Is It Bad to Put Ice In Your Drink?

· June 11, 2017
Summer's here, and it's time for that nice, ice-cold beverage...but is using ice really a good idea? Find out in this article!

When summer arrives we want to cool down ad get rid of the heat any way we can. One of these ways is to consume an ice-cold drink.

If there are no more in the fridge or freezer, then we choose to put ice in our drink. Problem solved!

Did you know this isn’t a good idea? In this article, we tell you the reasons why you shouldn’t put ice cubes in your drinks.

Dirty ice means a contaminated drink

Hielo sucio, bebida contaminada

There have been several investigations to determine if ice cubes, which are very popular in summer, are good for our health.

The results were chilling: in most fast food establishments and “trendy” cafes, the water used to make ice was filled with bacteria (in doses similar to those found in the restrooms of the same premises).

Are we comparing toilet water to the ice in drinks served at a chain of restaurants? Yes. And the worst of all is that toilets are cleaned more often than the ice machines.

The heads of these multinational chains have suggested that the possible discovery of this bacteria is due to human contamination.

That is, those who use the machines and the cubes are the same employees who also clean the restrooms. These employees are also in contact with the money and clean the floor, but don’t wash their hands.

Laboratory tests didn’t show any serious contamination in the beverages of these establishments. However, the truth is that the levels of bacteria were higher than what is considered “normal”.

It’s good to keep in mind that the problem is not the water that the ice is made with, which in all cases is drinkable. Instead, it’s the proliferation of bacteria in the machine or the hands of those who serve the drinks.


Perhaps bacteria entering the body through soft drinks isn’t a problem for a healthy person. However, it may be an issue for certain groups such as children, elderly and individuals with weak immune system.

Another problem that you must take into account are trips to countries or cities where water isn’t safe to drink.

Exotic destinations in Africa, Asia and South America don’t have proper sanitation. Hence, the water is likely is likely to come from polluted rivers, lakes, streams or reservoirs.

In this particular case, we recommend that you don’t consume ice cubes at all. It’s better to consume a warm drink than spend several days locked in your hotel because you have diarrhea, stomach cramps and vomiting. And this is the best case scenario.

What if I prepare the ice?

We can rely on a scientific study on what happens in restaurants and cafeterias. But what if we don’t eat at those places? Instead, we may put ice in our glass that comes from our own freezer.

What would be the problem in this case?

It’s almost the same as in a food establishment. When you put the water into the cube maker: did you wash your hands? And were you hands clean when you put the cubes in the glass? Believe it or not, the situation is quite similar.

And that’s not all.  If you haven’t cleaned the ice dispenser in the refrigerator or the ice cube tray, it’s likely that mold has grown in them. This will then go into the bucket, from there to the drink and, finally, into your body.

It’s important to make sure the ice cube tray is clean just like your hands before pouring the water into it. Wash your hands to avoid transferring any germs or bacteria when preparing ice cubes and before serving them.


If you meet all hygiene requirements when preparing and placing ice cubes in your glass, there’s less chance of introducing microorganisms that are harmful to your health.

However, there’s still something else worth considering when it comes to rethinking about consuming drinks that are too cold: irritation in the throat and vocal cords.

If the first thing you do is drink soda, juice or a glass of cold water (from the fridge or with ice cubes) when you get home feeling very hot,  you can later suffer from a sore throat or even dysphonia.

Cold drinks versus hot drinks: which ones win?

Bebidas frías vs bebidas calientes

Something really interesting about putting ice in your drink is that this involves the intake of cold liquids in the body (especially in the stomach).

It has been confirmed that the consumption of water with ice or water that’s  almost frozen during the meals produces indigestion. That’s why East Asians consume warm green tea instead of cold juice or soda.

The blood vessels contract when you consume cold liquids. This increases the production of mucus in the body and this stops proper hydration. This is another point against using ice cubes in your drinks.

Instead, by drinking warm liquids like tea, the intestines move better, digestion ends faster, the blood is purified and the kidneys detoxify the body.

Lastly, you must know that consuming something warm or hot when you eat helps your body to better digest the fats you are ingesting. This prevents them from solidifying on the walls of the stomach.

We advise drinking tea when the menu includes vegetable or animal fats, such as oils, nuts, meat, egg yolk or butter.