When you think about how you drink water, you probably prefer it one of three ways: cold with ice, cold with no ice or lukewarm. But is one actually better for your health?
One common claim is that it’s better not to drink super cold water with ice, since it’s easier to drink more when it isn’t as cold. On the other hand, another popular theory says cold water is actually better for you, because it helps you burn more calories.
So when it comes to the temperature of your drinking water, which one really is better for you?
Why warm water may be better for your body
According to Stella Metsovas, clinical nutritionist and media health expert in Food and Nutrition Sciences, regularly drinking warm water, especially in the morning, can be very beneficial for the body, “providing digestive power and reducing metabolic waste that could have built up in the immune system.”
Warm water also doesn’t knock your body’s normal temperature out of whack.
“We know that anytime we ingest something that is a different temperature than our stable temperature of 98.6, our body has to work harder,” Cassie Vanderwall, clinical nutritionist at UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin, told Today.
Cold water actually disrupts the body and forces it to regulate itself back to normal temperature.
Traditional Chinese medicine, which promotes harmony, is even based on the belief that drinking cold water “takes the body out of equilibrium by knocking it out of its optimal working temperature,” Nicole Liu, a “devoted hot water drinker,” wrote for the Los Angeles Times.
Here are a few other ways experts say drinking warm water can benefit your health:
- It can help cleanse the body by flushing out toxins.
- It can help break down food faster and keep the digestive system on track.
- It improves blood circulation, while cold water slows it down.
And if you were wondering whether cold water burns more calories, apparently not so much.
“If you have a cup of cold water, [you burn] eight additional calories, Leslie Bonci, a nutritionist and owner of Active Eating Advice, told Today. “Even if you have eight glasses, that is 64 calories. That is not even a pretzel.”