You’d have to be living under a rock to not have heard the many benefits of drinking water throughout the day and choosing water over caffeine-laden beverages. I’ll be the first to admit that I generally don’t crave water. I’m a terrible Dr. Pepper/Mr. Pibb junkie when left to my own devices but consuming the Dr. and the Mr. go directly to my waistline (life is unfair), affect my complexion and skin tone (did I say life is unfair?) and to add insult to injury, can lead to acid reflux (life is way unfair.)
You can find powder and liquid additives to put in your water at your local grocery store but those aren’t the best option either. If you need a little extra “something,” it’s always best to reach for regular old fruit . . . strawberries, blueberries, melon, lemon, cucumber even.
If there is magic on this planet, it’s contained in water. – Loren Eisely
So how should you drink that water? Ice cold, room temperature or warm? Traditional Chinese medicine and the Ayurvedic practice advises against cold water, believing that cold water will shrink, contract and general slow your system. They believed that warm water helped protect your internal organs and keep your blood flow and circulation healthy. There is a reason these beliefs have stood the test of thousands of years.
That said, each person is different and what works for me may not work for you. There is a general consensus of health care professionals that in the case of a fever, cold water is better because (duh) you need to cool your body down. The same goes for post-workouts, when your body temperature elevates with the exertion. In either case, your body is working hard to rid itself of toxins and you need to replenish fluids . Adding a pinch of sea salt can help to bump up your electrolytes.
Cold water is also said to speed up your metabolism, which aids with weight loss, and can help to burn additional calories. Not a bad way to shed a few pounds and certainly less painful than getting to the gym on some days.
Let’s flip the coin and talk about warm water. Back to Ayurveda, it’s strongly encouraged to start your day with a glass of warm water. Why? Because the warm water tells your digestive system to get ready for some breakfast. Whereas the warm water stimulates your digestive system, encouraging it to run properly, cold water can actually be detrimental, causing your digestive system to work hard at warming up that cold water.
Warm water is also beneficial if you’re trying to detox your body, as your body is working as hard to warm up cold water. An added benefit is lemon, cucumber slices, mint, apple and/or cinnamon. All of these foods have super detox properties with excellent cleansing powers.
You may not know this but it’s an awesome fact to have handy. Warm or hot water goes kick ass on a headache or other form of inflammation since the warm water stimulates blood flow to your tissues. It’s also an easy to remedy to menstrual cramps!
And one more benefit to warm water, it aids with constipation. Constipation is normally the result of dehydration and warm water will be soothing to your intestines rather than the shock of cold water.
I believe that water is the only drink for a wise man. – Henry David Thoreau
I used to drink water that was ice cold only, if I drank water at all, but since becoming more attuned to my body and reading about Ayurveda I made the switch. Room temperature water only for this gal! How about you?