Is Cold Water Bad For You?
At first glance it may seem irrelevant whether you have cold water or room temperature water in your glass, you are drinking water after all!
Becoming aware of how the temperature of the water you drink impacts your digestion, and health in general, is a simple way to add a healthy habit to your day. This is especially important if you in any way struggle with a health condition, or fatigue in general, when every little thing you do counts.
How Cold Water Disrupts Digestion
- THROAT & VOICE - Do you reach for cold water when you have a sore throat? Didn't think so. Drinking water at room temperature, or if your throat is sore or will speak all day or sing in a performance you likely go for warm (but not hot) water. Compared to cold water, room temperature, or warm water supports digestion and is relaxing and soothing for the throat and vocal cords along the way down to the stomach. Take a tip from singers who sip their warm water all day long for strong vocal chops.
- TEMPERATURE DIFFERENCE - There is a great difference between body temperature and the temperature of cold water. Energy is needed to bring the water temperature up reach body temperature, energy that can be put to better use elsewhere. Who doesn't need more energy?
- COLD IS CONTRACTING - As cold water travels through the digestive tract it may contract muscles and lead to tension and impaired function. The opposite is true for water that is closer to body temperature as it gently "moves things along", keeping the digestive tract relaxed and well hydrated so it can do it's job of digestion, absorption and flushing out toxins. In fact, constipation may be helped by avoiding all cold drinks.
- DIGESTIVE FIRE - Another angle to help you see why drinking cold water may not be beneficial to your digestion, is to think of your digestion as a fire. This digestive fire "burns" your food and transforms your chicken dinner in to single amino acids that are absorbed in to your blood stream and delivered to your cells, where they are put to good use. This process of going from chicken dinner to single amino acid is complex, involves many steps and requires a great deal of energy. So why would you want to make it harder for your body to get the nutrients it needs by literally throwing cold water on your digestive fire?
- YES BUT... - Sure, when you're young, healthy and brimming with energy you're likely to get away with cold drinks. But as we age and the digestive fire weakens (think 40+), or if you have troubled digestion to start with, a chronic illness, or are otherwise weakened, room temperature, or warm water, will be your ally.
To sum it up, by avoiding cold water (or cold drinks in general) you are supporting your digestion and absorption of nutrients. You are also helping your intestines stay relaxed and keep things moving for easy and consistent elimination.