Drinking ice cold water burns eight more calories per glass, and just feels good on hot summer days.
But are there cons to drinking too much cold water on a daily basis?
Many holistic doctors from many different healing traditions say yes (and there’s plenty of research to back them up).
Below are a few reasons to consider skipping the ice.
1. Cold Water Prevents Proper Digestion and Absorption Of Nutrients, and It May Make You Feel Tired!
Your stomach provides the body with the energy from digesting the food – the body’s fuel. Catherine Niemiec, the founder of the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture, explained in the school’s blog that when we drink cold water, instead of spending all its energy on absorbing the nutrients out of the food, the body has to spend it on heating the digestive organs to regulate the temperature back to its normal degree.
This unnecessary to the body’s proper functions energy spending may even leave you feeling tired.
This theory is often used by experts in Chinese Medicine.
The Chinese healthy diet usually avoids cold drinks because they have the ability to solidify the fats, slow down the digestion and make the food in your stomach stagnant.
“Stagnant food…can lead to excessive phlegm and mucus, and cause conditions like fatigue, weight gain, allergies, immune weakness and headaches,” according to a traditional Chinese holistic clinic.
Ice-cold water may also hurt digestion by damaging the fragile lining of the stomach, according to Dr. Joseph M. Mercola.
2. Cold Water Negatively Affects the Spleen
The spleen needs to be warm in order to function normally, as explained by Dr. Sun Peilin in the book Management of Postoperative Pain with Acupuncture.
Drinking only cold water can lead to a dysfunction in the spleen. A healthy spleen protects the body from pathogens, and detects and destroys damaged cells. It plays a big role in the immunity of the person by filtering the blood and helping to fight infections.
3. Drinking Ice-Cold Water Decreases Your Heart Rate
Drinking ice-cold water decreases heart rate in healthy individuals, as found by a 2010 study in Clinical Autonomic Research journal. The researchers asked 28 people who came in for a routine check-up to drink a glass of ice-cold water, and 25 people to drink a glass of room-temperature water.
They took heart rate measurements before and after water intake. Before, the two groups did not have differences in the heart rate. After ingestion, the group that drank the cold water had lower heart rate.
The study explains that the reason behind this is that cold water stimulates the vagus nerve, which facilitates the decreasing of the heart rate.
4. It Can Exacerbate Already Existing Health Conditions
A study by the European Society of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology discovered that if a child with asthma, who is in in stable condition, drinks a glass of ice-cold water, they are likely to experience asthma symptoms between 5 and 90 minutes afterwards. Almost half of the study’s subjects developed cough and/or wheezing.
A study by Cephalalgia, an international journal of headache, found that drinking cold water commonly causes headache.
A total of 7.6% of all subjects experienced a headache after drinking one glass of cold water; for women who have had at least one migraine less than a year ago (active migraine) the number was 19.4%, and 14.2% for women who had a migraine more than a year ago (inactive migraine).
Instead, benefits of drinking warm water, according to Ayurveda healing system:
- To stimulate digestion
- Help heal the throat
- Encourage hunger
- Cleanse the bladder
- Relieve gas
- Flush out toxins
- Promote bowel movement
- Increase blood circulation
Tip: And if you need to cool down, a cup of tea will actually do a better job! Professor Peter McNaughton from the University of Cambridge has said that drinking a hot beverage will raise the body temperature, and cool you down by making your sweat. Drinking a glass of cold water, on the other hand, will trick the body into thinking that it is cold, and the body’s core temperature will rise.