As mercury keeps on rising, you can’t help but feel the constant need to chug down on some ice-cold water. It helps you quench your thirst, relaxes your body from exhaustion and cools down your body in this scorching heat. Or so I believed. Did you know, that drinking cold water is, in fact, a bad habit and it takes a toll on your body and digestive tract, in the long run?
Drinking water and staying hydrated is absolutely necessary for your body. As per many medical researchers, consuming 3-4 liters of water is highly recommended. However, during summers, we tend to drink cold water to quench our thirst. This is considered an unhealthy habit and should be avoided. Most of us are unaware that such a habit does more bad than good for your body, in the long run.
Here are a few noteworthy reasons that would motivate you to switch from cold water to normal or warm water.
Cold Water Upsets Digestion
Drinking cold water restricts your digestion as it contracts your blood vessels and your stomach as well. It becomes too tight to perform efficiently and thus restricting proper digestion. The normal core temperature of your body is 37 degrees C. When you consume cold water or even cold beverages, which are of low temperature, your body diverts its focus to regulate the temperature of the body by spending extra energy, which it otherwise would have used in the process of digestion and also absorbing nutrients while doing so. This is one of the major implication of drinking cold water. Thus, the experts advise on having water at room temperature.
Hinders Fats Breakdown
Since a few years, I have been told that drinking cold water help in weight loss. As the body needs to use energy to regulate the chilled water and bring it back to normal temperature, it was said, that this use of extra energy helped in weight loss. However, it is just a myth. Instead of losing weight, drinking cold water actually hinders the breakdown process of the fats. When you drink cold water after a meal, the cool temperature hardens and solidifies the fats in the food you just consumed, thus making it difficult for your body to process and break up those unwanted fats. Also, one should ensure that they do not immediately drink water during or after the meal. It is advised that one should wait at least 30 minutes after a meal to attain maximum benefits.
As mentioned before, drinking cold water solidifies and hardens the food as it passes by in the body. And your stomach and intestines also contract which causes constipation. So drink regular water to aid the digestion process, so you don’t have to face any such difficulty when you really want to “go”.
Could Reduce Heart Rate
According to some studies, drinking cold water slows down the heart rate. The tenth cranial nerve that is the vagus nerve, runs down the back of your neck. When you ingest cold water, it stimulates this vagus nerve which plays an essential part in the body’s autonomous nervous system. When you drink cold water, this stimulation slows down your heart rate as a measure until the balance has been restored.
Remember how your elders warned you against drinking cold water, mainly because it would often lead to a sore throat or a stuffy nose. Draining cold water creates the same effect on your body as a cold winter day. The body reacts to the cold air or liquid by building up extra mucus, which is the protective layer for your respiratory tract. This layer helps when you are outside on a cold winter day. However, when you drink cold water, this extra mucus is actually not needed by your body. This extra mucus causes congestion in your respiratory tract thus resulting in a runny nose and sore throat. This is the reason a patient with a cold or a cough is usually given warm water and hot chicken soup, as it humidifies and dilutes the mucus.
The Body Shock
People should refrain from drinking ice cold water after a workout. When you exercise, the core temperature of your body rises immensely. This is why many Gym experts suggest that you should drink warm water to quench your thirst after a workout. The heat generated while working out is immediately cooled due to the intake of cold water. And this imbalance affects your digestive tract in the long run. You might have heard many complaints about stomach pain after drinking cold water post-workout. This is because of the fact that sudden cooling gives a shock to the body. It’s also worth mentioning that your body is unable to process or absorb ice-chilled water. Therefore it’s of no use.
However, if you are a marathon runner or a bodybuilder, it is often recommended to drink a little bit of cold water during the exercise/running. Few sips only at a time. This is so that you do not get exhausted with all the heat that is generating in your body during the workout. This helps control the temperature of the body so that you can exercise for a long time. Please remember, I said, during and not after exercise.
Drinking cold water may cause headaches. You might be familiar with the term “Brain Freeze”. That usually occurs when you ingest icy beverages or ice cream. Similar is the case with ice-cold water. When ingested, it may stimulate a lot of nerves down your spine, which further relays a message to the brain to react, which further causes headaches.
These reasons do not imply that you cut down on your water intake. It is most essential for a living being to keep themselves hydrated. A human body requires an ample amount of water to function normally. However, we strongly recommend that you switch to warm or room temperature water.
Here are some benefits of drinking warm water:
- Warm water helps break down your food much more efficiently, thus aiding in efficient and proper digestion. The body will be able to absorb nutrients from the food more effectively.
- Drinking warm water helps in the detoxification process of the body.
- Warm water makes your blood cleaner whilst purifying it as well.
- Sipping on warm water will keep you get hydrated quickly and that too for longer periods.
- A person who consumes warm water as a habit, experiences regular and complete bowel movements, as it breaks down the food easily.
- Few studies have shown that consuming warm water, reduces your body’s sugar cravings thus helping you maintain a healthy weight.
Ayurveda and studies from many publications have confirmed all these wonders of drinking warm water. So, I hope you will stop drinking ice cold water and switch to regular or warm water. Ever since I started drinking warm water, my body has been thanking me. I can exercise better, lose weight faster and morning bathroom chores are blissful. I do add a few drops of lemon in the warm water as well. Lemon helps too, but that is a different story. Remember to drink plenty of water.
If this helps you then do not forget to share your feedback and your results. Share the benefits of this amazing liquid gold with your friends and family. They will be very thankful.