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.
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!”