Cold Water vs. Room Temperature Water: What’s Better For You?

Jun 30, 2021

Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy

by Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy

Your body needs water to function and to avoid the health hazards of dehydration. It is estimated that adults should consume between two liters and three liters of water every day. However, there is some disagreement over the best way to consume the water, especially as it relates to temperature. Some people swear that drinking cold water is bad for you and you should only drink water that is room temperature.

The truth is a bit more complicated. As it turns out, neither room temperature water nor cold water is really “bad” for you. However, each can affect your body in different ways. Therefore, the question isn’t whether one or the other is better or worse for you but in which situations you should choose one over the other.

Situations When It’s Better To Drink Cold Water

Cold water affects your body in specific ways. Therefore, it can offer you more benefits if you drink it under certain circumstances:

Hiker sprinting up mountain

  1. While you are working out.

As you work out, your body temperature increases. This causes you to lose energy more quickly and become fatigued. Drinking cold water during your workout helps you maintain a lower core temperature. As a result, you become less tired, which helps you work out longer.

  1. When you are sweating in the heat

When your body is exposed to hot temperatures, it cools itself down by sweating. You lose a lot of fluids in the process and need to drink water to replace them. Warm or room temperature water makes you feel less thirsty, meaning that you may not drink as much as you need to replace the fluids you are losing through perspiration. Drinking cold water may encourage you to drink more and avoid dehydration.

  1. When you want to increase alertness:.

Instead of drinking caffeine when you need a jolt of energy to keep you awake, try a glass of cold water instead. Cold water helps your body to produce adrenaline, a hormone that makes you more alert, and it doesn’t have the side effects that caffeine can cause.

Situations When It’s Better To Drink Room Temperature Water

When water is at room temperature, it affects your body differently than when it is cold. Therefore, there are certain situations in which drinking warmer water can benefit you more than cold.

  1. When you have sinus congestion

If you have a cold, flu, or nasal allergies that cause your sinuses to clog up, drinking warm or hot water may help ease your symptoms so that breathing becomes easier. By contrast, drinking cold water may make you feel worse by thickening nasal mucus.

  1. When you want to promote digestion

If you eat a meal of heavy foods, your stomach has a harder time processing them. Water that is room temperature or slightly warmer helps to dissolve these foods, making them easier to digest.

  1. When you want to boost your metabolism and be less thirsty.

You can give your metabolism a boost by drinking either warm or cold water. However, if you want to quench your thirst at the same time, you should drink warmer water as long as you are not in danger of losing fluids through excessive sweating. Room temperature water is more effective at preventing you from feeling thirsty.

Warm and cold water affect your body in different ways, but neither of them causes you any harm. Therefore, whether you decide to drink your water cold or at room temperature is a matter of personal preference. Some people do not like the way that water tastes when it is at room temperature, so cooling it makes it more palatable. It is more important that you drink enough water throughout the day than what temperature it is.

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