Drinking enough water daily is paramount to support bodily functions, including digestion. Many people underestimate the importance of drinking water, not realizing that it helps maintain body temperature, keeps tissues and organs healthy, and plays a vital role in the metabolism and getting rid of waste.
While one cannot debate the significance of water, there is some debate over the correct temperature for consumption. Some people argue that cold water is worse for the body than hot or warm water, while others argue temperature is unimportant. Who is right? What does the science say?
Is Cold Water Problematic?
The best temperature for water might have more to do with where you live or how you practice medicine than anything else. Ayurvedic medicine, based on Indian traditions, proposes that cold water can slow down the digestive process and cause an imbalance in the body.
According to the practice, drinking cold water affects the body's temperature, essentially dampening the "fire" or Agni that fuels the body's system and contributes to overall health. The debate is that drinking cold water drops your core temperature and forces your body to expend additional energy to re-establish it.
Western medicine and its practitioners do not hold the same opinions. There is little research to suggest that cold water has an adversarial relationship with the body. According to most practitioners of western medicine, all that matters is that you drink enough water, which most people do not.
Despite the differences of opinion, there was a small 2013 study that investigated the effects of water at different temperatures on six people. The participants performed exercises in a hot, humid chamber, effectively dehydrating themselves. Then, each person was given water at different temperatures to test their responses.
The results found that water at 60.8° F was most beneficial, but not necessarily for the reasons you might think. The water temperature appeared to encourage more drinking, which resulted in greater hydration and less sweating.
The results of the study are too small to state any universal truth. However, it is interesting that cool water seems to be the most appealing.
Cold Water Versus Hot Water for Digestion
Unfortunately, there is no definitive evidence to suggest that either cold or hot water is best for digestion. However, the primary and conclusive evidence of most research indicates that drinking an adequate amount of water daily is crucial to overall health.
When it comes to water temperature, in most cases, it depends on the preference of the individual. As long as you are drinking enough water to maintain optimum bodily functions, you are Ok.
However, some people might need to avoid drinking cold water for medical reasons. Some studies suggest people with conditions such as achalasia, affecting the esophagus, should avoid drinking cold water because it can affect swallowing.
Ultimately, your water temperature is less important than the amount of water you drink. Many professionals suggest drinking half your body weight in ounces; for example, someone weighing 150 lbs should drink at least 75 oz of water daily.
Water is crucial to bodily functions. While people like to debate the benefits of different temperatures, the important thing is that you drink enough.
What temperature do you like to drink your water? Comment below.