Written by Simone Maglassis, CPT, ACSM, ACE
With spring being right around the corner, many of us will start drinking more cold water.
But is one "healthier" than the other?
I sought out the answer from peer reviewed studies and here's what I came up with.
Ever since I was young my mom would yell at me about how bad it was to drink cold water, especially in the morning.
Of course like most kids do, I ignored her.
So what's the deal with cold water? Was my mom right?
Well if you're trying to recover from a cold or are sick, drinking cold water is not advised because it can restrict certain nasal passages and make it more difficult for mucous to pass through. It can also aggravate certain issues because it becomes a vasoconstrictor (narrowing of blood vessels). This in turn, this causes high blood pressure.
To put it simply, drinking cold water can increase your blood pressure and not just with older adults but youth as well.
I guess it's safe to say that if you do suffer from high blood pressure, it certainly wouldn't hurt to refrain from drinking cold water and stick with room temperature instead to not put any more strain on your system. Is this a huge deal though? Maybe, maybe not. More studies need to be conducted.
If you're curious to know I suggest try drinking a glass of cold water and then test your blood pressure and see if the numbers change from what you're used to or talk to your doctor.
If you suffer from achalasia (condition that effects esophagus and makes it difficult to swallow food) drinking cold water will definitely exasperate problems.
When it comes to weight loss drinking cold water along with being in a cold controlled environment "demonstrated significant increases in oxygen uptake and energy expenditure, and a shift in fuel utilization towards fat as the substrate of choice" (Grove, 2020).
However, it was a number of other factors that caused this shift to fat loss in this specific study and more research is needed.
Room Temperature Water
The happy medium.
This may make you feel less thirty compared to the thirst triggering effects that cold water brings, but in my opinion, is a lot "easier" on the body to consume, similar to warm water.
Furthermore, you can consume it along side warm or cold foods and beverages without it being as much as a "shock" to your system. For instance, if you're eating a warm soup, you can drink room temperature water comfortable afterwards or during.
Did you know warm water can actually make you less thirsty?
So if this is your preferred temperature choice, ensure you're getting enough water intake for the day by checking the colour of your urine (yes this is one way to check if you're hydrated).
Warm water has the most benefits:
Grasser, E K et al. “It is likely that the drinking of cold and room temperature water decreases cardiac workload.” Acta physiologica (Oxford, England) vol. 213,1 (2015): 5-6. doi:10.1111/apha.12351
Grove, P Eric. “Use of the "Cool Fat Burner" in conjunction with drinking of cold water is associated with acute and minor increases in energy expenditure and fat metabolism in overweight men and women.” The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness vol. 59,7 (2019): 1238-1243. doi:10.23736/S0022-4707.18.09010-2
Ma, Jianyong; Hu, Weitong; Wu, Dan; Zhang, Qingsheng; Peng, Chao; Cao, Kaiwu; Su, Hai Drinking cold water increases blood pressure in healthy young students, Blood Pressure Monitoring: April 2014 - Volume 19 - Issue 2 - p 118-119
Ren, Yutang et al. “Response of esophagus to high and low temperatures in patients with achalasia.” Journal of neurogastroenterology and motility vol. 18,4 (2012): 391-8. doi:10.5056/jnm.2012.18.4.391
Wang, Qiangjun et al. “Drinking Warm Water Improves Growth Performance and Optimizes the Gut Microbiota in Early Postweaning Rabbits during Winter.” Animals : an open access journal from MDPI vol. 9,6 346. 12 Jun. 2019, doi:10.3390/ani9060346
Simone is a certified in-home & virtual personal trainer, precision nutrition coach and ACE functional training specialist. Her mission is to help people on their fitness & health journey.
When she's not figure skating, reading or writing, Simone loves to relax and watch Netflix with her little family.
All information provided by Simone (Guishard) Maglassis and simonesfitfunlife.com is of a general nature and is furnished only for educational/entertainment purposes only. No information is to be taken as legal, medical or other health advice pertaining to any individual specific health or medical condition. You agree that use of this information is at your own risk and hold Simone Maglassis and/or simonesfitfunlife.com harmless from any and all losses, liabilities, injuries or damages resulting from any and all claims.