We Know We Need Liquids to Survive
It is pretty self evident that water is essential to living. And to have your body working at an optimal pace having enough water each day is crucial. Simply put, the human body needs water for most of its functions.
The wonder of our creation is such that water plays a vital part of our existence. Not only does it eliminate the byproducts and toxins from our environs and metabolism, or regulate our body temps via excreting sweat, but it also keeps our cells healthy and our blood fluid enough to move through blood vessels.
Other benefits include:
• Cushioning and lubricating joints
• Aiding in digestion and preventing constipation
• Moisturizing the skin
• Keeping the bladder clear of bacteria
• Detoxification: research suggests that drinking more water can help protect the kidneys while eliminating waste materials in the blood.
• Improving mood: this study found that drinking water reduced participant anxiety and boosted their brain activity during challenging activities.
Studies have been showing, as it turns out, the temperature of our water may change its effect on the body, but to what extent?
Let’s review the suggested health benefits of cold vs. hot temps of the liquids and straight out water with which conditions each type may improve.
Why Cold Water?
There may be a natural reason why we reach for cold water when thirsty.
Not only do you gain the sensation of it being more refreshing, but a study suggests that cooler water may be better for your rehydration efforts.
During heat stress (either from heat exposure, exercise, or other physical activities and pressures), the body must balance and regulate its fluid state, temperature, and circulation, and researchers found that water consumed at 41°F (5°C) reduced the time spent sweating after exercise. The colder the water you intake after heat, exertions, and stress cuts down on the sweating the body actually does.
Our body temperature increases when we work out, and drinking cold water helps regulate that temperature.
Another study, this one at Columbia University, found that the human stomach absorbs water-cooled to 40°F (4°C) more quickly than water that’s warm or at room temperature, which ultimately helps prevent dehydration more effectively.
Other potential benefits are highlighted below.
Improve Concentration and Pain Tolerance
Cold water, when ingested, activates sensors just beneath our skin which then raises the heart rate and adds an adrenaline rush, making a person feel more alert and focused. Ever hear about taking cold showers being stimulating? This is one of the reasons why cold showers and chilled forms of hydrotherapy are being touted as effective ways to start your day and remain productive as the hours go on. (Athletes taking ice baths after a game or a hard practice for instance.)
Some hold that drinking ice water may be nearly as effective as caffeine when you want to increase adrenaline production and make faster, more focused decisions.
Adrenaline not only boosts your mood but can also improve your ability to tolerate pain. Cold water itself is often recommended as a pain management method because it causes your blood vessels to constrict and can reduce swelling and inflammation.
Improve One’s Metabolism
According to Livestrong, drinking eight cups of cold water could help you burn 64 calories, which is the equivalent of five to fifteen minutes of exercise. Not to mention the working out of your kidneys with that amount of liquid to expel each day. This assertion appears to be supported by a study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, which found that people who drink more water may burn more calories overall.
In that article, participants’ metabolic rates increased 30% after drinking 17 ounces of water (two tall glasses). According to the researchers, increasing water intake by 1.5 liters a day (about 6 cups) would burn an additional 17,400 calories over a year, which adds up to approximately five pounds! It appears that as your body works harder to maintain the internal temperature, it burns more sugars and fats, resulting in a summary weight loss.
What About Hot Water?
As it turns out, drinking hot water has certain health and illness-fighting benefits.
An early study on the effect of hotter temperatures on the body has found that hot drinks like tea or water with lemon were more effective at relieving cold symptoms than the same beverages served at room temperature.
Researchers concluded that the warm vapor from these drinks could loosen clogged sinuses and soothe a sore throat caused by mucus accumulation.
Other benefits may also include:
Like water at other temperatures, hot water keeps the digestive system moving, making your body better able to eliminate waste. This study found that warmed water could have a beneficial effect on intestinal movements after surgery, so it may help dissolve and move food that you’re having trouble digesting. One of the reasons that a cup of coffee promotes bowel movements soon after finishing their cup of “Joe”.
Thermo-regulation In Cold Temperatures
We have all experienced a time when we had been out in the cold for an extended period of time and how good a warm cup of cocoa had felt to warm us up. In 2017, researchers found that while shivering is the body’s natural reaction to cold conditions, drinking warm fluids can help reduce it. The subjects wore suits circulating water that was a bit above freezing, then drank water at different temperatures, including up to 126°F (52°C). Drinking hot water helped them maintain their body temperature with less effort.
May Relieve Achalasia Symptoms
Achalasia is a condition in which your esophagus has trouble moving food into your stomach. Those living with it have trouble swallowing and report feeling as though food gets stuck in their esophagus (a condition called dysphagia). Researchers in this study found that drinking warmer water may help achalasia patients digest more easily.
Next Time You Get a Beverage…
If you are feeling that your system is bloated, or constipated, try sipping on a cup of hot water to help your body move that excess out and away. When consuming hot beverages like water, the Journal of Food Science recommends a temperature range of 130 to 160°F (54 to 71°C). (Burning or scalding can result from temperatures above these levels.) After boiling, leave it to cool for a while and, if you’re not a fan of the taste of hot water, add a slice of lemon or lime for a flavor boost.
No matter what temperature you prefer, regular water consumption can help ensure you stay hydrated throughout the day. Recommended minimum intake varies according to your age and gender, and pregnant or nursing women need more water than usual.
Keeping a water bottle or thermos nearby during your waking hours can ensure that you have regular access to the fluids you need to stay healthier.