Is it Better to Drink Warm or Cold Water?

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Monday Morning Acu-Minute by Karen Johnson

Continuing with our theme of “This or That,” today’s subject…Is it better to drink warm or cold water?

First of all, it’s good to drink water! Our bodies are one-half to two-thirds water and we need to replenish our supplies for optimum health.

That being said, and not including hot drinks like tea and coffee, does it matter if our drinking water is warm or cold?

Warm or Cold Water

Here are some thoughts.

Many people don’t like the taste of water, and find they drink more if it’s cold. So that’s good. After exercise, or on a hot day, cooler water can help bring the body temperature down a bit faster, and is thought to absorb better through the intestines.

However, under other circumstances cold water causes muscles and tissues to contract. Just like large muscles contract and shiver on a cold day, internal muscles do the same thing.

Drinking warm water relaxes muscles and internal organs, improving blood circulation, which then brings more oxygen and nutrients to the cells of the body.

People have different theories about warm or cold water for weight loss. Some people feel that cold water causes the body to work harder, increasing metabolism and hence, weight loss. On the other hand, Traditional medicine, including acupuncture, suggests that because our bodies prefer to hum along at a cozy 98.6 degrees, cooling the core just strains the system and impairs digestion. From this perspective, warm water, which brings up the body temperature slightly, improves circulation and promotes metabolism.

Warm, or room temperature water in the morning helps with digestion and prevents constipation. I’m a big fan of this and recommend it often. Cold water consumed in the morning or too close to meals can actually harden oils in food which might then end up as fat deposits in the intestines or arteries. This makes sense…float a little butter in ice water, then float some in warm or hot water!

Consensus? It’s good to drink water, and the temperature probably does matter. Knowing this, we can pick and choose both for enjoyment and to achieve our health goals.

Stay tuned, more to come!