Nothing feels better than a glass of cold water to beat the summer heat. That cooling sensation is just awesome, and at the same time, helps cool your sweating body down. Some people actually develop the habit of drinking cold water. Is drinking cold water good or bad? Should you avoid doing it?
Is Drinking Cold Water Bad?
Yes, it is not a good idea to drink cold water. You may actually have to deal with some bad consequences if you have developed the habit of drinking ice water. Here is why it makes sense to avoid drinking cold water:
- It affects your digestive system: It becomes difficult for your body to digest food when you drink cold water. Your blood vessels shrink when you drink ice water and this affects your digestive system in a negative way. When your digestive system is not functioning properly, your body will not get all the nutrients it needs. This may lead to malnutrition and cause serious health problems over time.
- It affects your energy levels: Your body needs to maintain its temperature around 37 ℃, but cold water can lower it to an extent that your body has to work hard to maintain a normal body temperature, causing energy loss during this process. Over time, this is going to make you feel tired and sick.
- It causes a sore throat: Is drinking cold water bad for your respiratory system? A habit of drinking cold water may lead to the buildup of respiratory mucosa, a layer that protects your respiratory tract. The congestion of the layer can make you vulnerable to infections, thus increasing your chances of getting a sore throat.
- It lowers your heart rate: Your heart rate may go down when you drink ice water. Studies have confirmed that drinking cold water can stimulate the 10th cranial nerve, called the vagus nerve. The nerve is responsible for controlling involuntary actions of your body and lowering your heart rate. A drop in body temperature due to cold water can stimulate this nerve, causing your heart rate to slow down considerably.
- It may make you develop a potbelly: Your body needs fat pads to make the cold water warm in the stomach. It means you need to have more fats in the stomach if you drink cold water on a regular basis. Not doing enough exercise in this situation increases your risk of developing a potbelly. Your stomach is going to feel bloated due to the increased fat pads.
What Is the Best Way to Drink Water?
Is drinking cold water bad? You already know the answer, but you may also be wondering how to drink water properly. Here are some suggestions:
1. Consider Drinking Lukewarm to Hot Water
By drinking hot or lukewarm water, you help improve the natural flow of the lymph system. This helps prevent toxic buildup in your system. You should consider drinking lukewarm water when you are planning to become pregnant or are going to have your periods. Drinking cold water in these cases is only going to affect your blood circulation and limit blood supply to the reproductive organs.
2. Drink Enough Water
Lukewarm water is usually the best, but you should ensure you are drinking enough. How much you really need depends on many factors such as your physical activity levels. You may need more water if you live in a humid climate or at an altitude higher than 8,200 ft. Similarly, you need to drink more water if you are pregnant or have lost fluid because of vomiting, fever, or diarrhea. Ideally, you should be drinking no less than 8 cups of water a day. You may need more in case you are not producing 6.3 cups of urine a day or the color of your urine is yellow.
If you are physically very active and exercise hard, you should increase your water intake to prevent dehydration. You are going to feel seriously tired and have problems with coordination when you are dehydrated. Be sure to keep drinking more water when you sweat a lot. Do not wait until you become thirsty or are already dehydrated. Consider drinking 17-20 oz of water a couple of hours before you exercise and 7-10 oz of water every 10-20 minutes during your workout session.
3. Avoid Flavored Water
Drinking plain water is probably the best thing to do. While you may think flavored vitamin water has more essential nutrients, you should avoid it because it also provides you with additional calories and sugar. There is no point in drinking vitamin water when you are already eating nutritious foods. Plain water is cheaper and it helps keep your waistline slim. If you want to add some flavor, you can always squeeze a lemon in your water.
4. Drink Water in the Morning
Your body has to work hard to repair damaged cells and process all the waste while you are asleep. That is the reason why you want to use the bathroom the moment you wake up in the morning. Is drinking cold water bad? Yes, so you should drink warm water when you wake up in the morning, which helps flush out toxins out of your body, stimulates proper bowel movement and keeps you healthy.
5. Drink Before Your Meals
Drinking lukewarm water before meals is very good for your health. It is extremely beneficial if you are trying to lose weight. Water helps you feel fuller and keeps you from overeating. Moreover, it keeps the stomach lining moist and ensures that acidic foods will not irritate your digestive system. It also wakes up your taste buds and makes your food even more delicious.