There is plenty of speculation around as to which is better for us to drink, cold water or room temperature. There is no definitive answer and all it really comes down to is simple, what outcome are you actually looking for? There is conclusive evidence that supports drinking both room temperature and cold water gives us benefits for different purpose.
Room Temp/Warm Water
According to ancient Chinese medicine, drinking a glass of warm water first thing in the morning helps activate your immune system and avoid indigestion. For this reason, some doctors recommend avoiding drinking cold water for about 20 minutes before a meal; choose warm water instead for healthier intestines.
Drinking cold water with a meal can have adverse effects on the digestive process. It requires more energy from the body to warm up cool liquids and foods, thus taking a longer time to digest and assimilate. Good to know for those of us suffering from digestive distress!
When it comes to cleansing the body of impurities, consuming adequate amounts of water is of paramount importance. It is recommended drinking room temperature water with a squeeze of lemon. This requires the least amount of energy for your body to assimilate. The lemon also helps to stimulate digestion and flush toxins. During a detox, you may want to add some cleansing additions to your water. Try adding some cucumber slices and fresh mint or slices of apple and a cinnamon stick. Not only will you find keeping hydrated more enjoyable, you'll also be receiving the cleansing benefits these foods have to offer.
Warm or hot water is better to consume if you are dealing with a headache or inflammation. Because warm water helps stimulate blood flow to the tissues it's an excellent remedy for treating menstrual cramps. Finally, warm water helps increase blood flow to your muscle tissues. That means warm water can help relieve pain - perfect if you've got some aches and pains in your joints.
Drinking room temperature as opposed to cold water has proven to help us slightly when looking to increase physical performance. As cold water takes our core temperature below normal, the body has to use more energy heating itself which can detract from the energy being used whilst training or competing in an event. Drinking room temperature water allows our body warm up faster, reaching peak performance slightly quicker than when drinking cold water.
During exercise the core body temperature becomes elevated. Sweating is one mechanism that our bodies use to cool down, but we lose a lot of water and electrolytes which need to be replenished. Sipping on cold water during a workout both rehydrates the body of lost water and helps to cool down the core body temperature. A study done in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition compared room temperature water and cold water during workouts. Researchers found participants who consumed cold water were able to keep their core temperature down 50% longer than the group consuming room temperature water.
Drinking cold water when you have a fever is one method of cooling the body down. It's important to keep super hydrated when you have a fever because your body is working hard to get rid of whatever foreign invaders may be causing you harm. When you're overheated, drinking cold water can be a huge relief. Try squeezing some fresh lemon and adding a pinch of sea salt to help replenish lost electrolytes
As mentioned earlier, cold water lowers our core temperature below normal. The body must then heat itself to return to a point of homeostasis (normality). This extra energy utilised in heating the body or in other words calories burnt can help us reach a calorie deficit easier than drinking room temperature water. Whilst only being a very minimal difference it can still assist us in our attempt to drop body fat.
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