How do you prefer a glass of water: lukewarm or nicely chilled? An internist and a nutritionist explain the advantages and disadvantages of drinking water temperature for digestion, circulation, pain perception, and calories burned.
Especially in summer, you long for a sip of cold water to cool down on hot days. But that doesn’t make much sense because the cold drink first has to be brought up to the body’s temperature, which makes you sweat. But hot water also creates beads of sweat on the forehead because the body wants to give off the excess heat quickly. FITBOOK explains what healthier – warm or cold water is.
Ideal Drinking Temperature Of The Water
Anyone who thinks that an ice-cold drink refreshes you is entirely wrong. Ideally, a glass should be consumed at human body temperature, i.e., around 36 degrees. Then it does not have to be heated or cooled down. Here one should learn from the southern peoples because they don’t have ice-cold drinks. Desert peoples, for example, almost exclusively drink peppermint tea at body temperature. Warm water has several health benefits over cold water.
Warm Water Is Healthier
Effect On Muscles And Nerves
Warm water relieves pain and helps with headaches, abdominal aches, and menstrual pains. Muscles and nerves are relaxed naturally. “In principle, we find heat to be pleasant: blood vessels dilate, and even cramps in the intestines tend to relax with warm water. We just feel better”. So instead of throwing yourself another painkiller, you should try it with a glass of warm water. Nevertheless, the doctor warns: “Of course, the cause of the headache and abdominal pain is important.” If the pain is severe and persistent, you should see a doctor.
Effect On Digestion
Warm water is also suitable for digestion and helps with constipation. You should drink warm water, especially after or with a greasy meal, as the fats can be dissolved and digested better. “Heated fats can reach the intestines in a more finely divided form,” says Dr. Riedel. It is more likely to order a cup of tea or, quite unconventionally, a glass of warm water with your meal in the restaurant.
Effect On The Circulatory System
A glass of warm water right after getting up not only gets your metabolism going but also acts as a stimulant because it increases the body temperature and thus stimulates circulation. Instead of a morning coffee, try it with warm water.
The Effect Of Cold Water On The Body’s Energy Expenditure
Coldwater has another advantage: if you want to burn calories, you should drink cold water because the body uses additional energy by bringing the water to body temperature. However, the effect is minimal because “to heat one gram of water by one degree Celsius, the body needs one calorie – not kilocalories. This means that the body has to expend energy, but this is low,”
Possible Side Effects Of Ice-Cold Water
But cold water can also lead to unwanted side effects, warns nutrition expert Müller: “Ice-cold water can also trigger migraines. The back of the throat (palate) is particularly close to the brain so that an ice-cold drink could trigger migraines here.” And Müller recommends drinks at body temperature not only for migraine-prone people – especially for people with esophagus problems (such as heartburn) or people with irritable bowel syndrome. Lukewarm drinks are always the right choice.
How Much Water Does The Body Need?
Of course, not everyone likes warm water, but a squeeze of lemon or lime gives the whole thing the necessary kick. Unsweetened teas can also provide some variety in taste. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s cold, lukewarm, or hot water: In any case, it is good for the body’s water balance.
The rule of thumb is 30 to 40 milliliters per kilo of body weight. With a weight of 70 kilograms, you should drink at least 2.1 liters of water a day, as long as you don’t sweat too much. By the way: Drinking too much water is also not advisable. In extreme cases, this can even be dangerous.