that when you drink cold water, your body has to get more energy from your body in order to warm up the cool foods and liquids. This makes the digestive process take much longer than when you drink warm liquids and could lead to indigestion, constipation, and various other digestive issues.

The Best Time to Drink Cold Water

According to experts, there are many benefits of drinking cold water and the best time to drink cold water is when you're trying to bring your body's core temperature down, such as when you're exercising, when temperatures are high outside, or when you're running a fever.

Warm Water

Hydration, in any form, is always good for your health. But when it comes to drinking warm water, experts seem to agree that it offers a lot more benefits than drinking cold water. We've listed some of the pros and cons below:

Benefits of Drinking Warm Water

  • Significantly improves digestion: According to Chinese medicine and Ayurveda practices, drinking a glass of warm water first thing in the morning activates your digestive system, stimulates the flow of blood to your intestines and helps to prevent indigestion and constipation.

  • Detoxifies your body: Warm water helps to rid your body of harmful toxins, and also works to prevent skin issues like acne.

  • Combats pain: Drinking warm water has been shown to help combat certain types of pain, such as menstrual cramps, headaches, joint pains, and even muscle sprains by increasing the flow of blood to tissues.

Cons of Drinking Warm Water

Although drinking warm water is great for digestion, detox, and pain relief, it does come with one major drawback - the taste. For most people, the thought of consuming warm water makes their stomach churn.

However, there are ways of making warm water more palatable such as adding herbs or citrus to flavor the water and improve the taste.

The Best Time to Drink Warm Water

One of the best times to drink warm water is when you get up in the morning. This helps to kick-start your metabolism, so it functions at optimal levels throughout the day. It's also a good idea to drink warm liquids with your meals as this helps to keep everything fluid and protects your internal organs. Warm water also works to increase blood flow and boost overall circulation.

As you've seen, there are benefits and drawbacks to drinking both cold and warm water. For the most part, your body will guide you to the best option for your hydration needs at the time. Just keep in mind that the important thing is to stay hydrated at all times, regardless of the temperature of the water you drink.

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Natalie Nguyen