5 Reasons You May Want To Stay Away From Drinking Cold Water

With soaring temperatures taking a toll on your body and the heat sucking up all your energy, reaching out for a tall glass of ice-cold water seems like the perfect way to beat the dreaded summers. From office-goers to school children, come summer and everyone around seems to fall into a mechanical ritual of sorts: open the fridge, grab that bottle of chilled water and chug.

The more chilled the water, the worse the health hazards. (GIF Courtesy: Giphy)

Also Read: A Kitchen to Survive Summer: Here are the Cooling Foods You Need

It may seem like the natural thing to do in the heat, but do you know that drinking chilled water may adversely affect your health?

Also Read: The Deadly Summers Have Arrived – Here’s How You Can Beat the Heat

Here are five ways cold water can damage your system, and what you can do to stay hydrated instead:

1. It May Not Go Down Too Well

Cold water is devoid of many essential minerals and could become “very unfavorable to the digestive tract,” says a 2015 study, published in the European Journal of Pharmaceutical and Medical Research. According to the study, drinking cold water can restrict digestion.

When you drink cold water, the body expands energy to regulate your temperature, instead of working to digest the food. 

In his book, The Complete Book Of Ayurvedic Home Remedies, Dr Vasant D Lad warns against drinking cold water:

Ice and iced drinks, inhibit digestion and create toxins (ama) in the body; it is best never to drink them.

What To Do Instead

Switch to warm water. Why? Because it reportedly helps flush out toxins and facilitates better breakdown of food, thereby enhancing digestion.

2. Cold Water = Extra Kilos?

Refrain from gulping down large quantities of cold water in between, or after a meal, the study warns.

Drinking cold water during or after a meal can actually harden the oil in consumed foods and therefore create a fat deposit in the intestine.

Cold water leads to a solidification of fat, which the body then struggles to break down and digest, the study claims. This leads to fat accumulation, which can make you pile on some extra kilos.

What To Do Instead

Gym trainers suggest drinking a warm glass of water after the workout instead, to replenish the essential fluids that have been lost in the form of perspiration. The authors of the EJPMR study say:

Warm water may continue the calorie burning process triggered by your intensive workout long after you stop exercising.  

3. Mom Was Right, Chilled Water May Trigger Sore Throat

Cold water has been linked to throat irritation. (GIF Courtesy: Giphy)

According to the EJPMR study: “Drinking cold water after a meal creates excess mucus in your body. This makes you more susceptible to catching a cold.

Now you know why your parents always warned you against drinking chilled water.

What To Do Instead

Give your respiratory tract some much-needed respite and switch to room temperature or warm water. According to the study:

Drinking hot water is an excellent natural remedy for colds, coughs and a sore throat. It dissolves phlegm and also helps to remove it from your respiratory tract. As such, it can provide relief from a sore throat.

4. It May Cause Dehydration

Did you know cold water has been linked to dehydration? (Photo: iStock)

Nothing quenches thirst quite like chilled water. But did you know cold water may cause dehydration?

The study says that drinking cold water leads to shrinking of blood vessels, hindering hydration.

This is why Ayurveda advises against drinking cold water. In his book, Dr Vasant advises that we do away with the unhealthy habit of drinking “chilled water during a meal, or indeed at any time.”

What To Do Instead

Warm water prevents dehydration and fatigue and is an excellent way to keep your body hydrated, especially in the long summer months. Don’t believe us? Experts say that drinking warm water before bed can actually rehydrate your body by replenishing the liquids lost during the day.

5. Dil Ki Suno: Cold Water Hurts Your Heart, Reduces Immunity

Cold water could decrease your heart rate. (GIF Courtesy: Giphy)

Drinking ice cold water can cause your heart rate to drop. According to the EJPMR study, drinking cold water may also lead to a decrease in the functioning of the immune system. On the other hand, warm water increases metabolism, the authors of the study claim, adding that it can heal our bodies, by “providing digestive power and reducing metabolic waste that could have built up in our immune system”.

But It Tastes So Good

It’s true, nothing tastes better than some cold water after a long day in the sun. But is it really worth it? Studies and experts suggest that we start and end our day with warm water. While it may not appeal to the tastebuds as much as chilled water, from aiding digestion to improving immunity, to boosting circulation, the benefits of warm water appear to outnumber that of cold water. Bonus: warm water reportedly helps you fight premature ageing too. So go ahead and hydrate; just make sure you’ve got the temperature just right.

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