The first thing that people living in sunny regions do to quench their thirst is to open the refrigerator and reach for that bottle of cold water. It is indeed a relaxing and ethereal feeling! But, a question that every one of us has asked ourselves at least once at some point in our life is: should I drink warm water or cold water? Most often we just want to quench our thirst and are not curious to find out which is better. However, now is the time to quench your curiosity. Many health conscious people recommend drinking warm water.1Are they right, or are they wrong? Here are the benefits of drinking warm (room temperature) water and cold water.
Benefits Of Drinking Warm Water
1. Relieves Congestion
Drinking warm water is an effective method to clear the mucus congestion in the sinuses. It helps in clearing chest congestion and expels the accumulated phlegm. For people with cough, warm water soothes the throat, which usually becomes sore due to continuous coughing. If you suffer from common cold or flu, then drinking warm water will improve the healing process.
2. Removes Toxins
Warm water can clear clogs better than cold water. Our eating habits and lifestyle contributes to toxins build-up in our body. Warm water is ideal to help our system, especially the kidneys, to remove these toxins from our body.2 Drinking warm water aids the process of perspiration. Sweating not only cools your body, but also helps the body to remove toxins. Warm water also purifies the blood stream, improves bowel movement and increases the frequency of urination.
3. Reduces Pain
Pain can be reduced by using warm water. Just as we use hot water for external muscular cramps, warm water can have the same effect within our body too. It improves blood flow to the muscles and tissues, helping the healing process.3 Stomach or menstrual cramps, joint pain and even headaches can be reduced by drinking warm water.
4. Enhances Digestion
Warm water has a profound effect on the body, as it activates and improves the performance of the digestive system. Drinking warm water also helps break down oily food by making it easier to digest.4 It helps in transforming the solid food that we eat into a semi-solid form, which is then efficiently absorbed and released into the small intestine. Ancient Chinese medicinal system and Ayurveda, both recommend drinking warm water just after we wake up in the morning. This practice promotes bowel movement and activates the digestive system.
5. Delays Aging
Our skin requires ample hydration to stay healthy and look younger. And, healthy skin needs toxin-free blood flow. The best way to rid the toxins from our blood is to drink warm water. Toxin accumulation in the body accelerates the aging process and affects our body adversely.5 When toxins build-up in the body, it becomes vulnerable to illness and aging. Warm water cleanses the body and helps repair skin cells, which can increase the elasticity of your skin.
6. Promotes Weight-loss
Since warm water increases your body temperature, it results in an increased metabolic rate too. Increased metabolism helps the body to burn more calories.6 Drinking a glass of warm water with a few drops of lemon squeezed into it enables the body to assimilate the fat in the body. Since lemon contains pectin fiber, it reduces your craving for food, thereby reducing your intake.
Benefits Of Drinking Cold Water
1. Cools The Body
People living in hot climatic conditions are susceptible to heat strokes. When the body heats up excessively, cold water can do wonders to bring down the body temperature. The other advantage is that cold water is absorbed faster by the body than hot water. After a rigorous exercise session, your body temperature rises.7 It is important to keep the body cool and prevent it from overheating. While cold water straight from the refrigerator helps, just cool water will also do just fine. However, drinking very cold water may numb your mouth and may hurt those with sensitive teeth.
Negative Effects Of Drinking Cold Water
- Cold water and beverages shrink the blood vessels, which reduces the blood flow. It also hinders digestion as the body requires energy to regulate the body temperature.
- Drinking cold water after a meal causes excess mucus build-up in the body, which restricts the immune system’s function. With less immunity comes various ailments.
- Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medical practitioners do not suggest drinking cold water as it causes the muscles to contract.
So, the numbers speak for themselves. With so many benefits stacked up for warm water, we know who the clear winner is. Drinking cold water may have a few plus points, but it is bogged down by too may negatives. For a healthy body, it seems that the traditional medicine practitioners were right. Warm water has more health benefits!
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