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Hot Water Or Cold Water: Which Is Healthier?

Drinking water is essential for every form of life. Water constitutes to nearly 70% of our body's buildup and is responsible for the proper functioning of all the organs. Besides, increasing blood circulation, water also helps in carrying essential nutrients derived from the food, to various organs through tissues [1] .

But with the rising temperature, this summer, many of us are confused regarding which is better for our health - warm water or cold water. A majority of people believe that warm water is beneficial for our health. But hardly anyone can tell the real reason behind it.

According to some nutritionists, it is seen that warm water is beneficial in easing the digestion process, while cold water heals our body from dealing with a heat stroke. Well, instead of confusing you all anymore, we shall see what experts have to say on this. We will also tell you the right time for drinking hot and cold water. Consequently, the nutrients in warm water do not show any significant difference from the nutrients in cold water. Water is a zero-calorie healthy drink that is essential for various body functions [2] [3] .

Before going to any conclusion, as to which water is best suited for your health, it is essential to understand the health benefits of warm and cold water.

Health Benefits Of Warm Water

1. Relieves pain

Drinking warm water has the ability to reduce the swelling in the throat and also helps in providing temporary relief. It works wonders for an irritated and dry throat. It is particularly useful in the morning when you wake up with a dry throat and the pain that it causes as you swallow anything [4] .

2. Improves circulation

Drinking warm water improves the blood flow in the circulatory system. It has been proven in several studies that when the body is exposed to a high temperature, the blood cell flow raises significantly [5] .

3. Improves bowel movement

Drinking a glass of warm water on an empty stomach is a good way to stimulate the colon to move the bowel easier. Further, it also sets the body for better absorption of food during the day, which can be accorded as being one of the top benefits of drinking hot water [6] .

4. Aids weight loss

Warm water is linked with healthy weight loss. Consuming warm water is known to be the best when it comes to aiding the weight loss process. It promotes a decrease in appetite, weight and body mass index[7] .

5. Improves digestion

Warm water has shown beneficial results in easing the process of digestion. Ancient Chinese medicine and Ayurveda claim that if someone drinks warm water early in the morning, then it can activate your digestive system and prevent the occurrence of indigestion. Besides, warm water also prevents constipation, as it stimulates blood flow to the intestine [8] .

6. Detoxifies your body

Warm water with half a slice of lemon juice is a home remedy for detoxifying your body. Consumption of warm water reduces pitta and treats acne and other skin problems[9] .

7. Relieves nasal congestion

Drinking warm water when you are suffering from nasal congestion can be your best remedy. It functions as a natural expectorant, as it aids in the expulsion of phlegm from your respiratory tract. It also helps fight off colds [10] .

8. Reduces stress

Hot water can help manage your stress and anxiety levels. The warmth of the liquid is asserted to be beneficial in this regard [11] .

Risks Of Drinking Hot Water

  • First and foremost, being burned is one of the most obvious risks pertaining to hot water consumption.
  • Avoid drinking hot water after exercising, as it can contribute towards excessive heating of your body [10] .
  • Drinking too much of hot water can often hinder your concentration skills, as it causes the brain cells to swell.
  • Unnecessary amounts of hot water before sleeping can affect your sleep patterns.
  • It can damage your kidneys[7] .

Health Benefits Of Drinking Cold Water

1. Combats heat stroke

When the scorching sunlight is shining brightly above your head and draining all your energy, it is beneficial to consume cold water to lower the risk of heat stroke [6] .

2. Aids weight loss

Similar to that of hot water, consuming cold water is equally beneficial for losing some weight. Shedding the stubborn belly fat is a major concern for most of us. So, it is important to increase the body metabolism to burn down the fat. Thus, drinking and bathing in cold water can aid the process [12] .

3. Great post-workout drink

When we start performing the strenuous exercise to reduce weight, out body temperature rises from within. Under such circumstances, it is beneficial to drink cold water to lower body heat [12] .

Risks Of Drinking Cold Water

  • Drinking cold water is known to constrict the blood vessels and this will lead to a reduction in hydration [13] .
  • Cold water makes it very difficult for the body to digest the foods because the cold liquids solidify the fats in the bloodstream.
  • It heats up the body as your body expends more energy when you drink cold water in order to heat it up and use it.
  • Cold water is known to form excess mucus in the respiratory system, thereby leading to congestion and the risk of a throat infection [14] .

Hot Water Vs Cold Water

On studying the benefits and risks involved in the consumption of drinking water, it can be gathered that the confusion of drinking warm or cold water is a persistent problem. Both have their benefits; however, according to Ayurveda and ancient Chinese medicine, it is believed that cold water can lead to muscle contraction.

Therefore, many health professionals suggest consuming warm water, as it increases blood circulation and protects the internal organs. However, on hot summer days, a mix of both warm and cold water can soothe your body.

On A Final Note..

Both cold water and hot water has its own benefits and risks. Consuming cold water while having your meal can lead to indigestion, as a lot of energy is spent increasing the body temperature. After working out, avoid consumption of warm water, as the body temperature is already high. It is best to have cold water to lower the body heat. So, it is up to you to select which water is best suited and under which circumstances.

View Article References
  1. [1] Havelaar, A. H., De Hollander, A. E., Teunis, P. F., Evers, E. G., Van Kranen, H. J., Versteegh, J. F., ... & Slob, W. (2000). Balancing the risks and benefits of drinking water disinfection: disability adjusted life-years on the scale. Environmental Health Perspectives, 108(4), 315-321.
  2. [2] Hulton, G., & World Health Organization. (2012). Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage(No. WHO/HSE/WSH/12.01). World Health Organization.
  3. [3] World Health Organization. (2004). Guidelines for drinking-water quality (Vol. 1). World Health Organization.
  4. [4] Popkin, B. M., D'Anci, K. E., & Rosenberg, I. H. (2010). Water, hydration, and health. Nutrition reviews, 68(8), 439-458.
  5. [5] Vaerewijck, M. J., Huys, G., Palomino, J. C., Swings, J., & Portaels, F. (2005). Mycobacteria in drinking water distribution systems: ecology and significance for human health. FEMS microbiology reviews, 29(5), 911-934.
  6. [6] Cayleff, S. (2010). Wash and be healed: The water-cure movement and women's health. Temple University Press.
  7. [7] Dennis, E. A., Dengo, A. L., Comber, D. L., Flack, K. D., Savla, J., Davy, K. P., & Davy, B. M. (2010). Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet intervention in middle‐aged and older adults. Obesity, 18(2), 300-307.
  8. [8] Hadjigeorgiou, I., Dardamani, K., Goulas, C., & Zervas, G. (2000). The effect of water availability on feed intake and digestion in sheep. Small Ruminant Research, 37(1-2), 147-150.
  9. [9] Sanu, A., & Eccles, R. (2008). The effects of a hot drink on nasal airflow and symptoms of common cold and flu. Rhinology, 46(4), 271.
  10. [10] Marai, I. F. M., Habeeb, A. A. M., & Gad, A. E. (2005). Tolerance of imported rabbits grown as meat animals to hot climate and saline drinking water in the subtropical environment of Egypt. Animal Science, 81(1), 115-123.
  11. [11] Lye, D. J. (2002). Health Risks Associated with Consumption of Untreated Water from Household Roof Catchment Systems 1. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 38(5), 1301-1306.
  12. [12] Bryan, F. L. (1988). Risks of practices, procedures and processes that lead to outbreaks of foodborne diseases. Journal of food protection, 51(8), 663-673.
  13. [13] Goodall, S., & Howatson, G. (2008). The effects of multiple cold water immersions on indices of muscle damage. Journal of sports science & medicine, 7(2), 235.
  14. [14] Kukkonen-Harjula, K., & Kauppinen, K. (2006). Health effects and risks of sauna bathing. International journal of circumpolar health, 65(3), 195-205.

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