Home Healthcare MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT CHILLED WATER

MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT CHILLED WATER

by Blessing Amaka
chilled water

Most of us know the advantages of taking warm or room temperature water but when it comes to chilled water, we are often skeptical. This is because there are a lot of myths and facts about chilled water, which makes it quite difficult for one to different which is true and which is false. Most of us have heard that chilled water is bad for our health. You’d be shocked to hear some myths people hold about chilled water.

In this article, we will highlight the benefits of taking cold water, the myths and facts about chilled water.

On hot days or when carrying out strenuous or exhausting activities, we all prefer a glass of chilled water or regular room temperature water in order to quench our thirst, cool the body and feel refreshed.

However, some people advise against drinking cold water no matter how hot the weather is or how much you crave it because they are of the opinion that drinking cold water is a bad habit that can actually cause more harm to your health in the long run. 

In some cases, this belief is based on the idea that drinking cold water contracts the stomach, making it harder to digest food after a meal.

Some people also believe that the body has to work harder to maintain its internal temperature of 98.6°F (37°C) if you’re drinking water that’s near the temperature of ice, or less than 36°F (4°C).

Also, some cultures and some people who are more conscious about their health suggest that warm water is of more benefit to our health than chilled water. 

Before we talk about the myths and facts about chilled water, let’s first discuss water and its benefits.

Water And Its Benefits

Source: Canva

Although water is colourless, odourless and tasteless, it is the only thing that can soothe our body and quench our thirst. When it comes to quenching our thirst, water has no rival and cannot be replaced with another fluid.

Staying hydrated has proven benefits for mental and physical health. 70% of our body is made up of water. Water has tons of benefits aside from quenching our thirst. It helps in promoting our overall health. It enables our body to function properly as it should and in preventing a number of diseases. The human body cannot survive without water. 

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that men 19 and older consume 3.7 litres of water per day (15.5 cups) and women 19 and older consume 2.7 litres daily (11.5 cups). But can drinking chilled water have a negative impact on one’s health? The temperature ranges of chilled (or cold water) water is 5 to 11 °C, with a temperature difference of six degrees.

Benefits of Chilled Water

Source: Canva

Similar to warm water, cold water does have its benefits which may help in the adequate functioning of the body.

  1. Drinking cold water on a hot day or during an exhausting activity or exercise can prevent heat stroke by keeping the body from overheating.
  2. Cold water helps to improve your workout performance. Taking a glass or a bottle of chilled water during exercise cannot only help keep the body from overheating, but it can also make workout sessions more successful. This is probably because drinking cold water makes it easier for the body to maintain a lower core temperature. The cold water helps boost your metabolism and burn a few extra calories; it gives you more energy to continue your workout. 
  3. Also, a study has shown that soaking in cold water can relieve sore muscles resulting from workout session by 20% since ice-cold water can help ease inflammation, stiffness and swelling of the muscles. 
  4. Coldwater can lift your mood and make you happier. During the hot season, a glass of cold water does not only help to cool down your body temperature but makes you feel refreshed, relax and happier.
  5. Drinking ice-cold water stimulates adrenaline production. Adrenaline helps you to be mentally and physically alert and focused. 

Benefits of Warm Water

Source: Canva

Here are some of the health benefits and reasons most people believe that warm or room temperature water is better than chilled water: 

  1. Drinking room temperature or warm water speeds up digestion and helps absorb the nutrients better. 
  2. Warm water helps prevent constipation, which can bring about other health complications such as haemorrhoids and piles.
  3. Drinking warm water can heat up your body; this boosts your metabolism, making your body to be able to use the energy released from the food digested.
  4. Warm water makes you sweat more. This will help your body to flush out toxins through sweat.
  5. Warm water promotes blood circulation by dilating your blood vessels. This will help transport more oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body and reduce blood pressure. 
  6. Warm water also helps in relieving joint and muscle pains.
  7. Although it is not a treatment for a cold or sore throat, warm water can help relieve sore throat and sinus problems by allowing you to get rid of the mucus. So next time, when you have a bad cold, grab a cup of warm water and sip. 
  8. Warm water also helps in relieving stress.
  9. Drinking warm or hot water has been found to make one less thirsty. This can be dangerous on days when the body is losing water through sweating to try to keep cool. If one opts to drink warm water, one should be aware that one may not feel thirsty as often as one should.

Myths And Fact about Chilled Water

So, what exactly are some of the myths and facts about chilled water? Here we go:

Myth #1: Some people are of the notion that drinking cold water on a hot day won’t help cool you down. 

The truth:

There isn’t enough research to conclude that this belief is true or false.

Myth #2: Drinking cold water is a powerful jump-start tool for weight loss.

The truth:

Drinking water that is cold may actually help one burn a couple of extra calories as one digest food because the body has to work harder to maintain its core temperature, but the amount of calorie burnt is not significant enough for it to be used as a weight loss strategy. 

Myth #3: Drinking cold water shrinks your blood vessels, contracts your stomach, and slows down the digestion of food.

The truth: There is no research to back up this claim. The fact that drinking warm water can aid in digestion does not mean that cold water can hamper digestion

Myth #4: Drinking chilled water can make you gain extra weight.

The truth:

This myth is based on the belief that cold water can thicken and solidify the fat in the body. The fact is that the human body can balance homoeostasis, and water has zero calories, so it is impossible for water, no matter the temperature, to cause weight gain.

Myth #5: Drinking ice-cold water can cause sore throat, cold and flu

The truth:

Common cold, mononucleosis, and Streptococcus bacteria are the most common causes of a sore throat. Rhinoviruses are the most common cause of the common cold. Hence, drinking cold water only worsens your cold by making the mucus in your sinuses thicker and making your congestion feel worse.

Myth #6: Cold water can cause cancer

The truth:

The belief that drinking chilled water can increase one’s risk of having cancer is a widely peddled myth especially among social media users. It is erroneously believed that cold water solidifies the fats and oil in the digestive system, and the fat will line the liver and colon, resulting in liver or colon cancer and irritable bowel syndrome or bowel obstruction. 

The fact is that there is no study giving credence to this claim. According to the National Cancer Institute, the following are factors that increase cancer risk: age, cancer-causing substances, alcohol, chronic inflammation, hormones, Immunosuppression, infectious agents, diet, obesity, radiation, sunlight and tobacco.

The Surgical Consultants of Northern Virginia equally outlines the factors that increase the risk of Irritable bowel syndrome as: age stress, being sensitive to certain foods, combining eating and stress, certain medications, issues with digestion and family history.

Note that on the list of the factors that increase the risk of cancer and irritable bowel syndrome, drinking ice cold water is not included.

Risks of Taking Chilled Water

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Asides the myths and facts about chilled water, there might be risks of taking chilled water.

Drinking cold water does affect your body in ways you may not anticipate or want. One older and small study from 1978, involving 15 people, found that drinking cold water made nasal mucous thicker and more difficult to pass through the respiratory tract. By comparison, the researchers found that chicken soup and hot water helped people breathe more easily.

There are some health conditions that drinking cold water can aggravate. Drinking cold water was linked in 2001 to triggering migraines in people that already experience migraine. The pain related to achalasia, a condition that limits the body’s ability to pass food through the oesophagus, can also worsen when one drinks cold water with a meal.

In conclusion…

Water, no matter the temperature, is very important in boosting our health. The benefits of drinking water also depend on the temperature of the water. There are plenty of benefits to drinking warm water, though. 

The benefits of drinking cold water tend to be about the same benefits of drinking regular room-temperature water: Keeping one hydrated and giving one more energy.

However, some people may want to avoid drinking cold water. For instance, drinking cold water while one has a cold or flu is not much of a wise idea. Also, if one suffers any chronic condition that results in slower digestion, it is probably not a advisable to take chilled water. While some cultures regard drinking cold water as a significant health risk for everyone, there isn’t a lot of evidence to support the stance. 

If one is concerned about one’s digestion, planning to lose some weight, or feeling consistently dehydrated, the best point of call is to easilySpeak with a Doctor [MC1] and make a plan that will keep one hydrated and healthy.

References

Sanu A, Eccles R The effects of a hot drink on nasal airflow and symptoms of common cold and flu. Rhinology. 2008 Dec;46(4):271-5.

Burdon C, O’Connor H, Gifford J, Shirreffs S, Chapman P, Johnson N. Effect of drink temperature on core temperature and endurance cycling performance in warm, humid conditions. J Sports Sci. 2010;28:1147–1156. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2010.489197.

Mündel T, King J, Collacott E, Jones DA. Drink temperature influences fluid intake and endurance capacity in men during exercise in a hot, dry environment. Exp Physiol. 2006;91:925–933. doi: 10.1113/expphysiol.2006.034223. 

Lee JK, Shirreffs SM, Maughan RJ. Cold drink ingestion improves exercise endurance capacity in the heat. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008;40:1637–1644. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318178465d. 

Siegel R, Maté J, Brearley MB, Watson G, Nosaka K, Laursen PB. Ice slurry ingestion increases core temperature capacity and running time in the heat. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009;42:717–725. 



Blessing Amaka

Ms. Blessing is a content creator with special interest in healthcare and lifestyle improvements.

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