We’re constantly reminded about the importance of drinking plenty of water daily, but does the temperature of the water matter? Below we discuss the benefits of drinking cold water vs. hot water.
Drinking Cold Water
There’s nothing quite like a refreshing cup of ice-cold water, especially on a hot day or after an intense workout. Drinking cold water during exercise can help maintain your core temperature, helping prevent you from overheating and can help with boosting performance. Cold water can also increase alertness, as it helps the body produce adrenaline. Drinking cold water does have its risks, especially for those who suffer from migraines (the cold water can be a trigger for headaches or brain freeze).
Drinking Warm or Hot Water
There are also many benefits to drinking warm or hot water, including:
- Alleviates Nasal Congestion: Drinking warm or hot water helps relieve allergy and cold/flu symptoms such as runny nose, cough, sneezing, and sore throat.
- Aids Digestion: A 2016 study found that drinking warm water after abdominal surgery had positive effects on intestinal movements and passing gas after surgery. It is widely believed that warm or hot water helps move along food your body is having trouble digesting.
- Relieves Constipation: One of the most common causes of constipation is dehydration. When you drink warm or hot water, it helps regulate your bowel movements.
Regardless of the temperature of the water, you will see a noticeable difference when you consume the daily recommended amount (about 11.5 cups for women; 15.5 cups for men). Other benefits of drinking water include:
- Improves the Central Nervous System: When you are hydrated, it allows your CNS (which consists of your brain and spinal cord) to communicate with the rest of your body, increasing alertness, reducing confusion, and improving focus.
- Reduces Stress: Because consuming water affects the nervous system positively, it can also reduce stress caused by confusion. Being dehydrated can also increase your cortisol levels, which, in effect, increases stress.
- Boosts Immunity: If our bodies are dehydrated, we cannot properly transport the nutrients we need to our vital organs. Drinking water also improves your detoxification pathways, allowing the body to rid itself of toxins, bacteria, viruses, and other infections.