As we all know that drinking sufficient water is extremely important to stay hydrated. As per health experts, a person, on average, should drink 8 glasses of water per day.
We try to drink water free from any contaminants by installing water purifiers. However, many of the people are unaware of the fact that the temperature of the water we drink can also affect our health? Most of the people after returning from work drink a glass of chilled water. They drink cold water to quench their thirst and relieve exhaustion. Drinking cold water specifically in summer makes you feel heavenly. It helps you cool down within seconds. But, many of us are not aware that drinking chilled water can do more harm than good. The respective article discusses the harmful effects of drinking cold water.
Effects of Drinking Cold Water
Cold water offers numerous deleterious effects to a living body. Drinking cold water can cause shrinkage of blood vessels. It can also restrict your digestion and hinder hydration. Instead of digesting food and absorbing nutrients to create energy, the body consumes energy for the regulation of body temperature. This may lead to loss of water. Even though ice has many health benefits, drinking ice water can only give temporary relief.
Drinking water at room temperature is best because a lower liquid temperature inclines a negative impact on your digestive, immune and circulatory systems.
The hidden dangers of drinking ice cold water include,
Ice water can make you feel refreshed and stimulate you in the short term, but actually, it drains your energy in the long run. The normal temperature of the body is 370 degrees Celcius. When you drink something at low temperature, your body has to spend energy on temperature regulation. So, your body uses extra energy in order to warm up the ice cold water and then bring it up to average temperature.
It can lead to extra fat
Drinking ice cold water does not force the body into doing work and thus not even burn calories. Cold water, when paired with high-fat foods, leads their solidification in your stomach. It is because that cold temperatures in the body cause fats to harden and solidify thus making them difficult for the body to digest.
Drinking cold water or beverages, while eating food or immediately after it, solidifies the fats you eat. Then the body finds it hard to digest the unwanted fats from the body because cold temperatures are anti-inflammatory and therefore can cause retraction of blood vessels. Another side effect of drinking ice water is that the stomach contracts and sometimes become too tight to process food efficiently. Ice water may also lead to stomach gurgling, abdominal pain, and nausea.
Cold water affects circulatory system
The most important fluid in our system is water. It makes up about 70% of our body, blood, and other internal organs. Blood is the medium for the flow and circulation of nutrients throughout our body. Homeostasis kicks in after drinking cold water, and our body works overtime to maintain body temperature before it affects the circulatory system. Ice cold water also enhances unnecessary stress to blood vessels and tissues, thus hindering the function of our circulatory system.
Leads to constipation
Drinking warm or room temperature water is essential for the digestive process. However, drinking cold water can cause constipation because, when you drink chilled water, the food solidifies and hardens while passing through your body. The intestines contract also, that is one of the main causes of constipation.
Reduction in Immune response
Excess mucus can be created in your body by drinking cold water after a meal. This can lead to a decrease in the functioning of the immune system, making it easier to catch cold and other illnesses. Actually, we pave the way for the chronic diseases, when we drink ice-cold water, or any ice-cold fluids.
Slows down the heart rate
Drinking ice water can cause the reduction in your heart rate. It happens because the vagus nerve gets affected by a sudden ingestion of ice cold water. The vagus nerve is the 10th cranial nerve which controls involuntary actions of the body. This nerve mediates the lowering of the heart rate and the low temperatures of the water act as a stimulus to this. So in this emergency measure, your heart rate will slow down until your body temperature attains equilibrium once again.
You must be familiar with the term “brain freeze” which is a temporary seizure of the brain and can lead to serious issues which must be best avoided. It occurs after ingesting crushed ice or any ice cream. It causes the chilling of sensitive nerves in the spine, and instantly convey messages to your brain, thus causing headaches. Drinking cold water can also lead to the same condition.
Cold water and medications
As cold water affects both our digestive and circulatory system, it is advised not to take medication with cold water. This is because our body has to work overtime to regulate the body temperature. Thus, the energy consumed in that process results in delaying the digestion of the medication. So, the water did not dissolve the drugs in time and we could not get the expected relief.
Benefits of Warm Water
- Drinking warm water leads to faster and increased hydration.
- Warm water stimulates natural digestive enzymes and therefore enhances your digestion.
- Food breaks down more effortlessly.
- Drinking warm water help your circulation and overall assists your body in getting rid of toxins faster.
- Warm water can make your blood purer and cleaner. It also improves your bowel movement.
- Drinking warm water mixed with lemon juice is the best way to improve the immune system functioning.
- Drinking warm water can cause purification of your blood. It also increases your body’s natural detoxification processes through your kidneys, skin, and lymphatic system.
- Once you start drinking water at room temperature or warmer, you will surely notice a dramatic improvement in your digestion.
- It also helps you improve your body feels while eating and after the meal. Some people have reported the reduction in sugar cravings as well.
Thus, the next time when you eat out, ask a server to “Hold the Ice!” There are enough reasons to limit the use of cold water, as it affects your digestive tract in harmful ways. Try to drink warm or room temperature water to keep health issues away. In addition, make sure the water you drink is filtered because due to growing levels of pollution, it is equally important to pay attention to the quality of the water you are drinking.