People have different preferences over drinking water and most of the time you wish to have it the way you like. But some questions often come to your mind, to know whether that is good for your health. One such question is it better to drink cold water or room temperature water?
Is It Better To Drink Cold Water Or Room Temperature Water?
When you want to quench your thirst or when you are dehydrated, you just need water, no matter whether it is cold water or room temperature water. The question of choice often arises when you start wondering what good or bad effect water is having on your health. Experts believe warm water helps boost metabolism, improves digestion, removes toxins, and is the best thing to have in the morning.1
While warm water is known for its health benefits, for some, it may not be possible to have it always. Some people feel too hot with it. That is when you move to cold water – but how much cold is healthy? Is it better to drink cold water or room temperature water? Let us understand this in detail.
Is It Better To Drink Cold Water?
Your body reacts differently to water at different temperatures. Several studies have shown the effect of water at varying temperatures. The temperature of the water has an impact on your blood circulation, digestion, and absorption of nutrients and metabolism. Experts believe that in certain situations having cold water or room temperature water may be beneficial and knowing them is equally important.
For many, having cold water may be a refreshing experience, especially when you are feeling tired when you feel nauseated, or suffocated. While these experiences may be related to personal choices, some may also have a reason for them.
Ideally, people drink water or other drinks to quench thirst and to make themselves comfortable with the environment. In cold weather, you choose to have warm drinks, and having warm water is equally easy. However, in hot weather, many chose to have cool drinks and cold water. Your drinking seems to be regulated through taste buds, which communicate with the brain and its mechanism of reward system that gives you a sense of satisfaction after having your favorite drink or water at a particular temperature.2
This can be related to the fact that in hot weather or when you are heated during exercise or strenuous physical activity, you sweat more. This mechanism ultimately makes you feel cool. During such times you would prefer to have cold water as that will support your cooling process.
During Exercise or Excessive Sweating
A 2012 study investigated how the temperature of consumed liquids affects the performance and core temperature during an exercise session. During an exercise session in a moderate climate, it was found that drinking cold water delayed the increase in core body temperature for at least 30 minutes, while it marginally decreased the performance in bench-press. However, in the subjects given room temperature water, the body temperature increased from the baseline after 15 minutes.3
It is believed that having cold water can make your body work harder resulting in more thermogenesis and fat oxidation that can cause weight loss
A study had earlier concluded that drinking distilled room temperature water did not increase energy expenditure but when the water was cooled it resulted in a small thermogenic response. However, it concluded that the role of water as a thermogenetic agent in the management of obesity is not clear and needs to be further researched.4
Pre-meal consumption of cold water was found to be more effective than taking water at higher temperatures. In 2019 a study was conducted to determine the effects of consuming different water temperatures on gastric motility and energy intake in healthy young men. In this, eleven men were given water at different temperatures before having a test meal. The energy intake from their meals was recorded to understand the impact of water at different temperatures. The findings concluded that consuming water at 2°C reduced energy intake, which could be related to reduced gastric motility. This study concluded that taking cold water before a meal helped in reducing gastric contractions and that it can have a positive impact on weight reduction in overweight, middle-aged, and older adults. It also suggested that further studies determine the impact of water temperature on appetite-regulating hormones that can be a crucial factor in weight management.5
A recent 2018 study, showed that consumption of unsweetened caffeinated herbal tea at cold temperature resulted in greater stimulation of thermogenesis and fat oxidation as compared to hot tea.6 This may mean that having cold water can be more effective for weight loss than water at room temperature, although more research is needed in the area.
Is It Better To Drink Room Temperature Water?
Room temperature water is often considered a neutral choice between hot and cold water. As compared to cold water, room temperature water is surely at a higher temperature and can offer several benefits.
Drinking room temperature water can help you in situations when you must avoid cold water or cannot have hot water and still stay hydrated. When you have a cold, cough, or sinus congestion, room temperature water is the best to have. It can help you promote better digestion and absorption. If you are not overheated or sweating a lot, room temperature water can help you quench your thirst. A great advantage of room temperature water is that you can have it in large quantities, unlike hot or cold water. This is greatly helpful to prevent dehydration.
A 2012 study concluded that cold water increases the lower esophageal sphincter pressure, prolong contractions and worsen the symptoms of dysphagia, regurgitation, and achalasia. However, hot water reduced the pressure and relieve the symptoms of dysphagia, regurgitation, and achalasia. Hence people having achalasia are advised to have warm food and avoid cold food.7 This is a condition when cold water is avoided and room temperature or warm water is preferred.
Cold water is preferable when the risk of overheating is high, during hot weather, during sports and exercise programs, or while over sweating. However, the risk of worsening respiratory troubles due to cold water must be considered. While water is known to be a natural appetite suppressant, having it before a meal can result in consuming fewer calories. However, there are not many conclusive results on the water temperature and its role in weight management. Also, for weight management, your overall energy balance plays a bigger role.
Nevertheless, having room temperature water is also a safe option for those who are prone to respiratory troubles, digestive troubles, those who can get overheated with hot water, or those who want to drink plenty of water without worrying about feeling hot or cold.