There’s a lot of confusion out there about the “right” way to get hydrated, whether it’s needing to drink eight glasses of water a day (probably not true), drinking water instead of juice or pop (probably true) or the question of whether or not to drink water with meals (the jury’s still out on that one).
But in the battle of health information, there’s one clear winner: drinking warm water is just plain better for you than drinking cold water. Recent studies on the best possible way to have your eight (or fewer) glasses of water a day have found serious pluses to drinking warm water, and downsides to taking your water chilled.
Very few of us drink warm water, to begin with; unless it’s caffeinated or filled with hot chocolate powder, warm water doesn’t always appeal. Read on to discover 7 facts about water that just might change your mind (and your health)!
1. If your throat is sore or dry, hot water can temporarily decrease the pain, and can also reduce any associated swelling.
2. Water, in general, is useful for reducing cramps and bloating, but hot water packs a powerful punch because it relaxes your stomach muscles at the same time.
3. Hot water in the digestive system stimulates the colon to be more active, setting up the body for better food absorption throughout the day.
4. Being well-hydrated in general reduces food cravings, and since hot water stays in the stomach for longer, it helps you feel full for longer.
5. Cold water slows down the digestion process, which slows down the reuptake of valuable nutrients into the bloodstream.
6. Because cold water needs to be heated up before the body can use it, drinking cold water actually slows down the body’s rehydration process, making you thirstier than if you’d had hot water.
7. When the body is exposed to cold temperatures, it restricts the blood vessels to avoid losing heat. Drinking cold water simulates that, making it harder for the blood vessels to carry nutrients and oxygen around the body.
But while cold water has its downsides, remember: drinking cold water is still way better than drinking no water at all! And I’ll probably still reach for a nice glass of ice water when I’m out on a hot day. Mmmmm, refreshing.