There is a misconception that drinking cold water frequently, especially after eating, causes serious diseases, like cancer. This idea is due to the simple speculation that drinking cold water after eating solidifies ingested fats, slowing digestion. People believe that this process gives rise to a series of reactions in the stomach and intestine that lead to the appearance of cancer cells.
What the Doctors Say
Nevertheless, there are medical specialists who recommend drinking cold water especially after exercising, because it regulates body temperature; and other doctors say that drinking cold water forces the body to expend energy for heating consequently producing a loss of that water.
There are other times when cold water is usually used, and in this case, it is used incorrectly. For example, when fever goes up, we tend to immerse the body in cold water when it would be more appropriate to use warm or slightly warm water. Otherwise, the body’s defense reaction to cold water would be to cause chills and a rise in temperature. In this case, drinking it causes the same negative results.
The Real Problem
Several times we have heard that we should consume enough water, two liters being the recommended quantity. If we go over that quantity, or if we fall short, we will be susceptible to certain health problems. Since each person is different, the best indicator of whether enough water is being consumed is urine.
If it is dark, you are not drinking enough water, and if it is light in color, you are drinking enough. Keep in mind that morning urine (having just woken up) is somewhat darker. Another way to get a sense of hydration is thirst. When the body says it is thirsty, you need to drink, regardless of whether the water is cold or hot.
The aspect that really affects our health is the quantity and quality of water. Most of the water we consume must be natural, without artificial flavors (certain additives are permitted, such as mint leaves, lemon slices, etc.) and unsweetened.
The Benefits of Drinking Cold Water
The main advantage when consuming any liquid is hydration, but specifically drinking cold water gives us specific benefits specific to its temperature:
- It helps you lose weight: The body always maintains a stable temperature. When you consume cold water, this temperature decreases, and the body uses calories to stabilize it again.
- It lowers body temperature: After exercising, body temperature rises, and drinking cold water helps stabilize it as stated above.
- It hydrates you faster: After exercise, the body needs to hydrate quickly. Cold water is absorbed more quickly into the bloodstream expediting this.
Getting enough water is necessary to stay healthy, regardless of temperature.