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Ice Cold Drinking Water & is it Harmful or Harmless?

Modern refrigerators and freezers often come with an ice and cold water dispenser. But is drinking such cold water (and then even adding ice to it) actually good for you? While we all know that it is important to drink plenty of cold water every day but at what temperature should we be drinking it? It’s important to stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water throughout the day. But can the temperature of your water affect your digestive health? On looking into this question, it seems as if there some benefits for drinking cold water and then again, other benefits for drinking warm water.

The benefits of drinking warm water

  • Improves digestion. Ayurveda and ancient Chinese medicine recommends drinking a glass of warm water early in the morning to activate your digestive system, helping to avoid indigestion.
  • Drinking warm water also helps stimulate blood flow to the intestine, preventing constipation.
  • Another benefit is for detoxing with warm water helping to get rid of toxins. Warm water not only reduces pitta in your body but also helps to prevent acne and other skin problems.
  • For extra detoxing benefits, squeeze half a slice of lemon in the water and drink it every day.
  • Warm water can relieve nasal congestion, acting as a natural expectorant by helping to expel unwanted phlegm from the respiratory tract.
  • Drinking warm water can even combat pain by increasing blood flow to the tissues where it acts as a natural aid for the relieve of pain. Examples include helping with frequent joint pain or menstrual cramps.
  • Warm water offers another benefit as it is the perfect medium for steeping herbs, spices and teas - all of which can boost your digestive and gut health.

And now for the benefits of drinking cold water

  • Cold water is good as a post-workout drink because during exercise, your body temperature increases. To lower your body temperature post workout, it is recommended to drink cold water.
  • Cold water helps to combat heat stroke, being quickly absorbed by the body compared to warm or hot water. When you have to spend time in very hot weather or if you experience a heat stroke, drink a glass of cold water.
  • Cold water helps to lose weight. The key principle behind losing weight is to boost your metabolism that in turn burns more calories. Drinking cold water (and even having cold water baths) can help boost your metabolism.

When should you not drink warm water or cold water...

It is advised not to drink cold water while eating food. This is because when you drink cold water immediately after meals or along with a meal, your body spends a lot of energy in increasing its temperature. This slows the digestion process, which may cause indigestion. Research has found that that drinking cold water may trigger migraines in people who already experience this type of headache. Another piece of advice is to avoid drinking warm water after a bout of exercise. As your body temperature is already high post workout, drinking cold water will lower the temperature of your body. When all is said and done, stick to a method that works for you - especially if it makes you drink enough water regularly.