Is the temperature of your drinking water important?
It’s pretty obvious that drinking water regularly is integral to health. Yet with so many different types of water available, staying hydrated (the right way) has never been so complicated.
These days there’s not just the choice between filtered, spring, distilled and purified to make. Avid water drinkers have many other challenges to contend with, including what temperature of water to drink.
To put your mind at ease and set you on the course towards better daily hydration, we answer the question – which temperature water should I drink and how important is it?
Is warmer water better for you?
There’s much debate about whether warm, room temperature or icy cold water offers the best health benefits. While there’s little research on the subject, a good proportion of the studies that have been conducted support drinking warmer water.
Whatever its temperature, water is vital to good digestion. Drinking water before, during. and after a meal enables the body to break down foods more easily for better digestion. But could drinking warm or tepid water make digestion even more efficient?
According to ancient Ayurvedic principles, cold water can slow digestion, while room temperature or warm water has the opposite effect.
This theory is further supported by this study, which found that drinking warm water was particularly effective for people with indigestion enabling them to “accelerate gastric emptying”.
Research has found that warm or room temperature water is absorbed into the body at a faster rate – leaving you more hydrated.
What about cold water?
Whilst Ayurveda discourages the consumption of cold water due to the imbalance it brings to the digestive system, it is not completely frowned on in Western medicine.
Some studies, like the one we mentioned previously, support the benefits of warm water for better digestion yet others came to a different conclusion. This research found that dehydrated people are more likely to drink more water and sweat less if they quenched their thirst with cool water.
There’s no doubt that drinking cold water after a hard workout or on a hot, humid day will be more refreshing than drinking a tepid or warm drink. Cold water has even been linked to improved performance as Medical News Today details:
“A study from 2014 investigated the effects of different drinks on the cycling performance of 12 trained male athletes in a tropical climate.
The researchers reported that drinking an ice-slush beverage was better for performance than drinking water at a neutral temperature. However, they also concluded that the athletes achieved the best performance when consuming an ice-slush beverage that also had a menthol aroma.”
In addition to this, drinking cold water is thought to improve weight management, with many people claiming that drinking more water helps them burn more calories.
Further research on this theory however found that both cold and room temperature water have this effect.
So, which should you choose?
There may be pros and cons for drinking both cold and warm water but one fact remains – staying hydrated is beneficial to health, regardless of whether that involves drinking warm, tepid, room temperature, or ice cold water.
Whatever your temperature preference, enjoying the best quality of water is key to staying hydrated all day long.