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Why Is Drinking Cold Water Bad For You?

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Drinking cold water, especially in summer, feels heavenly. It helps you cool down in a matter of seconds. But ever thought about how it might be harming your body? You've enough reasons to restrict the use of cold water as it affects your digestive tract in harmful ways.

When eating out, I always ask my server for water with no ice, even in summer. This may seem odd, so let me explain why.

Imagine This…

It is spring and you are standing on a wooden dock that extends into a high mountain lake. While the temperature in the air is fairly warm, the top layer of the lake has only recently melted and you can tell by the color of the crystal clear blue water that it is anything but warm. You close your eyes and dive in.

What does your body do? What does your skin do? Are you relaxed and open, or tight and constricted?

You probably know that warm water opens your pores and makes your skin feel looser, while cold water closes your pores and constricts your skin. So what do you think drinking cold water does to your digestive tract? Drinking ice cold water is bad for you and your health.

What Are The Effects Of Drinking Cold Water?

  • When you drink cold beverages, your blood vessels shrink, your digestion becomes restricted, and hydration is hindered.
  • Instead of working to digest the food and absorb the nutrients to create energy, your body expends energy to regulate your temperature. This can lead to water loss.
  • Drinking cold water after a meal creates excess mucus in your body, which can lead to a decrease in the immune system function, making it easier to catch cold and other illnesses.
  • If you eat food while drinking cold beverages or immediately after, the water temperature solidifies fats from the foods you’ve just eaten, and the body in turn finds it hard to digest the unwanted fats from your body.

Some are of the opinion that drinking ice water is beneficial because it burns more calories. I argue that we do not want to make our digestive system work harder; we should make things easy for the digestive system. There are many other ways to burn calories!

What Are The Benefits Of Warm Water?

Here are some benefits of drinking room temperature/warmer water:

  • This leads to faster and increased hydration.
  • Natural digestive enzymes are stimulated and therefore your digestion is enhanced.
  • Food breaks down more easily.
  • Your bowel movement is better (warm water with lemon in the morning is great for this).
  • This purifies your blood and increases your body’s natural detoxification processes via your skin, kidneys, and lymphatic system.

Once you get into the habit of drinking water at room temperature or warmer, you will notice a dramatic improvement in your digestion and the way your body feels while eating and after the meal. Some have also reported reduction in sugar cravings.

So, the next time you eat out, ask your server to “Hold the Ice!”

Anne Hofweber

As most do, Anne's path to helping others heal began with her own journey back to health: after multiple traumas she had a complete physical and mental breakdown. She was diagnosed with mononucleosis, depression, and P.T.S.D. In her quest for true and total health, she discovered Ayurveda and become so passionate about it that she became a certified Practitioner. She helps women discover their own innate healing power through the diverse therapeutic effects of Ayurveda and yoga, and she recently launched the blog SeniorHealthGuru.com to share her knowledge with a broader audience.

Anne Hofweber

As most do, Anne's path to helping others heal began with her own journey back to health: after multiple traumas she had a complete physical and mental breakdown. She was diagnosed with mononucleosis, depression, and P.T.S.D. In her quest for true and total health, she discovered Ayurveda and become so passionate about it that she became a certified Practitioner. She helps women discover their own innate healing power through the diverse therapeutic effects of Ayurveda and yoga, and she recently launched the blog SeniorHealthGuru.com to share her knowledge with a broader audience.

Post a Comment
537 comments
shajuan1955
shajuan1955 5pts

I have known about the danger of drinking cold water (especially during a meal) for many years; but recently I have started to neglect to follow what I had been doing for years. The result is a bloated stomach after each meal.

PerfectHealth
PerfectHealth 5pts

So the article's writer puts people on the defensive with the words "bad" and "harmful" when in reality, drinking cold water is neither. However, what is more appropriate, is that warmer water, especially right before or at a meal aids in both the digestion of your food and also in ensuring you do not over eat. In the spirit of Ayurveda, when you want your digestive fire to be burning at its optimal, you don't throw cold water on it. More importantly, as it applies to eating (or more appropriately, not over eating) is that cold water will numb your tongue and the taste buds. As a consequence, you may find yourself eating much more than you intended and possibly eating foods you wouldn't otherwise want to taste, but with your sense of taste diminished, you do. Naturally, every person is different, as is their dosha type. Pitta's should remember, that just because you can . . . doesn't mean you should. But again, Ayurveda is about helping you, not telling you what to do, so by all means, have a cold drink if you want it. But as a teacher of Ayurveda, my advice would be to stick to warmer fluids.

YasachandraBansal
YasachandraBansal 5pts

@PerfectHealth But I have heard from my elders and teachers that we should not drink water at all during eating or after eating your meal, be it cold or warm. It slows down digestion as the acids in our stomach that digests the food gets diluted and thus makes it harder for stomach to digest the food.

Alana Hill
Alana Hill 5pts

Don't care I love it! The colder the better \U0001f600

LeeAnnStumpff
LeeAnnStumpff 5pts

This is ridiculous.. "solidifies fat"? that's like saying eating ice cream just turns into hardened fat once it gets to your stomach and then isn't or is difficult to digest.  And "unwanted fat"?  Your body needs fat in your diet to live.  I think many of you underestimate how warm your body is and how well it is at regulating temperatures.  Colder water is actually absorbed faster by your body than warm or room temperature water, which explains why cooler water satiates thirst MUCH better.

Makala Pearson
Makala Pearson 5pts

This is awesome i always do cold. But im going to switch it up from now on...

AndreuMartinezCampita
AndreuMartinezCampita 5pts

100% hoax, our body is is capable of maintaning and regulating our body temperature of 37deg C. You feel its cold, because its below our normal body temp, have you imagine eating and shollowing an ice cubes, do you think in 5 minutes its still ice or still cold inside your stomach? And our digestive system... the digestive enzymes are too acidic enough to digest fats what ever temperature it is. Our skin is different from digestive walls, it does not open or close okey!!!! Skin regulates overall body temp, if you eat hot food, you will sweat. If you eat or drink cold food, the skin closes its pores so that body temp be maintained at 37 deg. C.

Sheila Forde
Sheila Forde 5pts

Maybe this is why our detox fails \U0001f602

Shea Sullivan
Shea Sullivan 5pts

Warm to hot fluids increase assimilation of nutrients. Your body metabolizes calories into energy more readily. No matter your metabolic weight..calories are not your enemy unless stored improperly..

Rawien Sewdihal
Rawien Sewdihal 5pts

Yesterday i saw detox drinks with ice, all four of them 'O)

Miriam Mendez-Arteaga
Miriam Mendez-Arteaga 5pts

Is there a difference from putting ice in the water vs cold water straight out of the fridge?

Sugu Na
Sugu Na 5pts

Sheldon i drink ice water.

Neshelle Richardson
Neshelle Richardson 5pts

Based on what? cold water makes the body works harder to warm it up therefore burning more calories.

Ana Hernandez
Ana Hernandez 5pts

Does the only way I like to drink my water w ice

Senalia Unelus-leger
Senalia Unelus-leger 5pts

Mathew Minardi, there's no man more so blind than the man who chooses not to see\U0001f64f\U0001f64f\U0001f64f\U0001f64f\U0001f64f\U0001f64f

Senalia Unelus-leger
Senalia Unelus-leger 5pts

No good. Try to avoid it. Cold or ice water constrict blood vessels and tissue. SOOO it impedes proper digestion. It makes sense if you think about it\U0001f64f\U0001f64f\U0001f64fHOT GREEN TEA IS THE BEST \U0001f64f\U0001f64f\U0001f64f\U0001f64f

Kathrin Baird
Kathrin Baird 5pts

I heard this before but I don't like warm water!! \U0001f615 Ice water must be better than Diet Coke though! \U0001f601\U0001f601

Nathen Markus
Nathen Markus 5pts

it's good for the metabolism because your body has to expel energy to regulate your core temp. this article is pretty far off from fact unless they would like to provide some sources.

Ashleigh Van Buren
Ashleigh Van Buren 5pts

Make up your mind! Every other article says 'drink ice water! It's really good for your metabolism!' 'Don't drink ice water, it will kill you!' Get on the same page already!

Senalia Unelus-leger
Senalia Unelus-leger 5pts

This is VERY TRUE!!!!! Hot green tea is also a good option after eating \U0001f44d\U0001f44d\U0001f483\U0001f483\U0001f483\U0001f483

Greg Prill
Greg Prill 5pts

Then why when your in the hospital they encourage you to drink ice water!?

shajuan1955
shajuan1955 5pts

Job security. Keep their patients sick :)

Brendon Govender
Brendon Govender 5pts

I have been drinking ice water for the last 4 years after I was told I have diabetes. I have lost weight, got healthier, flu immunity increased, got energy and keeps me going. Much better than warm water (yuck) and I have never felt any of these affects described in the link.

Nicole Nodir
Nicole Nodir 5pts

Being a Central Asian we been taught not to drink ice water from young age . When I came to USA everyone drinking water with loaded ice . Since I have my habits I never drink cold water . Even in summer hot tea :)

Mari Bella
Mari Bella 5pts

Agreed with Nathen Markus by the time it reaches the stomach the temperature has already changed. Your body burns calories trying to warm your body during the winter season. Should not be any different if you drink cold water, your body will go into calorie burning mode the moment you feel cold.

Anode A. Padrigon
Anode A. Padrigon 5pts

I take a large glass of warm water first thing in the morning...

Graciela Grace Randay
Graciela Grace Randay 5pts

Ayurveda I can drink room temperature water, but my problem would be I like all cold drinks with my food :( And I do have digestion problems since I was a teen...Got to try to chge my ways :) Thx for the info.

Ian Keegan
Ian Keegan 5pts

Drinking iced water is dangerous only when you eat and drink at meal time. Bcos of the liquid fat will instantly turns into solid fats. This is where the danger is. Secondly is morning time after you had woken up i suggest dont drink icy cold water as it might cause sudden cramp in your stomach. Should you drink warm water first early morning to avoid cramping.