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There is a general consensus that water is a substance necessary to human health. Proper hydration is essential to just about every system in the body, and drinking plenty water helps your digestion, detoxifies your body, improves your physical and cognitive performance, helps you lose weight, and makes your skin look younger. With so much established fact about the benefits of drinking water, how could there be any controversy about good old H2O? Interestingly, there seems to be plenty left to debate. How much water should people be drinking? What’s the right filtration method? How high should the pH of water be?

One issue that’s hotly debated is that of proper water temperature.

Should you be drinking room temperature water of cold water? The answer to this question, like so many others, is “it’s complicated.” Let’s take a closer look at different water temperatures and what’s preferable in different situations.

Part of the answer lies in personal preference. Do you prefer drinking water straight from the tap, or do you like ice cold water, preferably in an insulated tumbler that keeps it that way all day? We’d like to start this discussion by saying that however you like to drink water, whether cold over ice or hot with a squeeze of lemon, don’t stop doing what makes you happy. Water is good for you, just about any way you want to consume it, so the most important thing is to drink plenty of it. However, there are certain situations in which one water temperature may be more advantageous than another.

  • When you’re working up a sweat, reach for cold water. This might be your natural inclination anyway, because there’s nothing quite like an ice-cold glass of water on a hot day, or a quick chug of cold water out of your water bottle mid-workout. Interestingly, science backs you up on this. Recently, the journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition published a study on the effects of water during exercise sessions. The conclusion was that physically fit subjects who drank cold water while completing two 60-minute exercise sessions had a smaller rise in core body temperature than those who drank room temperature water. They were also able to keep their internal body temperature stable for twice the length of time as their room temperature water drinking companions. This stabilization of body temperature is important, because when your core temperature remains stable, you become fatigued less quickly and can accomplish longer workouts. If you’re not working out, but you’re sweating because you are out in the heat, you will still need water, because sweating causes you to lose fluids. Even if you are just sitting on the beach or by the pool, you will need to replace those fluids by drinking water. When you’re not working out, which temperature of water is best to drink? The answer is still cold water. Drinking warm or room temperature water is actually more thirst quenching then drinking cold water, and when your thirst is quenched quickly, you may stop drinking water before you’ve met your body’s needs. Drinking cold water leaves you wanting more, and this reduces your risk of hydration.
  • When you want to be alert, grab a glass of cold water. Most people go for caffeine when they want to wake up, but caffeine can cause side effects like restlessness or shakiness, headaches, dizziness, insomnia, heart palpitations, anxiety, and dehydration. Cold water, on the other hand, hydrates you while also triggering a burst of adrenaline, which will help you feel awake and alert, without causing any unwanted side effects at all.
  • If you’ve got the sniffles, warmer water may be better for you. A hot beverage immediately starts relieving symptoms like runny nose, cough, sneezing, sore throat, and a chill. It can also provide sustained relief, helping you to breathe more easily. That’s why you probably crave a cup of hot water when you have a cold, flu, or other respiratory ailment. Warm room temperature water works well, too, and even room temperature water can help ease coughing and sneezing. Is cold water bad for you when you’re sick? Not necessarily, because staying hydrated is the most important thing, and however you choose to accomplish this is helpful. However, cold water can thicken your nasal mucus, and this can make you feel worse. You’re better off drinking water that is not very cold, in terms of how it will make you feel.
  • When your stomach is troubling you, which water temperature is best? This one is a bit tricky. There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence suggesting that warm or room temperature helps dissolve food, making digestion more efficient. This would seem to indicate that you can promote good digestion and alleviate indigestion by drinking warm water, but the science doesn’t really back this up. There was a study in Gastroenterology Nursing that showed better gas expulsion and intestinal movement for patients who drank warm water while recovering from surgery. However, what works in post-op is not necessarily going to be effective in a healthy person with some stomach trouble. Drinking any temperature of water aids in digestion, so you can feel free to drink whatever kind of water is most appealing to you.
  • Does drinking water help you lose weight? If so, which temperature of water is most helpful when you’re drinking water to lose weight? This is another question with no clear answer. Yes, drinking water can aid in weight loss because it boosts the metabolism (and sometimes thirst is confused for hunger). However, it doesn’t seem to matter which temperature the water is when you drink it. Because room temperature water is more thirst quenching, you might find it more pleasant to drink it with your meals and throughout the day, as long as you’re not in danger of dehydration.

For a free water analysis and consultation, trust Kinetico Quality Water to test your water and help develop a treatment plan. Kinetico is Phoenix, Arizona’s local source for water treatment, providing the cleanest, greenest, most efficient water systems ever made. We understand the challenges in the Valley of the Sun, and our systems use less water than traditional water softeners. What’s more, we stand behind our products with the most comprehensive warranty coverage in the industry. Call or contact us for a free quote.

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