When eating out, I always ask my server for water with no ice and they often look at me like I am crazy. But I am not, and below I explain why.
First, take a minute to close your eyes and imagine the following:
It is spring and you are standing on a wooden dock that extends into a high mountain lake. While the temperature in the air is fairly warm, the top layer of the lake has only recently melted and you can tell by the color of the crystal clear blue water that it is anything but warm. You close your eyes and dive in.
What does your body do? What does your skin do? Are you relaxed and open, or tight and constricted?
“You probably know that warm water opens your pores and makes your skin feel looser, while cold water closes your pores and constricts your skin. Guess what? Drinking cold water does the same thing to your digestive tract!”
What Happens When You Drink Cold Water
- Drinking cold water after a meal creates excess mucus in your body, which can lead to a decrease in immune system function, making it easier to catch colds and illnesses.
- If you eat food while drinking cold beverages or immediately after, the water temperature solidifies fats from the foods we’ve just eaten and the body in turn finds it hard to digest the unwanted fats from our bodies.
- When you drink cold beverages your blood vessels shrink, your digestion becomes restricted and hydration is hindered.
- Instead of working to digest the food and absorb the nutrients to create energy, your body is expending energy to regulate your temperature. This can lead to water loss.
Some people say that drinking ice water is beneficial because it burns more calories. I argue that we do not want to make our digestive system have to work harder; we want to makes things as easy on it as we can. There are many other ways to burn calories!
Benefits to Drinking Warm Water
Here are some benefits to drinking water that is room temperature or warmer:
- Food breaks down more easily
- Your bowels move better (warm water with lemon in the morning is great for this!)
- Faster + increased hydration
- It purifies your blood and increases your bodies natural detoxification processes via your skin, kidneys and lymphatic system
- Natural digestive enzymes are stimulated and therefore your digestion is enhanced
Once you get into the habit of drinking water at room temperature or warm, you will notice a dramatic improvement in your digestion and the way your body feels while eating and after the meal. Some people have also reported reduction in sugar cravings.